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Grand Canyon Synod Grants Program

In an effort to steward the gifts this synod has received from the bequests of individuals (Warner Trust Fund), congregations sharing a tithe of a bequest they have received, the sale of closed congregations, grant funds from the West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop, and allocation of unrestricted gifts to the synod, we are fortunate to have both endowed and temporarily restricted funds to provide grants for new and renewing ministries, and other ministry outreach projects.

Given the challenging economic times we have experienced over the past decade, these resources have been critical leaven to our outreach efforts. They are also a testament of God's provision in our time of need. In September 2015 we implemented a new Grant Application process to strengthen our mutual stewardship and accountability. Over the past few years this new process has proved beneficial for both the Synod office and the ministries involved. 

Links to the grant application forms for 2019 funding are below. Please note the deadline to submit applications of October 19, 2018. Funding of approved applications begins February 1, 2019.

Thank you for your partnership and your commitment to ministry! 


  • All organized congregations of the Grand Canyon Synod

  • All New Starts and Special Ministries of the Grand Canyon Synod

  • Institutions and agencies in good standing with the ELCA or Grand Canyon Synod

Grant Categories

There are two categories of grant applications. Please read each description carefully before starting the application process.

Organized congregations may submit a PROJECT grant for a specific new PROJECT that serves one or more of the following mission goals:

  • Enhancing communication and networking within our Synod

  • Attracting and engaging youth and the young (i.e., Sunday School, youth ministry, or Christian Education with youth, etc.)

  • Creating cross-cultural experiences

  • Mission Partnership Initiatives (several congregations working in partnership)

  • Special ministries of the Grand Canyon Synod

Reports to be submitted:

  • Within one year of receiving a Project Support Grant the congregation must submit the GCS Project Report (below).

  • Each congregation must submit the ELCA Annual Congregational Report due in February each year. (Information and instructions to complete this form are provided by Churchwide in December of the previous year.)

Failure to submit the appropriate report may result in future grant funds being held.

Ministry Program Grant

This grant application is for ministries that are New Starts or a Congregation in Redevelopment and have been previously approved by the Grand Canyon Synod New & Renewing Mission Table to apply for grants.

New Starts Include Synodically Authorized Worshipping Communities (SAWC’s) SAWC Explorations Congregations Under Development (CUD) Newly Organized Congregations and Special Ministries

Congregations in Redevelopment IncludeCongregations that are formally recognized as such by the ELCA Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit (CSM)

Report to be submitted:

  • Each congregation must submit the ELCA Annual Congregational Report due in February each year. (Information and instructions to complete this form are provided by Churchwide in December of the previous year.)

Failure to submit the appropriate report may result in future grant funds being held.[/su_box]

Important Dates/Information

  • Annual Grant Announcement shall occur in September.

  • Applications must be submitted by October 19.

  • Notification of grants awarded shall be no later than December 1.

  • All grants begin with the Synod's fiscal year, February 1.

Please note: *A Grant Letter will be sent to the Contact Person listed on the application; this grant letter must be signed and returned to the Synod office before grant funds will be released. *Mortgage reduction payments, landscaping, rent or utility requests will not be funded.*If you have questions regarding the Grant Process or applications please contact Pr. Miguel Gomez-Acosta, Director for Evangelical Mission, or Kim Stevens, Assistant to the Bishop for Administration.

Grant Applications and Instructions

  • All application questions must be answered in full.

  • You have the option to save your application and return to complete it at a later time.

  • All applications must be submitted electronically.

  • During the review process the GCS Grant Review Team may contact the applicant with questions or to schedule an interview.

Project Grant

Project Report Form

Ministry Program Grant

 2018 Grant Funding Project/Services Report

Outreach Ministry Funding Opportunities

The Grand Canyon Synod has been blessed with gifts that have allowed the Outreach Grants Program to provide support for projects and ministries within its region of Arizona and portions of Nevada and Utah. Several of the funds have been charitable gifts from individuals out of their love for the Lord and His ministry through the Lutheran Church. Donors who are interested in continuing the mission outreach work of the Synod through gifts establishing a fund in their name should contact Bishop Lowell Almen at the Grand Canyon Synod office.

