Everence announces changes to its Pastoral Financial Assistance Program
Initiative’s first year an overwhelming success
Due to the overwhelming success of the Everence® Pastoral Financial Assistance Program, Everence is announcing that its pastoral financial assistance grants for debt reduction and Mennonite Retirement Trust subsidies have been depleted.
“It was an exciting and tremendously positive year, as we rolled out the program with Mennonite Church USA and Conservative Mennonite Conference,” explained Beryl M. Jantzi, D.Min., Everence Stewardship Education Director and manager of the Pastoral Financial Assistance Program. “The downside is that we are now unable to accept any additional pastoral financial assistance grant requests as of Feb. 16, 2017.”
The funds were part of a $1 million grant Everence received in 2015 (through its affiliate Mennonite Foundation) as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. The initiative supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they address the financial and economic struggles that can impair the ability of pastors to lead congregations effectively.
Out of this grant, Everence developed a three-year program focused on providing financial assistance to Mennonite Church USA and Conservative Mennonite Conference credentialed pastors facing specific financial difficulties, as well as personal financial educational events for pastors and spouses.
In 2016, a total of 115 pastoral assistance grants were approved. Additionally, 21 educational events were held with well over 500 participants (representing more than 220 congregations), along with two financial coaching events and one six-session Freed-Up Financially training.
“While our financial assistance for debt reduction and Mennonite Retirement Trust subsidy funds have run out well before the initiative’s three-year timeframe, that doesn’t mean the program is coming to an end,” said Madalyn Metzger, Everence Vice President of Marketing and director of the Pastoral Financial Assistance Program. “Moving forward, we will continue to offer educational events for pastors and subsidy grants for comprehensive financial planning.”
Additionally, efforts at the denominational level will ramp up to address program sustainability, to help serve the needs of future pastors.
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. To learn more, visit everence.com or call (800) 348-7468.