“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” —Acts 20:27-29
The Advance and Development Committee, under the auspices of the Episcopal Church in Delaware, provides financial assistance for congregations throughout the state that have a need for renovations, repairs, or new construction. It also provides funding to promote growth for individual congregations. While each congregation has a responsibility to provide primary support for its own needs through long-range planning, there may come a time when a congregation finds that it does not have sufficient funding. The assistance can be provided as a loan, a grant, a challenge grant or any combination of the three. Each request is reviewed at length and the resulting assistance package is customized to fit the needs of the congregation.
LOANS: The loan terms are designed to be favorable to the congregation. The maximum repayment term is 20 years, with payments scheduled on a regular basis. The interest rate varies, depending on the situation of each congregation, but the rate is below the market rate.
GRANTS: An outright grant is appropriate when a congregation needs more money than it can afford to repay and it has a serious need that appropriately fits the guidelines of the Advance and Development Committee.
CHALLENGE GRANTS: A Challenge Grant is used to stimulate congregational giving by offering to convert some loan funds to a grant when a set amount of cash is donated by the congregation for the project. Funds already collected prior to the approval of the grant are not eligible for matching.
PARISH SUPPORT HOUSING LOAN: The Advance and Development Committee makes loans available to congregations for the purpose of providing funds that they would use to assist their cleric in the purchase of primary housing. The terms for this loan are very favorable, with a 20-year maximum term. The interest rate is below the market.
When an application is received by The Advance and Development Committee, the bishop offers input that is helpful in determining how the assistance package might be customized. He or she offers valuable information when determining how the Advance and Development Funds might be used in conjunction with a congregation’s resources.
To begin the process, a representative from the congregation will need to contact the canon for finance and administration at the Episcopal Church in Delaware, by calling 302.256.0374, or click here to send an email. Please complete the Application form by clicking on this link.
The canon for finance and administration forwards the request to the chair of the Advance & Development Funds Committee. The chair will assign a liaison from the committee to work with the congregation throughout the application process. The liaison’s role is to assist the congregation as it moves along the process timeline, making sure that the scope of the project is known and agreed upon. The liaison will utilize the Application Review Form to make sure that all required documentation is present with the application. The liaison will also make use of other committee member’s expertise when needed.
Click here for an example of a completed Application packet.