Endowment has funds available for ministries

By Dixon Cartwright

CINCINNATI, Ohio--If your nonprofit ministry needs funds for the training and education of your pastors, you might consider applying for a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

Nine United Church of God pastors who make up a special task force have recommended that their church do just that: apply for grant funds to "sustain pastoral excellence."

On May 9 in Cincinnati, a few days after the annual general conference of elders, the 12-man council of elders heard a report from Darris McNeely, pastor from Indianapolis, Ind., on the feasibility of applying for a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Mr. McNeely chairs a task force that includes eight of his fellow elders: Guy Burke and Matthew Fenchel of Cincinnati, Fred Kellers of Nashville, Tenn., Dennis Luker of Bothell, Wash., Gary Petty of San Antonio, Texas, David Register of San Marcos, Calif., Britton Taylor of Fort Worth, Texas, and Robin Webber of Garden Grove, Calif.

The nine men put their heads together to come up with an application for funds to help the United ministry build individualized programs to help refresh and renew elders and build excellence in serving their congregations.

According to an official United report about the postconference council meeting of May 9, even if Lilly turns down the church's application, the United Church of God intends to embark on some kind of program to "sustain and renew" its church pastors.

Seven concerns

If Lilly goes along with United's plan, the church will use the grant money--approximately $1,200 per United pastor per year--to focus on seven areas of concern:

o Personal and spiritual renewal.

o Theological development.

o Iron that needs to be sharpened by iron.

o Enhancement of skills.

o Care for the spiritual body.

o Volunteer community service.

o Rest.

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