Effective January 2019, Everence is expanding its Pastoral Financial Wellness Program to credentialed and active pastors from its more than 30 affiliated Anabaptist and like-minded denominations and church networks.
This expansion is made possible, in part, by a second grant of $1 million from the Lilly Endowment Inc., as part of its 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. Approximately half of the $1 million granted to Everence is available as matching funds to help pastors meet immediate financial burdens. The remainder is allocated for education programs and services to help pastors better manage their own finances.
“So many pastors enter the ministry with substantial educational debt, and financial emergencies and crises can add to that burden,” says Beryl Jantzi, Everence stewardship education director and program manager for the Pastoral Financial Wellness Program. “Hopefully, through our newly expanded program, we can help more pastors find a healthy financial balance, so that they can continue following their calling in the ministry.”
The expanded Pastoral Financial Wellness Program will include three components:
- Direct financial assistance grants to help pastors alleviate debt burdens such as educational, medical and credit card debt.
- Financial education events focused on topics such as retirement planning readiness, debt reduction, financial planning and clergy taxes.
- Financial planning subsidies toward the cost of a first-year Everence comprehensive financial plan.
Direct financial assistance grants and financial planning subsidies are available to pastors who have not previously received these benefits as part of the program.
In 2015, Everence was one of the first 37 organizations awarded grants in phase one of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. Everence used those funds to establish an initial pilot of the Pastoral Financial Wellness Program, which was available to pastors within Mennonite Church USA and Conservative Mennonite Conference. The pilot was so successful that direct financial assistance grant funds were depleted within the first 18 months.
“Financial health for pastors leads to overall pastoral wellness and capacity for ministry, which leads to thriving congregations,” says Ken Hochstetler, Everence president and CEO. “This second, very generous grant from the Lilly Endowment will help Everence and our denominational partners further live out our call, in the Anabaptist tradition, to live together in community in service to one another and to God.”
For more information about the expanded Everence Pastoral Financial Wellness Program visit everence.com/pastoral-financial-wellness or contact your local Everence stewardship consultant.