Christian Heritage Endowment Fund (CHEF)
The Christian Heritage Endowment Fund (CHEF) was established by the NJ District LCMS for the purpose of creating and overseeing financial programs to undergird ministries of the District and its member congregations. From its inception in 1983, the fund has distributed over $650,000 assisting congregations with new missions and ministries, training for leadership development, church worker sabbaticals, technology advancements, and ministry accessibility for the disabled.
At the March 2012 CHEF meeting, the trustees revised the categories of matching grants with which they wish to challenge congregations. The categories are the following:
- Grants for congregations engaging in new outreach ministries - When a congregation undertakes a new ministry that will reach out to its community, CHEF will consider up to a three-year renewable grant for this purpose.
- Matching grants for training, leadership development and House Church Leaders - A grant of 50% up to $1,000 will be given for called workers and/or lay leaders to be trained at workshops or seminars.
- Matching grants for technology - Congregations may submit application to assist with using technology for their mission. Examples might be assisting parochial schools with Internet access or distance learning technology. CHEF will match up to 50% of the cost of technology equipment and/or installation.
- Matching grants to assist making ministry accessible to people with disabilities - This is intended to help with smaller projects rather than full building renovations. Examples might include an infrared system to amplify the service for the hearing impaired. CHEF will match up to 50% of the cost of such projects.
- Church worker sabbatical - CHEF will offer matching grants of up to 50% of the extra cost to the congregation that allow a called worker a sabbatical according to the guidelines approved by the New Jersey District.
The grant application and cover letter should be downloaded from the links above. This form MUST be used as it supersedes all previous applications. Projects should be described with as much detail as possible including specific costs. Deadlines for submission of applications will normally be January 15 and August 15. Grant review and approval will happen at the regular Spring and Fall meetings of the CHEF board. The amount of funding granted may be limited by the total amount available for distribution in a given year.
Examples of Past Grants Awarded
- $10,000 to Bethlehem, Ridgewood, for “Diane Stelling’s H.E.A.R.T. Ministry” (2008)
- $6,000 to Bethlehem, Ridgewood, for “Diane Stelling’s H.E.A.R.T. Ministry” (2010)
- $11,000 to Good Shepherd, Old Bridge for worship technology (2012)
- $1,555 to Our Redeemer, Fords for a Outreach field day (2012)
- $2,000 to Holy Cross, Mahwah for a new kindergarten ministry (2012)
- $3,500 to Redeemer, Westfield for technology for a new congregational training center (2012)
- $1,993 to Holy Cross, Bordentown for leadership training and computer technology (2012)
- $3,000 to Luther Memorial, Tinton Falls for a Christ centered wellness and health program (2012)
- $800 to Emmanuel, Milford for a cleanup event at Water Gap National Park (2012)
- $5,200 to Gethsemane, Hackettstown for the local broadcast of The Lutheran Hour radio show (2012)
- $5,000 to Our Savior, Fair Lawn for the establishment of a congregational health ministry (2013)
- $2,500 to Prince of Peace, Howell for technology for their music ministry (2013)
- $5,000 to Village Lutheran, Lanoka Harbor for technology for upgrade to their video/sound system (2013)