by Melanie Ave
When a fire caused the Hope Halfway House in Novosibirsk, Russia, to burn down in February 2013, LCMS grant funds were available to help local church leaders provide for the basic human needs of the former prisoners who were living there.
When Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Clair, Mo., needed money to expand a “weekend food backpack” program to send food home from school with needy children each weekend, an LCMS grant was there to help.
When Holy Cross Community Garden in Colorado Springs, Colo., sought help putting a fence around a new community garden that would provide fresh produce to a local food pantry, an LCMS grant was there too.
“The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a long history of working with local congregations, districts, Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) and international church partners, helping them to respond with mercy to a wide variety of needs that exist in their respective communities,” said the Rev. John Fale, associate executive director of LCMS Mercy Operations. “Our faithful donors give generously, moved by the compassion and love of God in Jesus and love for their neighbor.”
The LCMS, through the Offices of National and International Mission, offers two types of grants — development and disaster grants to domestic and international organizations. The grants are awarded to eligible applicants who address at least one of six mission priorities of the Synod.
Grants are given to congregations, districts, partner church bodies and LCMS-related ministries.
In fiscal year 2012, the LCMS awarded $4,248,171 for 173 development and disaster grants to domestic and international organizations. So far this fiscal year, $2,466,926 has been awarded for 88 grants.
Historically, the bulk of the LCMS grants have been awarded for mercy work.
In the last nine years, the LCMS has awarded more than $31.7 million through 698 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief.
The LCMS has awarded grants to help with the recovery of the Asian tsunami; Hurricane Katrina; the earthquakes in Japan, Haiti and Chile; and Hurricane Sandy, which tore across the U.S. Eastern Seaboard in 2012. To date for Sandy, the LCMS has provided $1,116,373 in grants.
For domestic grants, which range from $1,000 to $20,000, applicants can receive one grant during any 12-month funding cycle. Grants are awarded by a review team in two cycles annually. Applications are due March 1 and Nov. 1.
LCMS international grants are coordinated through the regional directors of each LCMS world region.
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