Trinity, Lincoln Awarded Synod Life Match grant funds
The people of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod love children and families, and they demonstrate this love through many acts of mercy in their communities. To support these local pro-life efforts — both big and small — the LCMS has made available $1 million in matching grants to LCMS congregations. The 1 John 3 Initiative Million Dollar Life Match is a new matching grant opportunity to help LCMS congregations provide spiritual, emotional, and physical care to strengthen families in communities across the United States.
To qualify for the matching grant, projects must fit one of three categories: projects directly caring for families experiencing challenges at the beginning of life; partnerships with LCMS Recognized Service Organizations; and collaborations with local pregnancy resource centers. There are four phases of distribution for this grant, with 37 grants having been awarded in the first phase of the project, 48 grants awarded in the second phase in December, and two more phases yet to be awarded this year.
During the second phase of awards, Trinity, Lincoln, received a grant from this fund for their ministry Forward, which provides supplemental food, wipes, and diapers to families in their community, a project that fits the category of “directly caring for families experiencing challenges at the beginning of life.”
Families can visit Forward once a month to receive a package of diapers and wipes. They also have a thrift store area for donations of clothes, toys, etc. for children and families in need. Unlike several other groups in Lincoln providing these products to families, Forward does not have an age limit for the children receiving diapers and wipes, helping meet the needs of families that have older children with disabilities who might still need these products.
The congregation has been involved with Lutherans For Life and the yearly Walk For Life for many years, and DCE Bethany Mrosko said that their members see this assistance to families as another tangible way to show that, “we’re not just saying that we support life, but we are actively taking steps to help those families when they have made that decision as they continue to take care of their children.” Many of the families who connect with Forward visit regularly, giving staff the opportunity to build relationships with them, keeping connected as their children grow.
Forward serves a large population of families who do not speak English as their first language, and some of the grant funds will be used to help with translation of materials and forms to help serve them. The grant funds will also help with the ongoing expense of purchasing diapers—Forward currently spends about $1,000 a week on them—along with additional supplies such as baby food and formula. It will also help with an emergency fund for families.
Visit http://trinityoflincoln.org/church/forward/ to learn more about Forward and how they serve the families of Lincoln who are experiencing “challenges at the beginning of life.”
Prepare now for the final phase of Life Match grant applications.
All member congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) within the United States are eligible. Congregations and circuits may collaborate on a project and application, pooling their resources and skills. Projects eligible for this grant include existing, expanding, or new projects that support the needs of families during the beginning-of-life stage of their children.
Applications are due June 30, 2023, for the final phase of the Million Dollar Life Match. Application information can be found at https://files.lcms.org/file/preview/million-dollar-life-match-information and questions about the application process should be directed to Kris Freeman, manager of LCMS Life Ministry, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 314-996-1217.