Dear Synod Members:
When I was in college I spent a summer in a Benedictine monastery outside of Cuernavaca, Mexico. One of the things I learned about Benedictines was their willingness to venture into new projects which would make a difference in the world around them. In the Greater Milwaukee Synod we have a unique opportunity to do the same thing.
This is to let you know that the task force to determine the use of funds garnered from the sale of Good Shepherd, Waukesha, met on July 16th. We are ready to receive ideas for the dispersal of over $400,000 intended to make a difference in the life of the church and the world.
The members of the group are: – Bishop Jeff Barrow, Kay Styza, Rev. Andy Fetters, Rev. Richard Suero, Beth Hoffmann, Matthew Brockmeier, Cindy Dobberke, Rev. Vicki Watkins, Rev. Sandy Chrostowski, and JoAnn Berdelman. They were chosen to be a body that will make recommendations to the synod council.
There was general agreement that we would like to invite a wide range of proposals for the use of these funds. Once again we are not interested in simply plugging holes. Therefore we decided that $75,000 would be the minimum for any grant request and we would like to see the best of our synod’s creativity.
These are the required criteria:
- Deepened commitment to and engagement in faith development towards transforming lives.
- Articulation of “what it means to be in mission” as well as the “multicultural context” of the project.
- Commitment of finances (at least 5 % of the projected project cost) and people resources.
- Collaboration with others (congregational, community, global, and ecumenical partnerships).
- Engagement in the wider community, including community organizations, global partners, campus ministry, health and wellness partners, with a clear connection to the ELCA.
- Attention to strengthening congregational membership as well as care for the wider neighborhood and community.
- Consideration of how ministry is being moved forward and multiplied if staffing positions or programs are being proposed.
- Expected impact of this project on the ministry five years from now.
- Completion of grant application by September 15, 2013.
- The requested amount of each grant will be a minimum of $75,000.
- Grant recipients agree to tithe 10% of their grant allocations to a ministry recommended by the Synod Task Force beyond the geographic area of the Greater Milwaukee Synod.
- Grant recipients further agree to return the total amount of grants received should the congregation/ministry close or cease to be affiliated with the ELCA within five years of the grant application date.
- All recommendations from this Task Force go to the Greater Milwaukee Synod Council for action to approve all grant allocations.
- Reports, including finances, ongoing work and project results are required annually.
Of course not all of the grants proposals will be able to be funded, yet it is an opportunity to generate a number of proposals which may stir the imagination of others. The synod reserves the right to solicit additional proposals using modified guidelines at any time, including after the initial application deadline.
The deadline for receiving these proposals is September 15, 2013. Mail your proposals to the Greater Milwaukee Synod office, 1212 S. Layton Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53215. Whatever you do, make sure you have fun as together we envision things that make a difference. Questions may be directed to Rev. Sandy Chrostowski who has agreed to chair the task force. The grant template can be downloaded below.
Bishop Jeff Barrow