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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

GRANTS AVAILABLE TO LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS FOR SUPPORT SERVICES TO REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS
Applications Available Beginning December 8; Application Deadline February 15, 2004;

Grants Awarded May 2004

BALTIMORE, December 8, 2003 -
LIRS, in partnership with Wheat Ridge Ministries, Itasca, Ill., is offering financial assistance to Lutheran congregations to encourage the development of support services for immigrants and refugees. For the sixth year, competitive grants are being made available through the Good Samaritan Fund established in honor of The Rev. August Bernthal for his dedicated leadership in serving refugees and immigrants. These seed grants are intended to enable congregations to develop vital support services for immigrants and refugees that are needed in their communities beyond the initial stages of resettlement.

"This fund gives LIRS an opportunity to assist Lutheran churches that are interested in becoming engaged in our ministry," said Ralston Deffenbaugh, president of LIRS. "Newcomers become self-sufficient, productive members of communities more quickly when Lutherans work with them to identify and address local needs. Through this ministry, congregations discover and are enriched by the special gifts newcomers bring."

The Good Samaritan Fund is comprised of donations from congregations and individuals committed to assisting refugees, asylum seekers or immigrants through the development of local supportive services by caring congregations.

Gifts to aid in this effort are welcomed by LIRS and by Wheat Ridge Ministries. Gifts to LIRS may be made by mail; by phone, 410/230-2786; or online, www.lirs.org. Gifts to Wheat Ridge Ministries may be made by phone, 1-800-762-6748 or online, www.wheatridge.org.

In 2003, the Good Samaritan Fund awarded grants totaling $99,200 in grants to 27 Lutheran congregations in 21 states to help implement a variety of creative projects and services including computer job training, childcare for children whose parents are enrolled in English language classes, immigration assistance and citizenship classes.

For 2004, the Good Samaritan Fund will offer seed grants to congregations that are developing new services to immigrants, asylum seekers or refugees. Applicant congregations will be expected to contribute at least 25 percent of the project cost, either through cash or in-kind support. Funding priority will be given to projects that demonstrate at least one of the following services to immigrant communities: social ministry projects, joint projects between community members and new residents, public education or advocacy, and leadership development within the ethnic groups served. Grants will be made to congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Grants will not be made to individuals or church agencies, nor will they be made to support refugee reception and placement activities, other refugee resettlement programs, or projects of evangelism.

Beginning December 8, 2003, congregations may download the Good Samaritan Grant application packet from www.lirs.org or from www.wheatridge.org. Congregations may also contact LIRS Director for Congregational and Community Outreach Denise Peterson at dpeterson@lirs.org or Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, 700 Light Street, Baltimore, Md. 21230. The deadline for receipt of applications is February 15, 2004. Awards are typically announced in May.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service\par (LIRS), in partnership with Wheat Ridge Ministries, Itasca, Ill., is offering financial assistance to Lutheran congregations to encourage the development of support services for immigrants and refugees. For the sixth year, competitive grants are being made available through the Good Samaritan Fund established in honor of The Rev. August Bernthal for his dedicated leadership in serving refugees and immigrants. These seed grants are intended to enable congregations to develop vital support services for immigrants and refugees that are needed in their communities beyond the initial stages of resettlement.

"This fund gives LIRS an opportunity to assist Lutheran churches that are interested in becoming engaged in our ministry," said Ralston Deffenbaugh, president of LIRS. "Newcomers become self-sufficient, productive members of communities more quickly when Lutherans work with them to identify and address local needs. Through this ministry, congregations discover and are enriched by the special gifts newcomers bring."

The Good Samaritan Fund is comprised of donations from congregations and individuals committed to assisting refugees, asylum seekers or immigrants through the development of local supportive services by caring congregations.

Gifts to aid in this effort are welcomed by LIRS and by Wheat Ridge Ministries. Gifts to LIRS may be made by mail; by phone, 410/230-2786; or online, www.lirs.org. Gifts to Wheat Ridge Ministries may be made by phone, 1-800-762-6748 or online, www.wheatridge.org.

In 2003, the Good Samaritan Fund awarded grants totaling $99,200 in grants to 27 Lutheran congregations in 21 states to help implement a variety of creative projects and services including computer job training, childcare for children whose parents are enrolled in English language classes, immigration assistance and citizenship classes.

For 2004, the Good Samaritan Fund will offer seed grants to congregations that are developing new services to immigrants, asylum seekers or refugees. Applicant congregations will be expected to contribute at least 25 percent of the project cost, either through cash or in-kind support. Funding priority will be given to projects that demonstrate at least one of the following services to immigrant communities: social ministry projects, joint projects between community members and new residents, public education or advocacy, and leadership development within the ethnic groups served. Grants will be made to congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Grants will not be made to individuals or church agencies, nor will they be made to support refugee reception and placement activities, other refugee resettlement programs, or projects of evangelism.

Beginning December 8, 2003, congregations may download the Good Samaritan Grant application packet from www.lirs.org or from www.wheatridge.org. Congregations may also contact LIRS Director for Congregational and Community Outreach Denise Peterson at dpeterson@lirs.org or Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, 700 Light Street, Baltimore, Md. 21230. The deadline for receipt of applications is February 15, 2004. Awards are typically announced in May.



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