Trinity Lutheran Church, an LCMS congregation in Franktown, Colo., and its pastor, Rev. Terry D. Beltz, are among the 132 recipients of Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal grants for 2007.
That congregation's grant of $40,933 -- to be used by the end of 2009 -- will allow Beltz
wife, Pam, to teach and help with handiwork and gardening at Holy Trinity Institute
, a self-supported orphanage in Brazil which Beltz
toured several years ago with other pastors on a study tour with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil
, an LCMS partner church.
"That will be my way of providing service back to an entity that receives children who are eventually allowed to be returned to their parents or placed into another caring home," Beltz
said as he
explained that he
was an adopted child.
The Beltzes -- whose three children will eventually join them in Brazil to help at the orphanage -- plan to be at Holy Trinity Institute
for about 40 days -- "a good biblical number," as Rev. Beltz
After their return to the States, the pastor and his
wife plan to rent a motor home, visiting for a month or so with congregations in western Colorado and eastern Utah "who have transitioned from medium-to-large-size, and find out how that process worked as they connected to their communities," a situation and process which Beltz
says applies to Trinity
, Franktown.The congregation, with about 500 members, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, as the pastor reached the same milestone in his
And while the pastor and his
family are away, plans call for the congregation to engage two groups of "The 72 ... Partners on the Road," an outreach ministry of LCMS World Mission that uses trained volunteers to work with congregations to help them start or shore up outreach ministry to unchurched people in their communities. ( Click here for related story.)
"That's all to foster a culture of outreach in our congregation," said Beltz
All of those activities -- from Brazil through the outreach training -- will be funded by the Endowment grant."What a great opportunity and real blessing for Pastor Beltz, the congregation he serves, and the Holy Trinity Institute in Brazil," said Rev. David Muench, executive director of the LCMS Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support (CMGS).