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Update on Deaconess Training

2015–2017 Mission Grant: Deaconess Training — LCMS support for International Partner Churches, $90,000 fully paid


The purpose of this grant was to provide training support for Deaconess students in both Office of National Mission field ($40,000) as well as Office of International Mission field ($50,000).

The Deaconess “as a servant of God” shares the good news with those whom God brings. She teaches children in Sunday School, adult bible study, witness within the community, the poor, the needy and underprivileged.

For domestic purposes, grant funding provided educational and financial support for students at our Lutheran Seminaries and institutions.

  • For the Fiscal year 2016-2017, a Deaconess Internship was awarded to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Cincinnati for a St. Louis student. In this position, a Deaconess will serve the homeless and working poor, build relationships through trust, and provide spiritual care and provide works of mercy.
  • Wollaston Lutheran Church in Quincy, MA also will be blessed with a Deaconess Intern (from Ft. Wayne) serving with priorities on Ethnic Chinese Evangelism, Nursery/Preschool Family Outreach and Children & Youth Ministry.
  • Each of the 3 new freshmen deaconess students at CUC received a copy of Grace upon Grace authored by John Kleinig.

LCMS international partner churches also benefit from support for Deaconess students. Some of these countries have seminaries and others do not. However, Deaconess education is vital and there is a thirst for learning Lutheran theology.

  • The Lutheran Seminary for the Lutheran Church of Philippines will have 3 freshman students who will receive a monthly stipend to cover expenses such as board, tuition, school supplies, and transportation during the academic year 2016-17. The ten advanced course deaconess students will each receive a transportation stipend.
  • The Lutheran Seminary of LCP: The next advanced deaconess class is scheduled April 24-May 5, 2017. Rev. Dr. Detlev Schultz teaches on “Mission from the Cross,” to the deaconess and seminarian students. Deaconess Rao teaches on “World Religions,” for deaconess students only. The deaconess students continue to receive stipend for transportation, food, and office supplies.
  • In April, the very first Deaconess program was introduced at the Lutheran church of Lithuania {ELCL}. Twenty participants received stipends for this introductory, intensive 4 day class.
  • Plans are being developed to continue the class in October 2017 on Lutheran Lutheranism 101 for ELCL deaconess class.
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia – President Amos, Rev. Arthur Zogar, and Rev. Simon Dapaye will teach three courses for the ten Liberian deaconess students. The class is scheduled April 1-13, 2017.
  • Sixteen Nigerian Deaconess students received support for board, lodging, school supplies and textbooks last August.
  • Plans are being developed to continue the studies. The next course is schedule in August 2017. Students will continue to receive the support.
  • Encouraging and supporting Deaconess Eva Rickman, missionary in Hong Kong for women and children ministry. Plans are to initiate deaconess program.

In addition to the student scholarship support, theological textbooks were provided for a particular subject as per the curriculum. CTCR handouts were also provided as supplements for the particular topic/subject. (See the PDF below for specifics.)

Implementing the deaconess training programs enables the women to study, learn, understand in preparation for them to share and teach. It builds the Church’s capacity as women leaders to serve women of the church. They understand God’s Word and the roles that God designed.

— Mary Hamilton, LCMS Grants Manager

Read or print the FULL report with pictures.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

Mercy House: Serving the Underserved …

2017–2019 Mission Grant: Mercy House for Women and Children — Franklin Avenue Mission, Flint, Michigan, $100,000 unpaid

nullMercy House: Serving the Underserved in Urban Flint

By Rev. Dr. Bradley J. Yops, Mission Pastor of Franklin Avenue Mission, with Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

It was one of those weeks when the basic needs of life were intensified. Not that every week isn’t a challenge, but this week the necessity for adequate housing for the homeless — especially women and children — was magnified.

