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MCS ELCA COVID-19 Congregation Support Fund Guidelines
In order to enable congregations to continue ministry during the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Metro Chicago Synod (ELCA) has established a COVID-19 Congregational Support Fund. The Fund will be seeded with monies from the Mission on the Margins fund and recent property closures (approximately $500,000). Additional contributions to the fund will be solicited.

Many congregations find themselves currently unable to fill the gap between previously anticipated revenues and actual income. The Fund will provide $5000 grants, which may be used to fund operations and payroll during this crisis. Grants will be made only to congregations and not individuals. Preference may be given to congregations who are unable to secure PPP funds through the CARES act.

Examples of intended uses for this grant may include:
● Bridge funding to cover the loss of regular income during the COVID-19 crisis.
● Assistance to cover payroll expenses, both W-2 and 1099 employees, during the COVID-19 crisis.
● Operational expenses, such as a mortgage/rent payments or utility bills.

Examples of uses not covered by this grant include:
● Immediate assistance to individuals or households, inside or outside of the congregation.
● Support for other local charities or ministries.
● New program or ministry development.

In order to apply for a grant, a congregation will provide the following information:
● Name and address of congregation
● Contact person name and address
● Statement of need, and plan to address the need (250-500 words)
● Statement of intended outcomes (100 words)

Congregations which receive a grant may be asked for a follow-up report or story-share at the conclusion of granting period.

Synod staff and council members will review applications and award funds in consultation with the bishop. Grant applications will be reviewed and decisions made on a rolling basis. Decisions will be made and communicated within two weeks of receiving each application.
A congregation may apply for an additional grant as the Fund is replenished, and as the crisis extends.

Additional questions may be directed to Heather Haynes at
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