We’re Back for Phase 2!

Faith, Finances, Freedom logo

The North Carolina Synod was successful in its “Faith + Finances + Freedom” initiative from 2016-2019.  Lilly Endowment, Inc. has awarded a “scaling grant” to the North Carolina Synod for Phase Two of their “National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders”.

In Phase Two, The North Carolina Synod Council voted to “scale” our initiative by inviting other synods in Region 9 to share the $500,000 Phase Two grant.  The Virginia Synod, Southeastern Synod, South Carolina Synod, and Caribbean Synod agreed to partner with us. All synods will be 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 for Congregations for Stewardship Grants!

We’re back for phase 2!

Program Director Pastor John Mocko, and Program Assistant Caroline Mocko are excited to continue work with Faith+Finances+Freedom/The Lifeline Fund Program of the North Carolina Synod in Phase Two.  “We are blessed that Lilly Endowment Inc. has granted our synod a ‘scaling’ grant in the amount of $500,000 that we share with 4 other synods in Region 9.”  These partnering synods are offering education debt relief grants to all rostered leaders in each of their synods. Congregational Stewardship Program grants are also available in each synod through each synod’s Director for Evangelical Mission. Pastor Mocko says “We welcome all rostered ministers in all synods to apply for education debt grants.”  Phase Two grants are available from 2020 through 2022.

For the gifts we have been given:

  • We say thank you by sharing the $500,000 with four other synods in Region Nine who are partnering with the North Carolina Synod: Virginia Synod, South Carolina Synod, Southeastern Synod and Caribbean Synod.
  • We say thank you by continuing the two most effective components of Phase One, namely, grants to relieve education debt and support of programs to develop effective stewardship in congregations.
  • We say thank you by developing efforts to raise funds to match the grant from Lilly Endowment so this program will be sustained long into the futur

For Rostered Ministers in participating synods in Region 9:

Apply now, online, for a grant to relieve some of your education debt!

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 a ONE PAGE SUMMARY of education loan payments for the previous 12 months for every education loan.
  4. Submit your Report to your Bishop for the current year

Previous Grant Recipients: 

Rostered leaders (NC) who have completed requirements and received a grant in Phase One must:

  1. Complete the Phase 2 application
  2. Submit proof of debt payments for the previous 12 months on a ONE page summary
  3. Submit your Report to the Bishop for the current year
  4. Submit an “Evaluation of Impact” report for the grants previously received

Stewardship Programs for Phase Two to be offered to congregations

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

Information on all stewardship programs is available through your DEM or Synod Stewardship Team!

Join us by submitting YOUR application for Phase Two of Lilly Endowments Inc.’s “2016 National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders”
2020-2022       Submit an application every year!!

Thanks be to God!

For more information contact NC Pastor John Mocko, Program Director, at 336-596-4517.

logo of Education Debt Relief

3 Major Components

  1.  Financial Literacy
    1. Financial Peace University
    2. Financial counseling with LSS Minnesota or Portico (free)
  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 your Report to your Bishop for the current year.
  4. Submit proof of education loan payments for the most recent 12 months on a ONE PAGE summary for each and every loan you have.

Previous grant recipient’s requirements:

Rostered leaders (NC) who have completed financial & counseling requirements and received a grant in Phase One must:

  1. Complete the Phase 2 application.
  2. Submit proof of debt payments for the most recent12 months on a ONE PAGE summary for each and every loan you have.
  3. Submit your Report to the Bishop for the current year.
  4. Submit an Evaluation of Impact form for grants previously received.

Contact John Mocko if you are interested in having a Coach.

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Stewardship Grants

Stewardship Grants are available ONLY through your Director for Evangelical Mission or your Stewardship Team.

Congregations in their own synods will work with their Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) and their Stewardship Team 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”

Click here to get to the Stewardship Grant Application
(for DEMs and Stewardship Teams only)

logo of Resourceful Servants

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.

John W. Mocko, NC, Program Director

  1. Manage Faith + Finances + Freedom and The Lifeline Fund
  2. Promote and implement all aspects of grant, including partnership beyond Region 9
  3. Receive and review all EDUCATION DEBT Applications and personally review the application with the rostered minister (applicant)
  4. Communicate with all synods as to the status of applicants
  5. Communicate with all synod Distribution Teams, facilitate team meetings

Caroline Mocko, NC, Program Assistant 

  1. Receives applications directly from the NC Synod website
  2. Communicate with all applicants
  3. Attend all meetings to take notes and distribute to all following meeting
  4. Manage/maintain all applicant information
  5. Work with NC Synod Finance Director regarding grant payments
  6. Manage Program Media and brochures

David Sloop, NC, Resource Director

  1. Direct fundraising efforts in NC Synod
  2. Work with NC Synod Fundraising Team
  3. Be available to partner synods to advise/assist in their fundraising efforts.

Michael DeNise, NC, Finance Director

  1. Communicate with Program Director & Assistant
  2. Maintain a checking account for each individual synod
  3. Receive and Disburse funds for each synod
  4. Distribute approved grant awards as matching funds are received
  5. Provide monthly income/expense reports, submit to Program Director and Rocky Mountain Synod Program Director


Synod Representatives

Caribbean Synod

Bishop Idalia Negron                        

North Carolina Synod

Pastor John Mocko                               

South Carolina Synod

Pastor Ozzie Herlong                            

Southeastern Synod

Pastor Dale Sillik                                   

Virginia Synod

Pastor John Wertz                                 

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