Confidential Counseling Grants
At the time of this writing, it’s that time of the year again. Spiritually, we will begin the season of Lent; secularly, the season of spring cleaning is upon us. Lent calls us to focus on our spiritual closet. Springcleaning calls us to examine, discard, replace, and clean up our physical homes. As John Wesley was known to ask, “How is it with your soul?”, Lent begs the same question: “How are we spiritually?” Do we feel connected or disconnected from our SOURCE? Is our spiritual well overflowing (Psalm 23) or parched and dry? Similar to the Serenity Prayer, as found in Prayer No. 459 in our hymnal, the action of spring-cleaning calls us to reflect on what actions we need to take in our personal/vocational life. What are the changes we need to undertake or deposit in God’s Hands, and how do we tap into that well of unsurpassing peace? The Confidential Counseling Grant (CCG) is one way of cleaning out and refreshing our spiritual self.
Over the eight years that I have been blessed to serve as the CBOM’s Care & Nurture chairperson, the CCG has been used by clergy (elders, deacons, local pastors, provisional pastors, retired-appointed), spouses and/or dependent children. I/We have been privileged to receive comments such as the following regarding the CCG: This has been a source of great help to me and my family…I am most appreciative of this assistance…to simply Thanks from clergy as well as similar, affirmative comments from providers.
Below is information related to securing the Confidential Counseling Grant:
Who may receive the grant?
Clergy of the Louisiana conference under appointment, their spouse, and/or dependent children.
How much is the grant?
Grants are up to $300 per request, with an annual maximum of $1,200.
How do I apply for the grant?
Write a letter to CBOM Care & Nurture Chair:
Rev. Dr. Elenora M. Cushenberry
8742 Scenic Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70807
Cell phone: 504-416-2882 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(Cell phone & email are provided for questions only… Not for submission of a request for the grant.)
Include the name, address, and credentials of the licensed mental health professional provider for which you are requesting payment. Payment is made directly to the provider or provider’s associated facility.
Please indicate whether payment is to be made payable to the health professional or, if applicable, to the associated facility. Include the address to which you, the clergy member, want your letter of confirmation sent; i.e. whether the letter should be sent to the address of your appointed church, home, or another location, such as P.O. Box, etc.
How my name (and family member) is kept confidential? No identifiable information is utilized in the payment process. Name(s) and other identifiable information (church, address, etc.) do not go beyond your letter requesting the grant and is kept confidential throughout the process by the Care & Nurture Chair. The Chair sends the provider a copy of the letter sent to you, which includes an arbitrarily, assigned numerical code. This code is used to request payment through the CBOM Coordinator and Treasurer to the provider. Your letter is seen and kept only by the Chair and are destroyed at the end of each calendar year, including letters sent to you by the Chair.
How long does the process take?
Your letter of request will be processed within a week from the date of receipt, and the conference office will prepare and send the payment at the next time for check-writing (usually within one week). If you have not received confirmation from the Chair within 10 days of making the request, please contact the Chair to verify receipt of your request.
Let us take advantage of a resource that is available to all clergy under appointment, our spouse, and our dependent children—in order that we may be the most effective we can be to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Let us better care for this Temple of God (2 Corinthians 16:5).
Elenora Mackey Cushenberry,