FaithWorks submitted an initial grant request of the ELCA last June seeking grant monies to cover expenses for a proposed community youth pastor and for the work by a local consultant in the area of developing a wellness initiative. The grant request, made possible due to the creation of a new grant category with a focus on ELCA Area Mission Strategies, was then sent to Chicago and reviewed by an ELCA panel. While the initial request of over $100,000 was slashed considerably, the review panel did put a conditional hold on $32,000 for funding in 2014. They made the release of the funds contingent on a refinement of the original grant proposal and budget, which was then resubmitted to the ELCA in December.
The reworked proposal modified the full-time staff position of an ordained pastor to half-time in the area of youth / young families (serving the wider FaithWorks community) and half-time as pastor / mission redeveloper in the Emmaus / St. Andrew partnership. Additional specifics regarding staffing and ministry were addressed, and an additional $16,000 was also requested in the revised budget proposal.
Based on a January 17 communication from the churchwide office of the ELCA, the $32,000 that was previously on hold has been released. Further refinement of the missional plan will be required in order to receive partnership support beyond 2014. A May deadline has been set for the submission of that proposal. The national church will also want the pastor redeveloper and other key leaders of FaithWorks to be involved in Missional Leader Training scheduled to take place in Detroit July 30-August 3, 2014.