With a donation from board member Carl Cleveland, Sacred Stones Ministries has launched a new scholarship fund to enable small churches to participate in events or receive consulting services that would otherwise be out of their reach. Starting with Giving Tuesday on December 1, all undesignated donations to Sacred Stones in December will go to the scholarship fund.
“Our goal is to equip and empower leaders in churches of every size,” explained CEO, Rev. Denise Bender. “But so often, the churches that most need support are the ones with the least resources to pay for it. Because the members of Sacred Stones make our living through this ministry, we can only discount our fees to a certain extent. The Stepping Stones Scholarship Fund will help bridge the gap between what small churches can afford and the actual costs of providing high quality, professional ministry services.”
CFO Rev. Debra Juarez added, “The fund needs to grow before scholarships can be awarded. We’ve set up the account so we can track donations and disbursements separately from operating expenses. Our next step is to establish the parameters for the size and type of scholarships we can give out. As more donations come in, then we’ll be able to accept requests for scholarships, and expand the number and types of churches and other ministries we can serve.”
Starting with Giving Tuesday on December 1, all undesignated donations received in the month of December will go to the scholarship fund. “We work hard to cover operating expenses out of our consulting fees and other fundraisers,” said Rev. Nani Arning, COO. “This is our opportunity to give back, and to make sure our supporters know that they can contribute directly to helping us meet the needs of churches and other faith groups in the community.”
Rev. Kerry Greenhill, CIO, went on to explain, “Sacred Stones was founded as a way to support and strengthen churches that may not have the resources to have multiple full-time clergy on staff, by spreading both the gifts and the costs of employing theologically trained ministers across a wider pool. We see ourselves as modern-day circuit riders, drawing on our Methodist heritage. But instead of riding on horseback to preach and preside at small rural churches on the frontier, we provide services and resources through in-person and long-distance work using modern technology. We consult with pastors and lay leaders, writing liturgy and curriculum, staffing discipleship ministries on a part-time basis, and offering workshops and other training opportunities for clergy and laity on a variety of topics.”
Sacred Stones Ministries, Inc., is a non-profit organization incorporated in Colorado in 2014 and recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code. The four principal members are all ordained deacons in The United Methodist Church, and have as their mission, “To equip, empower, and encourage the people of God on the path to spiritual flourishing.” To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our Donate page to contribute.