Prompted by a motion from the floor of the 2022 annual conference, the Great Plains Conference board of trustees has established matching capital improvement grants for churches.
“The matching grant component helps the church demonstrate their long-term commitment to the project and accompanying ministry,” the Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede, chair of the board of trustees, wrote in an email.
Grants of up to $25,000 are available from the conference. No church may receive more than $50,000 in a five-year period.
Grant application forms are available at this link. The deadline for fourth-quarter grants for 2022 is Nov. 15. $115,000 will be available for the remainder of the year, with $451,000 available during 2023.
The grants, Ahlschwede said during the Oct. 22 Connecting Council meeting, were not expressly designed for deferred building maintenance alone, but more for improvements to accessibility and improvements to interior and exterior spaces for community use.
“We've shaped this grant so that it addresses capital improvements while increasing access to local ministry, whether that be a project that addresses ADA compliance, helps get more people into the building, or makes the space more safe or usable by the community,” Ahlschwede wrote in an email.
Scott Brewer, conference treasurer and administrative services director, said the grants fulfill a need that churches in the Great Plains had requested.
“Since annual conference both my office and Stephanie have received questions from folks about when the grant applications would be available,” Brewer said. “There’s a high level of interest in our churches.
“Our churches are full of a lot of really bright people with great visions and good ideas,” he added. “This is a good opportunity to use some of our resources to invest in their leadership and their vision.”
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