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Faith + Finances + Freedom

The Lifeline Fund

Education Debt Relief

Stewardship Grants

Resourceful Servants

The Lifeline Fund

Through a “scaling grant” from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. awarded to the North Carolina Synod, synods in Region Nine are invited to participate in the “Faith + Finances + Freedom” initiative. This is part of the “National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.”

The North Carolina Synod, Virginia Synod, Southeastern Synod, South Carolina Synod, and Caribbean Synod agreed to collaborate by raising matching funds as they work to address the economic challenges facing rostered leaders.

We are excited about this opportunity to be Church Together, awarding grants to Rostered Leaders for Education Debt Relief, and grants to Congregations for Stewardship Education!

Education Debt Relief

Three Major Components

  1. Financial Literacy
    1. Financial Peace University
    2. Financial counseling with LSS Minnesota or Portico
  2. Education Debt Grants
    1. Grant levels will vary depending upon the level of debt and ability to repay
  3. Coaching
    1. helps leaders reach financial goals (optional)

New applicant’s requirements:

  1. Complete the Financial Peace University course
  2. Receive 3 free financial counseling sessions from a Portico or LSS Minnesota representative
  3. Submit proof of education loan payments for the previous 12 months
  4. Submit your Report to your Bishop for the current year

To apply you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the application
  2. Submit proof of debt payments for the previous 12 months
  3. Submit your Report to the Bishop for the current year

Stewardship Grants

South Carolina congregations will work with their Directors for Stewardship (The Rev. Ozzie Herlong) to receive monetary support for participating in one of three stewardship efforts:

  1. “Stewardship for All Seasons” (SAS)
  2. “Cultivating Generous Congregations” (CGC)
  3. “Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising”

Resourceful Servants

Is Your Congregation Struggling with Church Finances?

Although there is strong desire among many ELCA congregations to be financially healthy, it is common for congregations to wrestle with financial problems.

  1. Shrinking attendance in worship
  2. Decreased giving
  3. Short tenure of congregational treasurers
  4. A reluctance to apply business practices to the finances of a church
  5. Lack of financial knowledge among pastors and many in the congregation resulting in struggles with budgets, resource allocation and sustained growth

Through the ELCA’s Resourceful Servants the “Congregational Certificate Program”, offers your congregation the opportunity to follow a road map to greater financial stability, using healthy behaviors which focus on five key areas: Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Risk Management and Stewardship.

Each module contains resources related to healthy financial behaviors. Ultimately, by implementing and maintaining a set of financially healthy behaviors, and tracking them through this website, your congregations will receive a certificate, indicating your focus on financial health.

The goal of the program is for your congregation to deepen its financial knowledge and improve its financial behaviors, enabling you to best use the funding available to you.

Click here for more information:


Contact Faith+Finances+Freedom

Program Director, John Mocko, at 336-596-4517.

Mission Partners

This is Christ’s Church. There is a place for you here.

We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person–questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.

Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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