In Synod News

The South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) announced today that it has awarded $54,638 in grants to small-town and rural (STAR) congregations through the first two months of 2024. 

“STAR” Grants are available for congregations and worshiping communities in small town and rural settings in the South Dakota Synod undergoing a leadership transition and/or for these congregations to be used for unforeseen and unbudgeted needs to sustain ministry. Congregations can apply for a “mini” grant of up to $1500 or a regular grant of up to $5000. Congregations are eligible to be awarded one STAR Grant per year.

The congregations receiving grants are:

  • Grand Valley, Canton $5,000
  • St Paul, Elk Point $4,000 
  • Spirit of Hope, Scotland $3,000 
  • Peever Lutheran $5,000 
  • Hudson Lutheran $3,000
  • Faith Lutheran, New Effington $5,000
  • Our Savior Lutheran, Highmore $4,658.88
  • Scandia, Centerville $5,000
  • Zion, Bridgewater $5,000
  • Graceful Hills Parish $4,980.05
  • First Lutheran, Colton $5,000
  • Langford Evangelical Lutheran $5,000

STAR grants are made possible through generous contributions to the South Dakota Synod Rural Ministry Fund and a generous donor’s gift to support technology infrastructure in congregations. To find out more, please contact Rev. Alan Blankenfeld, South Dakota Synod Director for Rural Ministry at Eligible congregations can apply for STAR grants here

If you would like to contribute to support STAR grants and other rural ministry initiatives in the South Dakota Synod you can do so at (select “rural ministry” from the drop-down menu), or you can send a check (with “Rural Ministry” in the memo line) to the South Dakota Synod office at South Dakota Synod, ELCA; 2001 S Summit Ave Sioux Falls, SD 57197.

For non-cash gifts such as grain, stocks, or real estate, contact Kathy McHenry at 605.868.8754 or

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