The night before, a fire bomb hit the home of a mother and her three children. They lost everything — their home, clothes, food, furniture — everything! They asked Franklin Avenue Mission if we could help them with these basics we take for granted. Housing for people in crisis situations in Flint, Michigan, is limited. We helped them with food and clothes and placed them in a temporary shelter.

That same evening, a young mother who is trying to get her life straight also sought our assistance for housing. She had been couch cruising and had run out of options of where she and her child within could stay. It was obvious her life required more than a roof over her head. She was about to deliver, and she wasn’t under any medical care. Again we were able to meet her immediate needs. The clinic that operates at our mission was able to attend to the overdue medical care, and she was placed in temporary housing.

That evening, I thought to myself, we were becoming the hands, feet, face, and voice of Jesus to these two families, but we could have done much more had our future Mercy House for Women and Children been operative. The underserved, urban poor of America (and in particular in Flint) are crying out to the church — like the challenge the Lord placed before Isaiah: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Hear am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

nullThis abandoned house is the site for the future home for women and children.

Franklin Avenue Mission (FAM) is located in Flint, one of the poorest cities of America, where 46 percent of the general population and 66 percent of the children live below the poverty level. On the east side, these percentages increase to 80 percent. Mercy House for Women and Children is being planned in an attempt to break the cycle of poverty and decrease the potential for abuse. This will be accomplished by housing women and children in a safe, caring, loving environment where the best practices of parenting and relationship building can be modeled and taught. We believe this component to our ministry will benefit the participants by providing a different view of family and living. This will ultimately complement our theology of “Right to Life” and protect the unborn, precious in the eyes of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

On June 23, 2017, at the LWML Convention in Albuquerque, a vote was cast, influencing the future of a once-forgotten neighborhood on Flint’s Eastside. The $100,000 grant approved that day will begin the remodel of an existing house in this neighborhood, transforming it into Mercy House for Women and Children, adjacent to Franklin Avenue Mission. The word spread quickly — all the way to Flint — as excited convention goers from Michigan communicated with friends back home, “The Mission Grant has been approved!” The sixteen LCMS churches and 500 volunteers that operate biweekly the Franklin Diner, ROCK Children’s Program, and Clothing Closet were thrilled to hear the news and know the impact this grant will have on the Flint community. God is truly working through these “boots-on-ground” missionaries!

Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Fall 2017 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

Update on Helping Hands Initiative

2015–2017 Mission Grant: Helping Hands Initiative — LCMS National Housing Support Corporation, $100,000 fully paid


In September, 2016, we reported that we were able to successfully complete the Helping Hand Initiative in two communities in the Spring and Summer of 2016 according to our original plan, serving a total of 13 homeowners in the Lansdowne community of East St. Louis, Illinois, and Fremont, Nebraska.

The Mission Grant from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) helped the LCMS National Housing Support Corporation (Lutheran Housing Support) extend this Helping Hand Initiative from a local pilot program to a National Key Initiative of our organization. Since last fall Lutheran Housing Support (LHS) has not only completed the 2016 iteration of this initiative, we have worked to extend the Helping Hand Initiative into 2017.

We can say confidently that the 2015–2017 LWML Mission Grant not only impacted the ministries of Unity and Trinity Lutheran congregations in East St. Louis (Illinois) and Fremont (Nebraska) and the lives of those homeowners receiving services. The grant also helped LHS establish the Helping Hand Initiative as LHS’ National Key Initiative. Even now we are working on plans for the 2018 Helping Hand Initiative and ways that we can be even more successful at sustaining this initiative into the future.

— Mary Hamilton, LCMS Grants Manager

Read or print the FULL report.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

More about Rosa Young Academies

2015–2017 Mission Grant: Rosa Young Academies — Rosa Young Projects Initiative, $25,000 fully paid


The LWML provided a grant to LCMS Black Ministry in the Office of National Mission for $25,000. The grant was to help lay the groundwork for the Rosa J. Young Academies project.

