Research Findings from Lilly Grant

Dear Friends:

Last February, we started on a journey to explore the possible impact financial stress may have upon our clergy, and therefore, the wellbeing of our congregations. Lilly Endowment Inc. generously provided the funds for a comprehensive research process to help us listen to and learn from each other. The research is now complete.

We have learned that the “conspiracy of silence” regarding clergy financial challenges is well entrenched in our congregations and in our diocese. The planning process rigorously challenged our assumptions regarding clergy financial wellness and has initiated important conversations regarding financial literacy among our clergy and our lay leaders.

Our ability to have honest, transparent conversations about money is crucial to our spiritual health and our ability to find creative solutions to financial problems. My hope is that our participation in this project will help us move toward that place of health. With information and insights from the research, we have submitted a second grant request to Lilly Endowment to address the financial literacy opportunities and challenges in our diocese. Additionally, we may secure the financial resources to establish a diocesan fund to assist clergy and their families in financial crisis.

The grant request was submitted in August, and we expect to receive a response by the end of the year. This important work was faithfully completed by a steering committee consisting of volunteers from around the diocese. Please join me in thanking the following individuals for their work and service.

  • Peggy Allen, St. Stephen, Terre Haute
  • Christopher Beasley, St. Peter, Lebanon
  • Lloyd Brewer, St. John, Lafayette
  • Jeff Brinkman, Trinity, Indianapolis
  • Charles Carpenter, Retired, Mitchell Joseph (Chip) Chillington, Retired, Terre Haute
  • Kathy Copas, Diocesan Staff
  • David Emerson, Holy Family, Fishers
  • Kenneth File, Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis
  • Rachelle Galvin, Holy Family, Fishers
  • Marsha Gebuhr, Diocesan Staff
  • Bruce Gray, Diocesan Staff
  • Richard Halladay, Retired, Nashville
  • Erin Hougland, Seminarian, Indianapolis
  • Rees Olander, St. John, Crawfordsville
  • Marc Vance, St. Paul, Columbus
  • Thomas Wood, Trinity, Bloomington

We also are grateful to Lilly Endowment for helping us to challenge our assumptions and giving us the resources to explore them with the planning grant.

I remain faithfully yours in Christ.

+Catherine M. Waynick

Bishop of Indianapolis

Download: Final Research Report 10 7 15