The Clergy Initiative, a Ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, received a three-year, $1,000,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment in 2016. Known as the National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, to create research-based programming to raise awareness in our Archdiocese regarding the unique challenges our Clergy and their families face. The program also provides need-based financial grants to our Clergy. A second, three-year $1,000,000 grant was awarded for the years 2020-2022. The second Lilly Endowment grant allows the beginnings for research and focused programs for Clergy, Presvyteres, and other Church Staff.
The Clergy Initiative became part of the Archdiocese Benefits Committee (ABC) structure in 2019. The ABC is a Clergy-led entity that oversees Clergy benefits programs.
Our program is multipronged and designed to accomplish six objectives:
- To educate our Laity on the unique challenges our Clergy and their families face and how those challenges can impact their ministry.
- To educate our Clergy on recent data from within our own Archdiocese on the personal, educational, and financial challenges our Clergy face.
- To provide research for Clergy, Presvyteres, and other Church Staff.
- To discuss the importance of managing personal and Parish finances, leading to an understanding of how efficient management both leads to healthier and more vibrant Parishes.
- To review our Ministerial Excellence Fund and the grant process associated with our Lilly Endowment Grant.
- To understand the long-term vision of the Ministerial Excellence Funds at every level of our Church, and to be able to better interconnect existing Archdiocesan, Metropolis, and local Clergy resources.