The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Brevard recently awarded grants from its Mission Endowment Fund totaling $32,100 to various local and global organizations, including:
•Meals on Wheels of Brevard provides much-needed food, comfort and human connection to homebound people in the area, helping them maintain their independence and stay in their homes. Volunteers deliver nutritious meals prepared by the Regional Hospital of Transylvania every day of the week, and no one is turned away due to an inability to pay.
• The mission of Family Place of Transylvania County is to strengthen families and build resilience through support, education and community building. CONNECT, a collaborative program focused on the needs of families in the community, exists to identify families in the county who are in crisis or engaging in behaviors that put them at extremely high risk of child abuse and neglect, and to respond proactively by coordinating services that keep their children safe.
• The Transylvania County Department of Social Services (DSS) helps the community in several ways, including an initiative to provide adequate safety equipment – such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers – in the homes of our county’s most vulnerable population.
• El Centro Comunitario Hispano-Americano strives to improve the well-being and integration of the local Latino community by encouraging education and multicultural understanding, working for justice, developing Hispanic leadership and promoting civic participation.
• Sikhona Rescue Center is a volunteer-run non-profit organization founded in 2018 to provide access to food, safe shelter, healthcare and education to at-risk women and children in Kitengela, Kenya. Sikhona, which roughly translates to “I exist,” represents a partnership that embodies the ideals of mutuality, inclusiveness, vulnerability, empowerment and sustainability in their dedication to serving survivors of gender-based violence. The LCGS Mission Endowment Fund grant will support the purchase of furniture and appliances needed for a four-bedroom safe house the organization recently secured in Kitengela.
• Bethlehem Lutheran Church is a historically Black Lutheran congregation that has served the Central City neighborhood and greater New Orleans area for more than 130 years. Their “Community Table” initiative, launched in 2020 to provide free meals to struggling neighbors during the pandemic, has become the basis for a wide variety of supports such as filling out government forms and providing access to COVID-19 tests and vaccines. . The church is currently partnering with Tulane University’s School of Architecture to design and build affordable, permanently accessible housing that is desperately needed in Central City.
• The microcredit project in Guatemala offers Guatemalan women opportunities to develop self-esteem, hope and freedom, as well as to develop sources of income for their families. The project not only benefits women, but also their husbands and families, as they tend to work together in these business ventures. Churches and communities in the region also benefit when women are empowered and learn new skills.
•Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry (LPGM) engages individuals and communities in transformational partnerships. Faith-centered and dedicated to service, LPGM works in India, Africa, South and Central America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
• The purpose of the NC Synod Lifeline Fund is to reduce the student loan debt of listed pastors and deacons through annual grants. The Lifeline Fund also seeks to strengthen congregational stewardship through programs such as Stewardship for All Seasons.
The Mission Endowment Fund (MEF) of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd was established in 1996 from a bequest from a member of the congregation for which the only stipulation was that the money be used to help people in need. The MEF is a perpetual fund that continues to receive new bequests and other gifts on an ongoing basis. Each year, grants generated from the investment income of the funds are paid to ministries and charitable organizations, both locally and globally.