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Applications now being received for seed grants

Women of the ELCA health initiativeApplication materials for the 2012-2013 seed grant cycle are now available. All applications must be postmarked or emailed by December 15, 2012. All applications must be submitted by active units of Women of the ELCA who are familiar with the Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls initiative and the criteria of this program.

2011-2012 seed grant cycle. The 2011 – 2012 seed grant cycle of the Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls health initiative planted seeds with 11 congregational units, allowing them to engage women and girls in their church and communities in making and fostering emotionally, spiritually and physically healthy choices.  

One of the 2011-2012 seed grant recipients, Women of the ELCA of Good Shepherd in Henning, Minn., hosted its Women’s Spa Retreat the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Their application indicated they would concentrate on an all too familiar challenge:  women and girls juggling work, family, school, church and other tasks oftentimes neglecting their own well-being. The target audience was women and girls in the congregation and community. Special incentives were provided to encourage women and girls to come with someone.

The spa retreat was designed to present and support the understanding of whole person health, and one of its goals was to nurture supportive relationships. This retreat was planned in partnership with the health ministries team of the congregation.

Thinking outside of the box, the planning team created a space beyond the predictable spa activities to address the wellbeing of the whole person. A labyrinth was created in the sanctuary to address spiritual wellbeing, and exercise bands and a Wii Fit were available for physical wellbeing, to name a few of the opportunities available to the 50 women and their guests.

The free spa also provided lunch, and a freewill donation was taken to assist in seeding the next cycle of seed grants.

2010-2011 seed grant cycle. The inspiring stories of 17 congregational units and their health initiative efforts supported by a seed grant in the 2010-2011 seed grant cycle are chronicled in Planting Seeds For A Healhty Tomorrow: Sharing What Works, a free downloadable resource. Put some of the ideas into use in your congregational unit!