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 share some good news, “We are excited to share that Phase 2 of Faith+Finances+Freedom/The Lifeline Fund has begun!” Lily Endowment, Inc. approved a scaling grant which includes sharing the grant amount of $500,000 with four other synods in Region 9: Virginia, South Carolina, Southeastern, and Caribbean. In this phase, two components will be continued: education debt relief and congregational stewardship programs. Additional details—including the application form—will be ready soon. (more…)

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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