RELIGION BRIEFS: March 18, 2023

Mar. 18—Editor's Note: Easter egg hunts and Holy Week information can be sent to or

Easter egg hunt coming up

ELKHART — Creekside Church of the Brethren, 60455 C.R. 113, will host its annual Easter egg hunt at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at the church.

The church invites children of the community to join in the fun of finding hidden Easter eggs filled with sweet treats and surprises.

There will be three age groups.

This will take place outside on church property, so dress comfortably.

Church to sell Swiss steak supper

NORTH WEBSTER — North Webster Church of the Brethren will be selling a take-out Swiss steak supper from 4 to 6:30 p.m. March 25 at the church, 7281 E. 600 North.

The menu includes Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn and pie.

This is take out only, organizers stated in a press release.

The cost is $15 per person.

Everence provides $200,000 in pastoral financial assistance grants in 2022

GOSHEN — Everence Financial awarded 45 financial assistance grants in 2022 (totaling more than $200,000) to assist pastors facing significant financial and debt burdens.

The grants, offered through the Everence Pastoral Financial Wellness Program, provide financial assistance to pastors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those serving small churches and/or congregations of color, Everence stated in a news release.

"The intersection between race and ethnicity, religion, and money is complex and fraught with systemic disparities," said Leonard Dow, Everence vice president of Community and Church Engagement and Pastoral Financial Wellness Program manager. "The pandemic further brought these disparities out of the shadows, for individuals and churches alike."

Of the financial assistance grants awarded in 2022, 64% went to pastors from Spanish-speaking congregations and 21% went to pastors of other racial/ethnic (i.e., non-white) backgrounds. The grants were made possible, in part, by a third round of funding from the Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of their National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.

Everence was one of the initiative's original grant recipients, receiving an initial $1 million grant to establish the Pastoral Financial Wellness Program in 2016 and a second $1 million grant to expand the program further in 2019. The latest funding from Lilly included an upfront gift of $250,000 for 2022, with the possibility of another $250,000 in late 2023 if matching funds are raised.

Since the Pastoral Financial Wellness Program's inception in 2016, Everence has awarded some 372 financial assistance grants totaling nearly $2.09 million, to help pastors address immediate financial needs related to medical debt, credit card debt, educational loan assistance, or other financial concerns, Everence officials stated.

The program also offers financial education and wellness events to help pastors think through issues related to personal money management, clergy taxes, retirement readiness, cultivating generous congregations, and more. Since 2016, Everence has hosted 99 of these educational events, with nearly 2,800 participants in total, the release reads.

Additionally, pastors can receive a subsidy toward the cost of a first year Everence comprehensive financial plan. From 2016 through 2022, some 284 pastors have taken advantage of this opportunity to work with an Everence financial professional to develop a plan to meet their short- and long-term financial stewardship goals.

"This transformational work requires an intentional and active commitment to engaging and standing with the pastors, churches and communities we serve, from all walks of life," said Madalyn Metzger, Everence vice president of Marketing and Pastoral Financial Wellness Program director. "The Pastoral Financial Wellness Program is one way we can work together to build a healthy and equitable financial stewardship culture, while also helping our pastors and faith communities experience greater spiritual growth and vitality."

The Everence Pastoral Financial Wellness Program is open to active and credentialed pastors from the 30-plus Anabaptist and like-minded denominations and church networks Everence serves. More information about the program is available at or through your Everence stewardship consultant.