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Sowing seeds in good soil

by Valora K Starr

"Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13:8

Jesus parable of the soils helped three Women of the ELCA units take advantage of the Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls health initiative seed grant program.

These three new health initiatives bring our total to 60 units who have used Women of the ELCA Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls seed grants since 2010 to make a difference in the emotional, spiritual and physical health of women and girls in their congregations and communities. The initiative was created in 2004.

The seed grant program is restricted to Women of the ELCA units who hope to expand their ministry in the community. The three congregational units that received 2016-2017 Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls seed grants include: Grace Lutheran Church, Phoenix, Ariz.; Saint John’s Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, Fla.; and Bethel Lutheran Church, Chicago, Ill.

The grants will go toward healthy living initiatives that include a retreat, an intergenerational leadership program and training in promoting healthy living.

The requirements to obtain a seed grant include:

•bringing together women and in the congregational unit and community;

•meeting the goals of the health initiative;

•replicating the program in other settings;

•agreeing to make a financial contribution to the seed grant program; and

•providing a final report.

 The 2017-2018 seed grant cycle will begin in the fall. Applications are available at womenoftheelca.org. All applications must be postmarked by Dec. 15, 2017, and must be submitted by active units of Women of the ELCA that are familiar with the Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls initiative and the criteria of this program.

How can your unit make a difference in the lives of women around you?  You can participate in the fifth 5K Run, Walk and Roll fundraiser at the Tenth Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis, Minn., July 15, 2017. Make an individual donation, sponsor an on-site participant or plan a 5K Run, Walk and Roll at you church at the same time to help raise money for more seed grants and the initiative. Learn more by contacting me.

Valora K Starr (valora.starr@elca.org) is director for discipleship for Women of the ELCA.