The Larger Life Foundation is an important financial support ministry of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. The Foundation was founded in 1920 by a small group of Moravians with the goal of establishing an endowment fund, the income of which would be allocated to give “larger life” to the ministries of the church now and into the future. Following approval by the Provincial Synod, a firm foundation was laid through gifts and bequests that spanned decades. The assets of the Larger Life Foundation have grown through the years and now total $10,000,000.
The financial assistance provided to Northern Province ministries falls into three categories: core ministries, discretionary grants, and loans to churches. The majority of the funding goes to support 21 core ministries. The agencies and causes include world mission, ministerial training, education, homeless support, camping programs, senior living support, ministerial pensions and supplemental health, provincial support, and other ministries across the entire Northern Province. In the last ten years alone, more than $4 million has been awarded.
Funds are also allocated for discretionary grants, which are awarded to organizations, agencies, or congregations of the Northern Province for capital projects, start-up programs, or to meet an unexpected expense. The Board established this discretionary grant program in 2011 to be more flexible in addressing immediate needs. Although the amount is modest, in two years 78 applications have been received and 29 churches and ministries have received grants totaling $165,000, many being partial funding for their projects.
Finally, a small percentage of the funds are maintained in order to provide low interest loans to Northern Province churches for capital projects. Currently, 12 churches in Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C., Canada, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New Jersey have received loans from the Foundation.
Has the Larger Life Foundation made a difference in the life of the church? Here are some recent comments we have received from beneficiaries of the Foundation’s funding:
- “You have given us the opportunity to dream and cast new visions for our ministry.”
- “We are very grateful for the support of the LLF that helps fund a variety of programs for short-term missions, global partnerships, disaster relief and partnerships with congregations in mission, in addition to administrative costs.”
- “Thanks to the Larger Life grant our members in wheelchairs and with walkers now have a smooth transition to enter the sanctuary without any barriers. Thank you again for your financial help. Your gifts are making a positive impact on the Christian community.”
- “Our dream has become a reality (Foundation grant to camping center). We took delivery of our new dock! I thank you for your part in making this project possible. We could not have done it without your generous help.”
“The Larger Life Foundation exists to enhance the ministries of the Northern Province,” says The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, president of the Northern Province Provincial Elders’ Conference. “Their gifts support entities approved by Synod, like the Seminary, camps and many senior living facilities owned by the church. They also help the Province support local congregations and help them significantly impact their local contexts through creative mission and ministry projects.”
The Larger Life Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of seven lay members of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. Current trustees include William Kiessling, President, Lake Mills, Wis.; Kevin Brown, Staten Island, N.Y.; Carolyn Clewell, Bethesda, Md.; James Greenough, Edmonton, AB, Canada; James Jackson, Columbus, Ohio; Judy Kaaua, Victoria, Minn.; and Steve Pasquinelli, New Philadelphia, Ohio.
The Larger Life Foundation relies exclusively upon gifts from individuals to carry out its responsibilities. It does not receive support from Provincial or District assessments or from local congregations. Gifts of cash, stocks and other assets, and planned gifts such as bequests, charitable gift annuities and trusts enable the Foundation to continue to grow and serve the Church. (Information and advice on financial options is available from the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America’s website at www.mmfa.info. You may also contact the MMFA by calling toll free 888.722.7923 or by writing to 119 Brookstown Avenue, Suite 305, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.)
It is only with the prayers and support of our Church members and friends that the work of the Larger Life Foundation can continue to evolve and grow in the 21st century. We hope many will recognize the good that one gift can do in supporting many Northern Province Moravian ministries and missions. You can learn more about the Larger Life Foundation, the grant and loan programs, applications, and how you can help through your financial gifts and estate plans. Visit us at our website, www.largerlifefoundation.org. You may also contact Tammy Curcio, Treasurer, Post Office Box 1245, Bethlehem, PA 18016-124 or call 800.732.0591 or 610.867.7566, Ext. 17. ν
Carolyn Clewell is vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Larger Life Foundation.
From the March 2013 Moravian Magazine