Rosa J. Young was born in 1890 to ordinary black/African American parents. However, she did not let her race define her. She let her Christian faith define who she was, and so her Lutheran faith is the center of her legacy. Rosa decided to open her own school for black children in the rural south in 1912. Over the next several years she was instrumental in the development of 30 Lutheran elementary schools and 35 Lutheran congregations in Alabama. To Rosa, education was important, but a Christian education was better.

The grant was used to prepare the Rosa J. Young Academies process for the completion of the following stages of opening the first school in August 2018. As of March 2017, the Rosa J. Young Academies Foundation, Inc., has created the Articles of Incorporation and By/Laws for the creation of regional operations of local Rosa J. Young schools. The RJYAF, Inc., is still in the process of working on regional vetting and due diligence processes for future school applications.

“The Rosa J. Young Academies will be a renewed mission effort to reach urban, inner-city and rural families through quality, values and religious education where possible, and using mercy ministry as the people of God, as a catalyst to serve, and ultimately, to be Christ to those in those communities as Rosa did over 100 years ago, and prayerfully, empower a new generation of professional church workers and lay mission leaders for the growth of Christ’s kingdom.”

Read or print the full report.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

Disaster Response Trailers Update

2015–2017 Mission Grant: Disaster Response Trailers — LCMS Disaster Response, $80,000 fully paid


nullSt. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Concordia, MO used their Disaster Response Trailer in March to help the community of Smithville located 75 miles away. Kent Kunkel, a trained LERT volunteer, described the impact of the trailer for their team.

After receiving the call for assistance, they were preparing to just take the chain saws but at the last minute decided to take the trailer just in case. “We ended up using all kinds of different tools which were in the trailer. Two volunteers used the chainsaws while the others had access to all the tools to help out in other needed ways such as crowbars to pull walls. It was then that the full impact of having a ready-to-go trailer could make such a difference and we were glad we pulled it along.” Kent went on, “Sometimes, however, the most impact we can have in this type of situation is to just stop and listen, for them to know we’re there and that we care.” One homeowner, overwhelmed by the complete loss of his home was deeply moved by their assistance, “I don’t know what I would have done had you not shown up.”

Kunkel stated they see other opportunities to use the Disaster Response Trailer as an outreach in their community. Tools could be used for home repairs, handicapped ramps, and yard work. “The trailer could be pulled to the site and be a billboard to let others know the Lutheran Church is there for them.”

Read or print the full report.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

2017 Update from LCMS Young Adult Corps

2015–2017 Mission Grant: LCMS Young Adult Corps (formerly LCMS Youth Corps) — Scholarships for Lutheran Mercy Young Adult Corps, $25,000 fully paid


Lutheran Young Adult Corps (formally Lutheran Youth Corps) will launch its first program year in June, 2017. The 10 week summer term program will begin June 1, 2017 through August 14, 2017. The ten month gap year program starts August 1, 2017 and runs through May 31, 2018.

Participants will serve in three cities: Boston, New Orleans, and St. Louis. They will be serving with churches, campus ministries, and Recognized Service Organizations in each of these cities.

We will be able to place nine participants in the 2017 10 week Summer Term and 16 participants in the 10 month Gap Year Program. LWML’s grant will allow us to pay a portion of the stipend for each participant in both of those programs. This allows us to keep the cost low or free to participants and low to the community partners where they are placed.

Service Location 10 WEEK Summer Term Program 10 MONTH Gap Year Program Total Student Participants
Boston 4 4 8
New Orleans 2 5 7
St. Louis 3 7 10
Total 9 16 25

Read or print the full report with pictures from pilot programs.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

Thank You from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Thank You from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

A thank you for mites from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, for the funding of LWML Mission Grants at the national, district, zone, and society level from 2012–2017.

Download the Thank You video
  • Instructions to download: Click the above link and the download page will open in a new window. From there, click the “Download” button, then click “Direct download” in the pull-down menu that appears.


LWML Resources