Ministerial Relief & Assistance Testimonials
Hear why your gifts to Ministerial Relief & Assistance matter.
Hundreds of your ministry colleagues, from all walks of life, benefit from Ministerial Relief & Assistance Programs each year.
Thank you from:
- The pastor welcoming her first child, who is able to take maternity leave thanks to support from MR&A.
- The family whose beloved father passed away, and whose MR&A gift assisted with funeral expenses.
- The pastor whose church building and home were damaged by hurricane winds and water, and who received a grant to support both her and her congregation in the aftermath.
- The pastor whose unexpected medical expenses demolished the family budget, and whose gift from MR&A was able to help him get back on track.
These are their stories. These are our stories, Church, and we give thanks for the role you have played in making them possible.
How Your Gifts are Changing Lives
What MR&A Recipients Are Saying:
"In our time of stress and need, Pension Fund was there for us--not only financially, but in whatever support we needed."
-Pension Fund member
"The church flooded...it was tremendous. We lost everything, and it was very difficult. The Emergency Grant that was sent to us was unexpected, and reminded us of the Body of Christ and brothers and sisters who care for us. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much."
-Emergency Aid recipient
"Thank you so very very much for the 13th Check. With car insurance in November and taxes in December, it was very appreciated."
-13th Check recipient
"There's no stage of life where we have the 'right' amount of money to start planning for retirement, but it's coming quicker than we think. This is a great way for all seminary students to start planning now."
-Student Gift Pension recipient
MR&A Grant Recipient: Rev. Kathleen Thomas
Last July, following a series of unexpected difficulties with her vision, Rev. Kathleen Thomas learned that she will eventually lose her sight in her left eye. After a season of difficult events in her personal and professional life, this news was hard to process. But she and her husband, with the support of family and friends, quickly rallied to prepare Rev. Thomas for life without full sight, a life that would soon include the addition of a service dog – a suggestion made by her doctor.
Rev. Thomas began exploring options, only to be taken aback by the high costs of obtaining and training a new canine companion. “All my ministry I’ve served small, rural churches. I felt that was my calling. But I certainly didn’t have the funds to buy and train a dog,” Rev. Thomas said. With some encouragement, she did something that she describes as uncomfortable and difficult: she asked for help. “I was used to being the helper,” she says, “and learning to ask for help myself was a really, really hard thing for me to do.” Some of Rev. Thomas’ help came from Pension Fund, through a Ministerial Relief and Assistance grant.
This past January, an eight-week-old puppy arrived. Rev. Thomas said the sound of moving water has always been reminiscent of the voice of God to her, and so she named the puppy Brooklyn for the sound of water rushing over rocks, like in a brook. It will be about 15 months before Brooklyn is home for good; for now, Rev. Thomas enjoys updates on her training via email and text from the facility in Western Iowa where Brooklyn is learning how to serve Rev. Thomas best. “She’s doing really well,” Rev. Thomas says, “really well.” And Rev. Thomas is much more confident about her future, knowing she’ll have Brooklyn by her side.
Your support of MRA is directly responsible for Rev. Thomas and Brooklyn’s new journey together. They join countless others, who, having reached a place of crisis in life, discovered the very good news that they were not alone in their time of need, and that Pension Fund, fueled by the generous gifts of donors like you, is willing to stand in the gap and offer both spiritual presence and financial assistance as these servants of the church find solid footing again.