Shortly after the Tenth Triennial Gathering in July 2017 where we held our Run, Walk and Roll, we had a flood of interest in Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls seed grants. Donations collected for the Run, Walk and Roll generate money for the seed grants. In 2017, we collected about $23,000 from the event.
A total of $6,000 was awarded to the congregational units that received 2018-2019 Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls seed grants. They include: Ascension Lutheran Church, Los Angeles, Calif.; Bethel Lutheran Church, Chicago, Ill.; Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar, Minn.; Faith Lutheran Church, Forest Lake, Minn.; Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Holland, Mich.; and Saint John’s, Jacksonville, Fla.
The units will use the seed grants for a twice-annual national spiritual retreat in partnership with a Lutheran Bible camp; two mentoring programs involving women and girls; a healthy cooking and eating program; addressing loneliness in girls, young moms and women over 50; and educating others about human trafficking.
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. (Psalm 85:12)
These six health initiatives bring the total to nearly 70 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 Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls initiative was created in 2004.
Seed grants are restricted to Women of the ELCA units who hope to expand their ministry in the community. Applicants said the three-question application process “called them to think, do research, build relationships with people outside their congregation and act boldly.”
What’s expected of grant winners
Units receiving grants are expected to:
- bring together women in the congregational unit and community;
- meet the goals of the health initiative;
- design a replicable program;
- agree to re-seed by making a financial contribution to the seed grant program; and
- provide a final report.
Valora K Starr is director for discipleship for Women of the ELCA.
Photo: Mary Ann and Jeff Dittmeier, Holtsuicle, N.Y., Our Saviors Lutheran Church, take part in the Run, Walk and Roll at the Tenth Triennial Gathering last July. Photo by Jim Veneman