Board receives Lilly grant to expand Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations

PHILADELPHIA (Board of Pensions press release) — The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., enabling the expansion of  Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations into a program of national scope and impact.

The Board of Pensions initiated Healthy Pastors in 2016 as a pilot in North Carolina with an initial $1 million Lilly Endowment grant. Both grants are part of Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. The initiative supports religious organizations throughout the United States as they address the financial struggles that can impair the ability of ministers to effectively lead congregations.

“The well-being of our ministers affects the vitality of our congregations,” President Frank C. Spencer of the Board of Pensions said. “We know that debt, especially educational debt, is a source of worry for ministers and a very real encumbrance to their ministry. If we can help relieve these concerns, they may devote their best gifts and energies to guiding congregations on the journey of faith.”

Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations brings together a church’s minister and congregational leadership to work toward financial sustainability by providing financial education and consultations to both. A minister who completes the program with his or her congregation’s leaders may be eligible to receive professional financial planning and a grant of up to $10,000 for debt reduction or retirement savings.

The Board of Pensions embodies the PC(USA) commitment to care for its clergy. It designs and administers benefits and assistance to support spiritual, health, financial, and vocational well-being. Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations is an extension of that. It will strengthen the work of the Church by helping its ministers and congregations address the financial concerns that keep both from a rich religious life.

by The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)