Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), in partnership with Wheat Ridge Ministries, is offering financial assistance to Lutheran congregations to encourage the development of support services for immigrants and refugees.
For the fifth year, grants are being made available through the Good Samaritan Fund established in honor of Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod pastor Dr. August Bernthal. Before his retirement, Bernthal guided his congregation, Grace Lutheran Church in Winter Haven, Fla., in its resettlement of more than 300 immigrants and refugees over 25 years.
The seed grants are intended to help congregations develop support services for immigrants and refugees beyond the initial stages of resettlement.
Last year, the Good Samaritan Fund awarded grants totaling $85,500 to 19 congregations across the country to help implement a variety of projects and services, including computer training, childcare for children whose parents are enrolled in English-language classes, immigration assistance and citizenship classes.
Congregations may download application information from http://www.lirs.org or contact Denise Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for 2003 grant applications is Feb. 28, and grants will be awarded in May.
The Good Samaritan Fund is made up of donations from congregations and individuals. Gifts to the fund may be made by phone or online: LIRS -- (410) 230-2786 or http://www.lirs.org; Wheat Ridge -- (800) 762-6748 or http://www.wheatridge.org.
By Albert H. Lee