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3E: Educate, Equip, Enact

What's Next for 3E: Educate, Equip, Enact? 

The Rocky Mountain Synod has been invited to apply for a Phase II (second) three-year Lilly grant to begin in January 2020.  We are seeking a grant to extend the ministry and impulse of our work in 3E to greater levels of contact and influence.  This includes engaging the Grand Canyon Synod as a partner.  We propose designing Phase II around 3 primary “grant pillars” to include:

  1. Stewardship for All Seasons (SAS) and extending it into a 3-year series of program offerings.
  2. Ministerial Excellence Fund (MEF) providing various grants to rostered ministers to help develop stronger financial literacy skills and direct aid.
  3. Vital Right-Sized Ministry, a new grant pillar, engaging both rostered ministers and congregations/ministries of the Synod to explore how the Spirit may be calling forth a new vision for ministry.

How can you provide needed support for 3E?

A requirement from Lilly Endowment for a Phase II grant hinges on the match of each individual Lilly dollar received. The goal for fundraising for 3E beginning January 2020 is $350,000 as the RMS portion of this Phase II grant. We have realized the goals and fundraising of the first three-year 3E Lilly grant initiative and are grateful for your participation and support.  We have more to do. Prepare to join us. We are on a dynamic road to growing generosity, vitality and healthy Christian communities!

By the close of 2019, the 3E Lilly Grant Phase I goals to sustain and enhance quality leadership for Christ’s Church concludes with:

  • 60 congregations who have participated in financial leadership education through Stewardship for All Seasons
  • 90 rostered leaders who have received grants to help reduce their financial challenges
  • 25 rostered leaders who grew in their financial management skills through Executive Management Skills classes
  • 13 congregations and 9 individuals that shared generously with the 3E grant match

View the video about the impact of Lilly Endowment grants

From 2017 to now, 90 rostered leaders and candidates have entered the process to receive grants through 3E’s Ministerial Excellence Fund (MEF). These grants increase capacity for healthy ministry by alleviating education, credit card, or medical debt and helping supplement retirement savings or continuing education. All in all, we have awarded $290,000 in MEF grants!  Also, 25 rostered leaders have received scholarships to attend California Lutheran University's (CLU) Executive Skills for Pastors course.  Video of 2018 MEF story

Another 3E program that has experienced tremendous growth is Stewardship for All Seasons (SAS). 3E was designed for participation of 60 congregations and we have reached that goal! In 2017, 14 congregations participated in Cohort 1. In 2018, 18 in Cohort 2. In 2019, 28 congregations begin Cohort 3 just prior to Synod Assembly May 2019. Congregations who have completed Cohort 2 have reported very successful campaigns and more importantly a renewal in their focus on ministry initiatives and increased generosity.  Video of 2018 SAS story

We thank all in the Rocky Mountain Synod for helping keep the 3E momentum going!  Our goal is nothing less than the transformation of the Synod’s culture around money. 3E has become integrated with many ministry initiatives in our Synod and continues to serve as a catalyst for change. As recipients of God’s abundance for the sake of the world, we are on the road together toward greater generosity and financial health in Christ.  

If you are interested in learning more about 3E, contact us at

Donate now and expand the reach of 3E: Educate, Equip, Enact.



Pr. Michael Tassler
Contact Project Director



Educate, Equip, Enact Positions
 - Leadership Team
 - Fiscal Wellness Advocates
 - Fiscal Wellness Grants Board 
 - Task Force on Systemic Economic Issues

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