Guidance for the path toward sustainable economics of ministry

3E, the Rocky Mountain Synod’s Lilly Grant initiative, enters 2021 convinced more than ever that 3E is for you and it is for us. We give thanks to God for the impact 3E has made in the lives of rostered minsters and congregations in the Rocky Mountain Synod and the Grand Canyon Synod, and we know there are many more people and congregations to reach!

What’s it like to work with 3E?  Here’s what people are saying:

  • The process and interactions with all 3E staff proved life-giving with clear guidance.
  • It was a very positive experience. The whole team were kind and understanding. This has been a helpful and hopeful process that has led to real financial improvement.
  • A friend had applied and been approved for a grant the previous year and said the process was simple and strongly encouraged me to apply.  I was awarded a grant to help with paying down my student loans, and it was such a blessing.

We hope to hear from you or your congregation.  We’d love to add your story to those who have experienced blessing through 3E.

For more information about 3E and how you might become a part, contact Pr. Michael Tassler, Program Director at Contact 3E.

Ministerial Excellence Fund

Ministerial Excellence Fund grants help pastors and deacons develop stronger financial literacy skills and provides direct aid to help reduce or eliminate crippling education and medical debt relief, as well as provides assistance in emergencies. Read more about the Ministerial Excellence Fund


3E Stewardship programs root faith communities in God’s promise of abundant life and equip rostered ministers and lay leaders to carry out fruitful, broad-range programs that enliven a culture if generosity.  Read More about Stewardship Programs

Vital Right-Shaped Ministry

Vital Right-Shaped Ministry (VRSM) is about reframing the realities of our day, which can often seem defeating, to see how God remains vitally, creatively present to help us adapt, become church in new ways, and find new opportunities for faithful mission. VRSM will help congregations “right-shaping” their ministries to better match their financial resources with God’s call to mission in this day. Read more about Vital Right-Shaped Ministry

We really loved the program and are still looking at the impact and we think we have a roughly 20% increase in giving forecast for the coming year and we are flabbergasted at that. Some of that gain is "concrete", meaning, people who are giving online through a recurring gift, have increased by about $8000 a year. And we are a very small church so this is pretty amazing.​ ~ Pr. Daniel Tisdale, St. Mark's, Roswell. NM

3E is part of the Lilly Endowment’s “National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders,” sharing grants of more than $28 million to a wide variety of Christian organizations across the nation. To learn more about this Lilly Endowment initiative, visit

3E Core Value 
Accountability to others.
 In all ways we wish to be authentic, transparent, and accountable to the Lilly Endowment and the staff of the National Initiative Coordination Program, our fellow ELCA grantees, our new partners in the Grand Canyon Synod, our Synod Council, the bishop and staff of the Rocky Mountain Synod, and especially to the people our programs serve.