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Warner Trust Grant Information

Because of their love of God and ministry to our young people in the Grand Canyon Synod, Charles and Mabel Warner started a trust fund for use “in construction of Sunday School facilities and to further youth Christian education” (wording from the original Warner will) through grants to congregations, institutions, agencies, social and outdoor ministries including youth camps, scholarships and requests that include a mission support component. Interest from the principal amount is available each year for distribution to ministries within the boundaries of the Grand Canyon Synod. The Warner Trust Committee has developed guidelines to manage the fund as an endowment. The Committee members are: Ms. Pam Robinson, Ms. Laura Krueger, Pastor Glenn Zimbelman, Ms. Darcy Mittelstaedt, and Ms. Tonya Cockram. Please read the guidelines below carefully. Applications are submitted annually on November 1.

Please provide the committee with as much information as possible for your request and note the request must be related to Sunday School, youth ministry, or Christian Education with youth. In the past, that has included curriculum, construction costs for youth or education buildings, special ministries, outreach, furnishings, etc. Traditionally, it has NOT included, per the guidelines the Warners established, mortgage reduction payments, staffing, or landscape costs.

Rejoice with us in this ministry opportunity! If you have questions, please call Ms. Darcy Mittelstaedt 480-963-4127 or email her at Applications may be submitted to the Warner Trust Committee at annually between September 1 and November 1.

Notification of award recipients will be made on or before March of the following year with disbursement occurring no later than April 1.

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Church Mutual Risk Reporter

As Church Mutual studies the claims filed by their customers, they have developed loss control techniques to reduce the risk of those losses. Those techniques will be published in the Risk Alert series.

  • Risk Reporter - A quarterly publication by Church Mutual Insurance Company

ELCA Endorsement of Church Mutual Insurance Company (May 1, 2008) On behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Office of the Secretary in consultation with the Office of the Treasurer has selected Church Mutual Insurance Company as the underwriter of the ELCA-Endorsed Property and Liability Insurance Program for Congregations and Synods and Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) as its brokerage representative.

The decision to move the program to Church Mutual, which is effective immediately, was based on the goal to provide ELCA congregations and synods  with quality insurance protection and enhanced customer service.  It also allows ELCA to take advantage of the more than 111 years of experience Church Mutual has in the religious marketplace.

Church Mutual has earned its exceptional reputation as a specialist insuring churches and related organizations by understanding the unique needs of each congregation it serves. New congregational and synod policyholders get the added benefit of a custom, on-site insurance needs analysis to help ensure the best possible coverage.

You may find additional information regarding the ELCA-Endorsed Church Mutual Property and Liability Insurance Program for Congregations and Synods at

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ELCA Portico Information

The ELCA Pension and other benefits program provides health, retirement, disability and survivor benefits presented as one comprehensive program to members.

Grand Canyon Synod Regional Representative - Andrea Arey 800 Marquette Ave., Ste. 1050 / Minneapolis, MN 55402-2892 949.338.9573 / 800.352.2876 ext. 4405

Congregational Planning Resources

  • Administrator calculators - Administrators can use the contribution amounts and compensation calculators for annual budgeting and planning.

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ELCA Advantage Program

The ELCA Advantage Program is a national, cooperative buying program designed for use by ELCA congregations and affiliated agencies, institutions, and organizations. This program enables collective, volume purchasing of commonly-used products and services. The ELCA Churchwide organization has developed partnership agreements with preferred providers who offer high-quality products and services, competitive prices, and excellent customer service and support. When an agreement is negotiated, all ELCA affiliated entities may utilize it. The decision to use an agreement is voluntary and there are no membership fees. Some agreements may also be used by individual congregational members and staff who are employed by an ELCA affiliate. Agreements include pricing and performance standards, and periodic evaluations are conducted before renewal or renegotiation.

For more information contact the Synod Office. You may also visit the ELCA web site to learn more about this program.

