“That One Time a Bunch of 8th Graders Started a Ministry”

Trinity’s Outreach Ministry Team was getting kind of bored.  The work they were doing was important, and they felt good about it.  They are tasked with managing the distribution of funds from our benevolence/outreach budget, maintaining critical relationships with our partners and distributing funds.

These partners do amazing and important ministry.  Organizations like the Steele County Food Shelf, Clothesline, Beds for Kids, YoungLife and many, many more positively affect the lives of people in our community and around the world.  And Trinity is glad to support these ministries, to the tune of 13% of our annual offering.

But they wondered how they could do more to energize the congregation’s imagination around ministry.

And so they set aside 10% of their outreach budget, totaling somewhere around $20,000, and created Trinity’s “Outreach Grant Fund.”  The idea is simple:  Trinity members who see a need in the community (or the world) and have an idea for a ministry, but aren’t sure about how to start it, or fund it, can fill out a simple 1 page grant application.  The grants can be applied for by Trinity members who wish to start a new ministry.  These funds cannot be applied to existing ministries or programs.The Outreach Team will take a look, and if it matches, they will be glad to fund the ministry.

But would any actually do it?

Enter Lisa Lehrer’s confirmation small group.  They heard about this and went to work. Theirs is the first grant application received.

The Need?  They heard that at Owatonna Jr. High School, there are 21 young people who have been identified as being homeless.  One of the things they heard from the school social worker is that these kids, in addition to not having much, don’t get to celebrate their birthdays.

The Mission?  Birthday bags.  In their early plans, they’re looking for each bag to contain a tie blanket, a cup cake, a bagel, and necessities like a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks and more.

The Request?  $900 to fund the project.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:40

Request granted.

We are excited for these new ministry possibilities that Outreach Grants will provide.  And we are incredibly proud of this 8th grade small group, who not only saw a need and worked to create a solution, but also were willing to be the first to take a chance and apply for one of the grants.  This is clearly God’s Holy Spirit and work.  And we are thankful that our congregation has people like these 8th graders, who are willing to think beyond themselves and to serve those in need.

Do you have an idea for a new ministry?  Check out our Outreach Grant web page for more information and to apply.  Start a ministry and change a life!

God’s peace!
Pastor Todd

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