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3E: Educate, Equip, Enact

Lilly awards a new three-year grant for 3E: Educate, Equip, Enact!

We are excited to announce that the Lilly Endowment has recently awarded Educate, Equip, Enact (3E) a new three-year grant, beginning January, 2020!  

The new grant will expend a total of $1,000,000 in partnership with the Grand Canyon Synod. Half of that amount consists of Lilly dollars, and half is required to be raised in order to match each grant dollar. The plan is to expend $700,000 in the Rocky Mountain Synod and $300,000 in the Grand Canyon Synod. Each Synod will raise half of those expenditures.  In the Rocky Mountain Synod that is a component of our financial campaign: Next Faithful Step—Better Together.

Since 2017, Educate, Equip, Enact (3E) has increased capacity for healthy ministry by alleviating rostered ministers’ crippling debt and has given tools to congregations to increase generosity and renew focus on mission. With this new grant, we continue to renew our trust in God’s abundance, build a path together toward healthy and financially sustainable ministry, and transform our culture around money for a hopeful future.

Going forward, 3E will focus on three key pillars:

  • Stewardship for All Seasons
    Rather than a culture of scarcity, Stewardship for All Seasons roots faith communities in God’s promise of abundant life and equips pastors, deacons, and congregational leaders to carry out fruitful, broad-range stewardship programs that enliven a culture of generosity. 
    There are still a few spots available for Cohort 4.  Contact Deb Elstad at for more information.
  • Ministerial Excellence Fund
    Ministerial Excellence Fund grants help pastors and deacons develop stronger financial literacy skills and provide direct aid to help reduce or eliminate crippling education and medical debt relief, as well as provides assistance in emergencies.
  • Vital Right-Sized Ministry
    Through a palette of resources, 3E will help congregations of any size see how the Spirit is prodding us toward a vision for new forms of ministry, to be freed from the “that’s how we’ve always done it” mindset, and to respond in bold faith: “right-sizing” their ministries to better match their financial resources with God’s call to mission in this day. 


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Pr. Michael Tassler
Contact Program Director

Educate, Equip, Enact is part of the Lilly Endowment’s “National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders,” begun in 2015 and sharing grants of more than $28 million to a wide variety of Christian organizations across the nation.

These grants were awarded to help pastoral leaders develop stronger financial literacy skills and provide direct aid to help these leaders reduce or eliminate education debt, participate in pension programs, pay off extraordinary medical bills, and address other financial challenges. The grants support a variety of church-related institutions from diverse traditions: denominational pension and benefits boards; local and regional denomination judicatories, such as synods and dioceses; and denominational foundations.

To learn more about this Lilly Endowment initiative, visit