Everence®, through its affiliate Mennonite Foundation, has received a second grant of $1 million as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. The initiative supports religious organizations across the United States to reduce or alleviate key financial pressures that impair effective pastoral leadership and improve financial wellness among pastors.
“We very much appreciate this additional support from the Lilly Endowment,” said Beryl Jantzi, Everence Stewardship Education Director and Program Manager for the Pastoral Financial Assistance Program. “With this second $1 million grant, Everence has the opportunity to help alleviate financial pressures for even more pastors, so that they can continue following their calling to the ministry.”
Beginning in 2019, Everence intends to expand its Pastoral Financial Assistance Program to credentialed and active pastors from other Anabaptist and like-minded denominations and church networks, in addition to Mennonite Church USA and Conservative Mennonite Conference. Similar to the pilot, the expanded program will include:
- Direct financial assistance grants to help alleviate debt burdens such as educational, medical and credit card debt. Grants are available to pastors who have not previously received direct financial assistance grants as part of the program.
- Financial education events focused on topics such as retirement planning readiness, debt reduction, financial planning, clergy taxes, etc.
- Financial planning subsidies toward the cost of a first-year Everence comprehensive financial plan.
To support this expanded program, Everence has established an advisory council of leaders from denominations and church networks including Mennonite Church USA, Conservative Mennonite Conference, the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, The Brethren Church (Ashland), and Lancaster Mennonite Conference. This advisory council will collaborate with Everence to provide depth of knowledge and vision to better help pastors address the unique economic challenges they face.