Live On, the Gulf Coast Synod’s endowment fund, provided financial aid for eight clergy candidates and increased funding for the synod’s campus ministry programs when it approved grants from the $2.7 million endowment.
The endowment’s board, meeting at Living Word in Katy, also approved grants for new mission starts and for immigration workshops organized by St. James Lutheran Church/Santiago Apóstol in Houston.
The Live On board awards grants twice a year. The grants are aligned with established priorities—seminary scholarships, campus ministry, mission development, and seed money for innovative, emerging ministry ideas.
Spring grants totaled $48,500. With $87,000 in grants in 2016, Live On has provided more than $900,000 to our focus areas.
The Spring grants marked the fourth consecutive grant cycle in which Live On met the goal of the seminary financial aid program: enabling Gulf Coast Synod candidates for Lutheran ministry to complete their graduate studies without taking on new student debt. Pastor Blair Lundborg, Assistant to the Bishop, works with ministry candidates to determine their need and makes funding recommendations to the Live On board.
The synod’s campus ministries include Houston Lutheran Campus Ministry at Rice University and the University of Houston, Treehouse at Texas A&M University and Blinn College, and Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. Live On’s funding is in addition to support from congregations, individuals, and other synod funds.
Pastor Chris Markert, the synod’s Mission Catalyst, said Live On grants supplement other funding for starting and revitalizing congregations.
“Through Live On’s generosity, we are able to support pastors and deacons as they start new missions and revitalize existing ministries.”
Live On’s seed money grants are a grassroots aspect of the endowment’s work. Robert Rivera, who submitted the immigration workshop proposal, said the workshops are valuable for the immigrant community, important outreach for the congregation, and an avenue for ecumenical outreach to other faith communities.
The endowment, which was established in 1999, has grown through gifts from congregations and individuals. To learn more about building a culture of generosity at your congregation, please contact Lizbeth Johnson, the synod’s gift planner.