Pastors experience $800,000 in debt relief since 2016
Thanks to Everence Pastoral Financial Assistance Program and the Lilly Endowment
Over the course of 2016 and 2017, some 160 pastors received a combined total of $800,000 to help alleviate significant financial burdens.
The $800,000 was provided to pastors from Mennonite Church USA and Conservative Mennonite Conference who qualified for direct financial assistance grants through the Everence® Pastoral Financial Assistance Program – an initiative funded, in part, by a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. to address financial challenges facing pastors.
“Many younger pastors are feeling burdened by education debt as a result of their undergraduate and seminary education they pursued as part of their call to ministry,” explained Beryl Jantzi, Everence Director of Stewardship Education and Program Manager for the Everence Pastoral Financial Assistance Program. “Likewise, older pastors are experiencing debt as a result of medical expenses and continuing to help adult children get started in life. And, similar to Americans as a whole, many pastors are feeling insecure about their retirement readiness.”
Eligible pastors received financial assistance grants of $5,000 maximum, half of which were provided by matching dollars from congregations, conferences and other networks, with an additional $1,000 to offset any increase in their tax responsibility. Due to the program’s overwhelming success, funds for these direct financial assistance grants were depleted in February 2017.
Other avenues of assistance remain, however. Everence is providing financial education events free of charge to help pastors think about issues related to personal money management, clergy taxes and planning for retirement. From 2016 through 2017, Everence hosted 40 of these educational events with more than 1,000 participants representing 411 congregations.
Additionally, pastors can receive a subsidy or grant toward the cost of a first-year Everence comprehensive financial plan. From 2016 through 2017, some 120 pastors took advantage of this opportunity to work with an Everence financial advisor to develop a plan to meet their short- and long-term financial goals.
“In our Anabaptist tradition, we are called to live together in community, in service to God and to each other – including our pastoral leaders,” said Madalyn Metzger, Everence Vice President of Marketing and Program Director for the Everence Pastoral Financial Assistance Program. “This is why Everence is dedicated to helping our church leaders address the unique economic challenges they face, so that they can continue to be called, trained and sustained for the mission of the Church.”
More information about the Everence Pastoral Financial Assistance Program and comprehensive financial planning subsidies and grants for pastors is available at everence.com/pastor-financial-planning or through your local Everence stewardship consultant.