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Personnel Administration

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Performance Appraisals (Rostered)

Rostered Leader Ministry Review and Performance Evaluation

The ELCA recognizes that effective ministry is the result of interaction between the rostered leader and the congregation, and that it's always important to stay in touch with shared goals and expectations. The following documents are provided as tools to review the mutual ministry of the rostered leader(s) and the congregation.

The goals of the review are:

a. To identify and affirm the accomplishments, faithfulness and competencies of the rostered leader and the congregation;

b. To help rostered leaders sharpen personal goals and to define areas of needed or desired professional, spiritual, and personal growth; and,

c. To help rostered leaders and laity clarify expectations of one another and to improve the effectiveness of their shared ministries.

(Congregations are free to choose any information below that would be most helpful in their individual review process.)

Evaluation - Mennonite Appreciative Way

Ministry Performance Evaluation

Performance Planning Review Process

Rostered Leader Review

Pastoral Review of the Congregation

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Administration Matters

Administration Matters is a bimonthly e-newsletter for ELCA congregational and synodical leaders. It addresses common, practical issues including finance, governance, risk management, tax, legal concerns and topics of interest about day to day operations and management in church settings.  

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Background Checks

To promote the safest and most secure environment possible, the ELCA and the Grand Canyon Synod strongly encourage our congregations to screen all employees and volunteers, both new and existing, especially those who interact with children.

For information about background checks for lay leaders and volunteers please contact the Synod office.

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Child & Youth Safety Policy

New Song Lutheran Church, Henderson, NV, has created a Child and Youth Safety Policy and has made it available to us to share with the Grand Canyon Synod congregations.

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Congregational Vacancies (Current)

  • Congregation Seeking Status

  • American, Sun City, AZ Senior Pastor 6

  • Community, Bullhead City, AZ Pastor 6

  • Desert Cross, Tempe, AZ Senior Pastor 5

  • Desert Hills, Green Valley, AZ Assoc Pastor 0

  • Emmanuel, Prescott Valley, AZ Pastor 6

  • First Evangelical/La Primera, Mesa, AZ Pastor 6

  • Spirit of Grace, Surprise, AZ Assoc Pastor 5

  • Spirit of Joy, Clarkdale, AZ Pastor 6

  • Tanque Verde, Tucson, AZ Assoc Pastor 5


0 = Evaluating

1 = New Vacancy

2 = Forming Call Committee

3 = Developing Profile

4 = Awaiting Candidate Names

5 = Interviewing

6 = Calling


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Retired Rostered Leaders

This page contains news and information for retired clergy members. Please check back often for updates.

The following files contain information that may be of special interest to ordained leaders involved in the transition process from active to retired status.

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Non-Rostered Job Openings

Please feel free to visit the Lay Employment page of The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona for additional job postings. 

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Call Process Manual Appendixes

(This is most likely a duplicate page, holding it in case we need the files)

  • A A Model for a Community Bible Study

  • B Suggestions for a Community Bible Study

  • C Interview Forms

  • D Liturgy for Departure of a Pastor from a Congregation (and suggested prayer)

  • E Model One: Mission and Ministry Planning

  • F Model Two: A Strategic Planning Process

  • G How to Complete the Ministry Site Profile

  • H Evaluating the MMTF Process

  • I An Affirmation of a Call Committee

  • J Sample Call Committee Agenda

  • K Sample of a Proposed Call Timeline

  • L Sample of a Visual Timeline Used on the Web

  • M Sample Initial Interview Script

  • N Sample Interview Questions for Candidates

  • O Sample Interview Questions by Candidates

  • P Sample Interview Evaluation

  • Q Sample Letter to Candidates Not Recommended for Call

  • R Sample Questions for Checking References

  • S Sample Agendas for Face-to-Face Interviews

  • T Sample Outline of Candidate Recommendation to Council

  • U Six-Nine Month Review: Option 1

  • V Six-Nine Month Review: Option 2

  • W Prayers for Use Throughout Call Process

  • (Transition, Work of Call Committee, Pastoral Interviews, Meetings)