Again this year, a retired pastor and his wife have made two $500 gifts to Grow in Grace in order to encourage pastors and lay leaders to grow together in carrying out the gospel ministry entrusted to them. These are the congregations whose proposals are receiving a $500 grant this year.
Heritage Lutheran Church in Gilbert, Arizona is being awarded $500 to help provide assistance to host workshops for their members and other area WELS congregations on Mormonism and sharing our faith with Mormons. Heritage is located in an area with a large population density of Mormons and the members want to reach out to those Mormon neighbors with the Gospel. Currently, no other Lutheran/Christian church in the Gilbert area is doing this ministry. This ministry opportunity will allow called workers and laypeople to work side by side to share the Gospel with those who desperately need to hear it. The funds would also help provide materials for members to use in their personal witnessing and for our congregational canvassing efforts.
Light of the Valleys Lutheran Church in Reno, Nevada won with this proposal: “As a 3-year-old mission church, we are just beginning our process of developing leaders and our organizational structure. As a congregation, this will be our focus in January and February, as we go through a bible study and organizational module to develop our form to match the function of reaching the lost. With about half of our congregation being new to the WELS and since we don’t have a long history of knowing each other in the congregation, the challenge is building trust between members and understanding each other’s gifts and how we fit in the body of Christ. We are pleased that there are some WELS churches that are hosting a “Men of His Word” conference in Phoenix in January. This could be a great kick-off event for our men to travel together to build relationships and grow in their leadership skills. [The scholarship] will help defray costs for our men, while also teaching them the value of “walking together” as we explain where these funds came from.”