Bethlehem Foundation

Special COVID Grants from the Bethlehem Foundation

In September, the Foundation put out a call for a special round of grants in response to the hardships caused by COVID-19.  We were thrilled to receive a number of grants and were able to fund 10 at $2500 each.  Thanks to everyone who submitted grant requests. We hope that this will generate enthusiasm and support.


Arrow through the cards below for details about the ten organizations that received grants. 

Recent Grants:

All Square

All Square is a nonprofit social enterprise centered on a craft grilled cheese restaurant and professional development institute that invests in the minds and lives of formerly incarcerated individuals. Their mission is to ensure that those impacted by the criminal justice system have the support and opportunities they need not simply to subsist but, more importantly, to become our country’s future leaders, business owners, legal practitioners, and entrepreneurs. Nominated by Tom Mulhere.

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Edith’s House

Edith’s House serves individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities who for a variety of reasons based on their history or current challenges have only the shelter system or the street as alternatives. Their goal is to provide a path to self-sufficiency with housing, employment guidance, connections to social services, personal guidance, and encouragement. Nominated by Joanna Engstrom.

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HMCHA (Holistic Ministry of Children of the Horn of Africa) helps children in Ethiopia rise out of poverty through education and mentoring.  Sponsored children and their families are supported economically and spiritually while they are empowered to achieve and strive to create change in their lives and communities while growing in their faith. The goal of sponsorship is to help students graduate, prepared to support their own families, and contribute to society. Nominated by Carol Pfleiderer.

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Hopewell Music Cooperative North

Hopewell Music Cooperative North is the only comprehensive music school in North Minneapolis, they offer private instrument and voice lessons, and many free opportunities for students and the community: choir, band, jazz band, flute choir, orchestra. Their mission is to empower the Northside community by offering equal access to music education. Nominated by Jilene Jamsa.

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Joyce Preschool

Joyce Preschool offers bilingual preschool and family support services to English and Spanish-speaking families in South Minneapolis. This mission is achieved by providing quality early childhood education and family support in a dual immersion setting. Their program provides a crucial bridge to success in K-12 education. They focus on school readiness, second language acquisition and cultural appreciation, and parent involvement and support. Nominated by Lisa Hedden.

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Lutheran Campus Ministries

Lutheran Campus Ministries has at the heart of its mission to serve the wider Lutheran community by welcoming University of Minnesota students. Mental Health, housing, and food insecurity are major issues at the University that have been exacerbated by COVID.
Lutheran Campus Ministry-Twin Cities is rooted in Word and Sacrament and lifts up the gifts of their ever-changing young adult community. LCM-TC welcomes, gathers, equips, and sends students, trusting that through these young adults, the Spirit is active in transforming the campus and the world. Grounded in Christ’s love and mercy, we value hospitality, service, justice, integrity, and curiosity. Nominated by Brian Swanson and Olivia Olson.

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Mental Health Connect

Mental Health Connect works to provide community-based resources, support, and education to improve access to mental health services and to connect individuals and families with the services they need through a consortium of 23 faith-based communities in Minneapolis.

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The Spafford Children’s Center

The Spafford Children’s Center Since its establishment, SCC has taken the lead in providing a holistic approach to child health and empowerment by providing psychological, social, and educational support for Palestinian children in Jerusalem and the West Bank who live under difficult socio-economic conditions. Nominated by Sara Spafford Freeman.

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Sickle Cell Foundation of Minnesota

The Sickle Cell Foundation of Minnesota (SCFMN) serves a high-risk population that primarily impacts African Americans who are also disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. SCFMN was founded in 2015. They are a community-based organization comprising of passionate patients, caregivers, sickle cell trait carriers, healthcare providers, advocates, and other individuals and stakeholders who are concerned with the outcomes of our community. Nominated by Alissa Linné.

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Women’s Day of Service

Women’s Day of Service is an intergenerational gathering that brings together Bethlehem women and girls for a morning of service projects, inspiration, and connection.  One Saturday each year, women of all ages from both campuses gather to make a difference in the world. Their impact will be felt not as a grand gesture, but rather as an accumulation of little things that make a big difference. Women will be finishing quilts to send to people who need a warm blanket.  Others will roll bandages for a mission hospital overseas – such a simple thing, but critically important for patient care.  Others will assemble Newborn and Hospice Kits. The items in these kits are everyday things, little things we often take for granted here, but such a blessing to the people who receive them across the world. Nominated by Kim Dickey and Ann Senne.

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About the Bethlehem Foundation

The Bethlehem Lutheran Church Foundation was established in 1957 to provide a way for members, friends, and family of Bethlehem Lutheran Church to leave legacy gifts that would benefit the church’s programming, its mission and its outreach to others. The mission of the Foundation is to gather, invest, and disburse financial resources to further the mission and values of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The Board of Directors establishes and reviews investments and granting policies as part of its work.

Currently, the Foundation awards grants for the following purposes:

  • Tuition assistance for Lutheran seminarians
  • Special projects that fall outside of the annual church budget
  • Church building and equipment needs
  • Staff and clergy enrichment
  • Outreach beyond the church’s direct mission

Grant Application Deadlines

The Board of Directors of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Foundation meets four times each year. All applications are due by January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1 to be included for consideration at the regularly scheduled quarterly meetings.

If your request is from a person or a ministry within Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities, it must go through a channel of endorsements from a sponsoring committee or organization, then on to the recommendation of the Church Council, before being submitted to the BLC Foundation.

The Church Council generally meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month; please call the office (612-312-3400) ahead of time to verify the meeting time. Please submit your grant only after the appropriate signatures have been obtained.

When complete, mail the application to:
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Foundation Attn: Grants Review Committee Chair 4100 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55409

Applications may also be emailed to [email protected], with one word ”GRANT” in the subject line. If further information is required, you will be contacted by the grant review committee before the meeting.

Bethlehem Foundation Guidelines
Applying for Grants Information
Grant Application Form

Foundation Contacts

Co-Lead Pastor

Ben Cieslik

Phone: 612-312-3406
Co-Lead Pastor

Mary Pechauer

Phone: 612-312-3378
Foundation Chair

Tom Mulhere

Phone: 612-840-2720