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Episcopal Church Economic Justice Loan Committee invests in four community loan funds

July 23, 2015
Office of Public Affairs

N. Kurt Barnes, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, announced that The Episcopal Church Economic Justice Loan Committee (ELJC) of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society has approved four investments in community development financial intermediaries, totaling $1.2 million.

In May, ELJC approved loans to the following organizations:

Since its founding in 1989, the Fund has helped to create more than 1,000 businesses and 2,500 jobs throughout its eleven-county service area, and has become a national leader in microenterprise and small business development. The Fund’s products and services include small business loans, business planning services and technical assistance, and its Women’s Business Network.

The organization provides financing and support for job-creating small businesses, natural resources industries, community facilities, and affordable housing. CEI’s primary market is Maine. However, the organization has expanded some of its financing programs to northern New England, upstate New York and beyond. Since inception, CEI has provided financing totaling $677 million to more than 2,100 businesses. CEI offers business loans for a wide range of businesses, including natural resource-based companies, and small, micro, and self-employment enterprises. It also provides pre-development and construction loans for housing projects serving low-income people.

FAHE is a force for change by creating innovative social enterprises that solve problems and fight injustice. It collaborates with its membership network of 53 nonprofit organizations to provide community development services and affordable housing to the Appalachian areas of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Alabama. FAHE and members have built and preserved more than 76,500 homes in its history and has made over $369 million in direct investment for a total impact of $894 million.

  • New Roots ($100,000) – Seattle, Washington

Based in Seattle, born in the Diocese of Olympia, The New Roots mission is to create viable businesses in low income neighborhoods through a highly capable lending institution providing loans and business technical assistance. New Roots is a 501c3 non-profit organization, which has made loans since 2003 under its previous name: The Jump Start Fund.  The organization offers microloans to refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs and does not require all-inclusive business plans that non-native speakers, with little formal education, have trouble creating. Some loans are targeted to the precise needs of home based daycares and women-owned retail stores.  In the Seattle-King County area, New Roots has built a successful microenterprise program that has made 202 loans over the last three years, assisted 366 refugee owned businesses (many not officially enrolled in the program), and created 316 jobs. Bishop Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia, the parent organization for the applicant New Roots Fund, has demonstrated expertise in strategic planning, program evaluation and fundraising.

Economic Justice Loan Committee

The Economic Justice Loan Fund is an economic justice ministry through which the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society uses part of its investment assets to provide capital for communities and groups that lack full and equal access to financial resources.  Loans have been made in the United States and internationally to support community economic development, affordable housing, job creation and other avenues of mission.  The Fund was created in 1998 by the Executive Council.  It combines two prior loan programs that had existed since 1988 and makes up to $7 million available. Loans are made to financial intermediaries, usually in amounts between $150,000 and $350,000, and usually for terms of three to five years.  Loan applicants do not have to be affiliated with the Episcopal Church; however, applicants and recipients must have the endorsement of their local Episcopal bishop.  Loans are not made to individuals or for individual projects.  

During the 2013-2015 period, the Economic Justice Loan Fund made 15 loans totaling $4,610,000.


Members and their dioceses are:  Lindsey Parker, Chair, Massachusetts; the Rev. Jane Gould, Massachusetts; the Rev. Canon Gregory Jacobs, Newark; William B. McKeown, New York; Bishop Eugene Sutton, Maryland; Warren Wong, California; Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Ex Officio; President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, Ex Officio; John Johnson, Executive Council member, Washington; T. Dennis Sullivan, New York; and staff  members N. Kurt Barnes, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer; Alex Baumgarten, Director of Public Engagement and Mission Communication; Margareth Crosnier de Bellaistre, Director, Investment Management and Banking; Nancy Caparulo, Committee Support; and Jose Gonzalez, Accountant.

For more info

For information contact Crosnier de Bellaistre.





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