MEF Impact Stories from Grant Applicants

Thanks to MEF and the RMS 3E team, has helped me to work my plan of addressing student loan and auto loan debt.  I’m happy to share that before the end of 2021 these loans will be Paid in Full.  MEF, stimulus funds, and regular payments are helping to pay down loans balances of $20k or about $1000 a month in loan payments.  – Pastor Jared Carson, Peace Lutheran Church, Las Cruces, NM

I graduated seminary with $130,000 in student loan debt. Large portions of this debt incurred due to having to move to an ELCA seminary as a residential student and thus paying for my family's residence in Colorado and mine in California. I was also denied scholarship access in the ELCA because I was not a "young adult" (started at age 36) and not a degree-seeking student at the ELCA seminary. I am grateful for 3E helping cover unexpected medical costs due to my youngest son's surgery and a year later contributing the maximum sum to student loan debt. Everyone who works in 3E represented our church in the spirit of compassion and love with clear instructions and guidance. It was a pleasure and blessing to be engaged with 3E.  – Pastor Richard Gianzero, Nativity Lutheran Church, Commerce City, CO

My family and I are always looking for ways to cut down on our expenses and manage money more responsibly. Due to scholarships and family support I don't feel my school debt is as significant as many of colleagues, however it was still a gift to have one of my school loans paid down significantly with the help of the MEF relief grant. My hope is to finish paying off all my school loans in the coming year, which will make it easier to share the gifts God has entrusted to our care, save for emergency expenses and plan retirement in the future.  – Pastor Diana Linden-Johnson, Peace Lutheran Church, El Paso, TX

I'm retired and disabled so at first I didn't feel the program could help someone like me.  But I was in a tough financial spot.  And after my initial hesitation I was pleased by the welcome I received. The assistance I received relieved the financial crisis and greatly lowered my stress level. All though I did not use the suggestions from the counseling service it was very helpful in giving me an unbiased perspective on my situation and helped me to make informed decisions. I'm very thankful for having received this help.  – Pastor Constance Grogan, Retired, CO

Thank you for this grant! When I saw it get credited to my student loan account, I cried and saw some light starting to stream through the end of this payment tunnel. This amazing gift propelled me almost a year forward in payments. I have hope that I will be student loan debt free by 40! Meeting with a financial counselor was super helpful because I began to see how this grant could help me with the immediate student loan challenge and make a little more space for other financial things that are important to me like giving and emergency savings.  – Pastor Sara Wilson, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA

Contact Julie Nelson at for more information about eligibility for MEF grants.