Supporting ministry beyond our doors
Learn more about ministries supported by Grace Church in our Benevolence Handbook.
Every year Grace Church gives a tithe of members’ annual contributions to support partner ministries beyond our doors. Some of these ministries have long relationships with Grace Church and Grace members. Some are relatively new. Some are large, well-established institutions, such as Valparaiso University and Lutheran Child and Family Services. Some are smaller organizations with very specific missions, such as Hope for Grieving Children Africa or the Harmony Church Food Pantry. We remember these ministries in our prayers each Sunday and we support them with financial gifts throughout the year.
Our Benevolence Committee, made up of six elected congregation members, oversees the distribution of these funds. From month to month it evaluates requests made by current and potential ministry partners in our community and around the world and hears updates on their work.
The criteria used by committee members to decide where the money should go includes the following questions:
1. Is it a Christian organization?
2. Is the organization a “501(c)3”? (i.e., non-profit, tax-exempt)
3. What Grace members, if any, are currently involved with the organization and in what capacity?
4. What impact will our funding have on the organization, its programs and services?
5. Does Grace already support an organization with a similar focus?
Grace Church currently supports 33 ministry partners whose work focuses on education, youth ministry, social ministry, hunger, global mission, elder care, pastoral education, refugee services, prison ministry, and more. The committee also administers gifts from the Kingdom Frontiers fund, which are designated for new ministries. The Kingdom Frontiers endowment was established in memory of Otto Geiseman, pastor at Grace from 1922 to 1962. Pastor Geiseman’s era at Grace was a time of significant outreach into the community.
Article adapted from the Benevolence Committee’s Annual Report.