Everence receives $1 million Lilly Endowment grant to assist pastors

Church and finance |

Funding to go toward expansion of Pastoral Financial Assistance Program

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.

This additional grant is part of the second phase of the Endowment’s national initiative. Everence was one of the first 37 organizations that were awarded grants as part of the initiative’s first phase in 2015 and 2016, using the funds to establish the Everence Pastoral Financial Assistance Program for pastors within Mennonite Church USA and Conservative Mennonite Conference.

“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. 

“Due to the overwhelming success of our pilot program, Everence and our denominational partners were already considering sustainability practices beyond the life of our initial Lilly Endowment funding,” said Madalyn Metzger, Everence Vice President of Marketing and Program Director for the Pastoral Financial Assistance Program. “This additional grant not only helps bolster our sustainability efforts, but also enables us to further live out our call to serve God and each other.”

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 ChurchesThe 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.

“Everence is uniquely positioned to help pastors in this way, because we serve more than 30 denominations and associated credentialing bodies with historic Anabaptist and Peace Church roots,” said Ken Hochstetler, Everence President and CEO. “Partnerships across those groups will be crucial for the continued success of this program, and we are excited to continue the journey as people called to live together in community.”

More information about the expanded Everence Pastoral Financial Assistance Program will be made available in January 2019. Current program details are available at everence.com/pastor-financial-planning or through your local Everence stewardship consultant.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. For more information, visit lillyendowment.org.

Everence® helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through a national team of advisors and representatives. Everence offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits and stewardship education. Everence is a ministry of Mennonite Church USA and other churches. To learn more, visit everence.com or call (800) 348-7468.

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