Introducing… the 2023 Catalyst Grant Award Recipients!

It’s a new year, which means a fresh crop of Catalyst Grant awards! This year we have a total of four recipients who demonstrated plans to actively build bridges to reach their neighbors. This means communities in Rupert (Idaho), Kimberly (Idaho), Seattle (Washington), and Graham (Washington) will all benefit from the thoughtful projects that are launching.

“The ideas that end up becoming reality through the Catalyst Grant program are ground-breaking,” said Dust Kunkel, NOW District Director of Ministry Leadership. “They tangibly make Jesus’ love real to our neighbors in communities across the Northwest. I’m in awe of the creativity and the grit shown by each grant recipient. This is one of the most important ways the District brings consistent support through coaching and finances to help launch new bridges in our communities. I can’t wait to see the impact over the years to come!”

The Catalyst Grant is one of the many ways the NOW District tangibly supports efforts across the Northwest. In 2023, the total amount to be awarded is $125,000; in all, $924,000 has been dispersed through the program since 2014. Each Catalyst project must include a detailed evaluation plan, a plan for sustainability, show long-lasting bridges into the community, meet real needs, and support new ministry. The NOW District executive team carefully reviews all applications to determine awards, which is always a challenge – and this year, the requests exceeded the amount available, making the task even more difficult. Ultimately, they were able to narrow it down to four worthy recipients.

“The Catalyst Grant effort has proven to be one of the most effective ways the Northwest District can help our ministries take the next step in the story of their ministry,” said NOW District President Paul Linnemann. “It has borne significant fruit throughout the District, and I want to encourage ministries that are on the verge of taking such a step to consider applying for a grant.”

Your next chance to get a project in the mix is when the Catalyst Grant deadline rolls around again on Feb. 1, 2024. Get started here.

Trinity Lutheran School, Rupert, Idaho – Administrative Addition to Promote Enrollment
In 2021, the members of Trinity Lutheran Church voted to purchase a vacant church building that sits adjacent to their existing campus. This acquisition provided many opportunities for outreach ministries to attract people from the community. The congregation also expressed interest in developing more ways to utilize the facility for greater impact – and in 2022, they voted to move forward with the establishment of a preschool on the campus. Renovations have already begun in the recently acquired building in preparation for TLC Preschool, but some needs remain, including child-appropriate bathrooms, a director’s office, reception area, adequate access to the building for safe drop-off/pick-up, and more. With Catalyst funds, these improvements will become a reality.
Trinity is dedicated to promoting excellence in preschool education and offering a school with exceptional and safe facilities. When it opens, it will be the only Lutheran preschool for miles. Families from sister congregations, neighboring churches, and especially those who have no church affiliation will be welcomed there.

Lutheran Ministry Services Northwest, Seattle, Washington – Care Center Outreach
Lutheran Ministry Services Northwest is a NOW District partner and RSO that serves across Seattle, the King County area, and beyond. They were awarded a 2023 Catalyst Grant to help ignite their care center ministry to reach into more nursing homes than ever before.
In the past, LMSN staff and volunteers have provided song services, Bible studies, and visitation support to those in nursing homes. That all will continue – but this new effort will involve partnering with three new congregations each year for the next three years to “Adopt a Nursing Home.” LMSN will connect with the pastor and lay leadership of each congregation to establish an intentional outreach to nursing homes. They will also provide an initial congregational presentation to inspire interested individuals, offer ongoing training, supply materials, and extend follow-up support to encourage continuation and expansion. The Adopt a Nursing Home program will inspire the congregations of the Seattle area to be a blessing to those in their community. The hope is that this model will even spread beyond the Puget Sound region to other locations in the NOW District.

XrossWay, Kimberly, Idaho – XrossWay KidzWorld Preschool and Childcare
XrossWay Lutheran Ministries was awarded a 2023 Catalyst Grant to support the launch of a new preschool and childcare center in Kimberly, Idaho.
XrossWay has recently received significant blessings, including the gifting of a campus and financial contributions, and they are now ready to take some brave new next steps. A Catalyst Grant will help with needed renovations and assist with startup costs for XrossWay KidzWorld Preschool and Childcare. These renovations include remodeling bathrooms, updating electrical and safety systems, building a sandbox, installing computers and tablets for data management/parental sign-ins, and more.
XrossWay KidzWorld Preschool and Childcare aims to provide a Christ-centered knowledge base, foster spiritual development, stimulate intellectual growth, nurture emotional development and creative expression, and develop appropriate social skills. When it opens in late summer 2023, it will initially serve children aged five and younger, with plans to expand to after-school care in the future. XrossWay has established important partnerships with various entities to assist with this project, including LCEF, Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kimberly, major financial donors, and individuals with expertise in education and renovation. Once this project gets off the ground, it will serve a crucial need in Kimberly.

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Graham, WashingtonFood Pantry Expansion
The food pantry at St. Paul Lutheran Church is a vital outreach for the community. This ministry serves an average of 50-60 families each week – but they are currently maxed out on space. This has hindered their ability to serve and has created much more work for the crew of volunteers. With Catalyst Grant funds, they will be able to expand their facilities, creating a dedicated room to hold supplies, food, diapers, and the variety of other items they hand out each week. This will also allow folks to come in and “shop” for what they need, rather than volunteers packing the 90-100 bags and loading them into cars that pull up – saving countless hours of labor.
More space will also allow the congregation to seek out in-kind donations from around the community, thereby creating even more partnerships in this effort. Greater storage capacity equals greater opportunity for growth which equals a greater ability to bless.

Share on: