Created in MN | Made for You
To do effective ministry it requires more than just effort. It takes time. It also takes a little bit of money. Many pastors/leaders are willing to put forth the effort. Most of them have the time. But often they lack the money. This is where the SYCAMORE Fund comes in.
For decades, students have been asked to raise money for missionaries, special projects and athletic teams. While they are great at doing this, in many cases their own student ministry suffers. There is no funding for events, money to fix broken equipment or even have pizza for a party. Our hope is to bring some balance to this issue.
Since we've started working with youth ministry's across the country we've come to be aware that many churches (in general) could use some extra financial support. Since a large part of budgets are used on staff and building payments when a need arises there isn't always funds to meet it.
Our hope is that through SYCAMORE we can bring some much needed relief and blessing to churches all across the United States.
Our vision is really simple! It's called 50/50. We want to support at least 50 ministry's within the state of Minnesota and at least one location in all 50 states.
Ministry's and locations are chosen by all kinds of different ways. Sometimes there's a ministry that someone brings to our attention that could use some extra support. Other times a specific location is put on our hearts and we search out that place till we find where we can provide some help.
Our initial contact is often times met with some questions like, "Why are you doing this? What do you get out of it?" But after explaining our heart and the purpose behind what we're doing barriers come down, a connection is formed and needs are met.
Our founder (Tommy Getlinger), knows what it's like to do ministry with little to no annual budget. He knows what it's like to have the desire to do something but not have the necessary funds to pull it off. It is with those memories and a commitment to help fund local ministry that we push forward.
Since 2016, we've helped ministries from all over MN, to the Canadian Border, Wisconsin, Maryland, Colorado, Alaska and Hawaii. SYCAMORE has been to the northernmost community of all the United States to the East, South and West. We've even helped build a home for a family in Mexico.
The brightest light shines the farthest!
If you're looking for some financial support, or you'd like to help us in our efforts please contact us. We'd love to partner with you in Helping Others See Jesus.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Thank you so much!!! We so appreciate the amazing financial gift to help jump start our student ministry. This is such a huge blessing to our church, and our youth pastors are so excited.
Micah Reed (Lead Pastor, Chisholm MN)
Just got home and opened an amazing package. Thank you so much. We are so blessed and feel so loved right now. You guys are truly amazing and words cannot express how grateful we are.
Duane Shanke (Youth Coordinator, Golden, CO)
This is a huge answer to prayer. Students are a big part of what we do and who we want to see transformed in the city. A seed has already been sown in seeing lives transformed and we're going to put it to good use.
Charlie Mitchell (Lead Pastor, Baltimore, MD)
We want to say thank you so much for your gift. What a blessing! We're going to use it to build a house for a family in Mexico on our upcoming missions trip.
Jim Wiebolt (Youth Pastor, Sauk Rapids, MN)
The SYCAMORE Necklace is more than just something you wear. It's more than just a piece of jewelry. It's a piece of history...that reminds you to live an inspiring future.
Every SYCAMORE Necklace is absolutely unique. There is none other like it in the world. The mixture of light and dark wood partnered with personal craftsmanship gives each necklace a one-off label that is sure to grab the attention of those that see it.
Each necklace is handmade in the USA. The rough lumber is bought from Ohio and then shipped up to Central MN where the necklaces are designed and crafted.
Upon completion, each piece of SYCAMORE is fitted with a ball and chain necklace (from the same maker that supplies the US Military with dog tags).
The backstory: originally the necklace wasn't a necklace at all. It was just a round piece of wood given to people to carry. They could put it in their purse or pocket and it would serve as a reminder "to the owner" to live their life in a way that helps others see Jesus.
Though this was effective, the desire to make it better quickly surfaced. After a few short days the design of the necklace was created and the rest is history.
To this day, the original SYCAMORE Necklace is still worn. From that one, to the hundreds that have followed each necklace carries with it a sense of history. Not just to the location of the tree from which it came in Indiana...but to a place called Jericho in ancient Israel.
It was in Jericho that a man by the name of Zacchaeus decided to climb a SYCAMORE Tree. He climbed it filled with the hope that he might see Jesus walk by.
Little did Zacchaeus know that that simple act would lead to his life being forever transformed. In a matter of a day, he went from being hated by his own people to being an inspiration for others to follow.
It's time to be a person that helps other's see Jesus.
What would you be willing to do to see something extraordinary?
One man (in Luke 19) faced that question and decided to climb a SYCAMORE Tree. His hope was to see something extraordinary...to see Jesus. Little did he know that by seeing Jesus his life would be transformed.
(The story of this man can be found when you scroll down on this page)
In 2016, the story of Zacchaeus who climbed a sycamore tree took root down deep in the heart of our Founder (Tommy Getlinger). The reasoning was simple...this man was in need, he ended up seeing Jesus and his life changed. What made it possible? A SYCAMORE Tree.
How many people could experience a transformation if they were to see Jesus? The simple answer is: all of them. The goal behind SYCAMORE is to help others see Jesus as WE live our lives in honor of Him.
If given the opportunity, we could all list a few individuals that helped us see Jesus. We now, get to be a SYCAMORE for someone else.
While at a retreat in 2016, we took some time to focus on the story of Zacchaeus. We talked about his struggles, his position in society, the way people viewed him and his desire to see Jesus. When we compared his situation with our own, we realized we aren't all that different...imperfect people in need of a perfect savior.
After our discussion, we then focused on the people that helped us on our own spiritual journey. After a few moments there was one common thread that appeared among them all...they helped us see Jesus (just like the SYCAMORE did for Zacchaeus so many years ago).
We were then inspired to go and be SYCAMORE's for others. That was the launching point.
At that time, no one could have guessed the impact it would have on those who live in Central MN, churches and people from all over the country.
To date, we've helped support ministry from the Canadian Border, to the East Coast, Hawaii and Alaska.
In 2020, we started giving out College Scholarships for students pursuing ministry and in short time we'll also be providing resources for pastors / leaders to help them in their local ministry
Luke 19:1-10 New International Version (NIV)
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Early on in ministry, our founder (Tommy Getlinger) was a youth pastor in Southwest Florida. Along with being a youth pastor, he also worked the front desk for the church's daycare, did a paper route, cleaned vacation properties and the church. Needless to say it was a busy time in life. A time where it would have been helpful to have resources available to help put together an effective life changing Wednesday Night for students.
If you find yourself in a similar situation. A place where you can't dedicate the amount of time and energy needed to put together an amazing experience for your people...then look no further.
We have time tested and proven resources for you that we didn't only come up with...we used. If you're looking for some more materials, ideas or coaching just contact us and we'll do our best to help bring some ease to your planning so you can make the most of the time you have.
Resources will be available soon...
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
-how can I purchase a SYCAMORE Necklace?
-how can my ministry receive a SYCAMORE Fund Check?
-how can I apply for a College Scholarship?
-how can I help support your efforts financially?
If you have another question feel free to contact us. We are here for YOU!
We are honored to be able to offer college scholarships, starting with the high school graduating class of 2020.
This scholarship is specifically for students that are pursuing further education at a Bible College or Biblical Training Center.
The number of scholarships awarded at each participating school will be one per year. If you are selected to receive the SYCAMORE Scholarship, the funds will be given directly to the college/training center upon registration.
Our goal in offering this $500 scholarship is to use our unique position to put you (the student) in a place to "Help Others See Jesus."
2020 Participating Schools:
Apollo High School (St. Cloud, MN)Sauk Rapids Rice High School (Sauk Rapids, MN)St. Cloud Christian School (St. Cloud, MN)
Please take some time to fill out the application. You can:
mail it back to usscan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you.
This portion of our website is under construction.
JERICHO / PHOENIX
In 2017, a desire emerged to plant some SYCAMORE Trees right here on our campus. We figured this would be an incredible point of reference that would show how SYCAMORE started out as a seed and ended up growing into a movement.
The challenge, is that Central Minnesota doesn't naturally have sycamore trees. On top of that, the northern climate isn't really a suitable atmosphere for sycamore trees to grow.
This didn't stop us.
A student while on vacation at his grandparents in Southern Illinois, told them about SYCAMORE. The grandparents just happened to have sycamore trees on their property and thought they might be able to us. They actually then went out into their backyard and uprooted three sycamore tree saplings to bring up to Minnesota.
The trees were then transported in two buckets for the 12+ hour drive from Southern Illinois to Central Minnesota. When they arrived we put them in a nursery to go through the 2017-18 winter season.
In the mid summer of 2018, the trees were planted on our campus. We placed one tree on a hill and the other two trees we placed together in the back of the building.
Given the nature of how we got the trees and the typically unsuitable climate we have, certain measures were taken to help ensure the trees survival.
We put a fence around the trees that is 4ft high. We got 100's of feet worth of hoses to water the trees. We even poured several bags of mulch on the trees to help insulate the ground for the upcoming winter.
The 2018-19 winter was one for the record books. Not only did we see massive amounts of snow, resulting in multiple days of normal life being put on hold, we also went through a polar vortex. Which dipped temperatures to at times -50degrees. The sycamore trees came to mind often as the winter passed hoping and praying they would survive.
In the spring of 2019, the hoses were brought back out and we began the process of helping the trees recovers from the previous winter.
While all the other trees on the campus bloomed, the sycamore trees remained bare and dead looking. Several times we tested the trees to see if there was life and the tests came back positive so we waited.
And we waited.
On May 20, 2019 the sycamore tree on the hill budded. It was the first significant sign of life for either of the trees.
Jericho, is the name of the tree that we placed on the hill. The reason the tree is named Jericho is because that's the city where the story of Zaccheaus took place. It was in Jericho that Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus. Shortly after seeing Jesus, his life was transformed and he boldly decided to make amends with the people he had cheated before.
Phoenix, is the name of the tree that is planted behind the building. Phoenix has quite an incredible story.
First of all, Phoenix started out as two trees. Because they were in the same bucket while at the nursery we didn't want to separate them when they got planted.
In the spring of 2019, the two trees were seemingly struggling. There wasn't any visible signs of life and it seemed as though both trees had died.
A scrape test (stripping off little layers of bark until you see green) was performed on the trees and the smaller one showed no signs of life. Then we tested the larger of the two trees...the same result took place.
We then proceeded to take the trees out of the ground. As Tommy reached down to pull at the base of the larger tree he noticed there were some leaves poking out of the mulch. He cleared the mulch away and exposed some branches and other leaves growing out of the base of the trunk.
The tree was alive!
We then cut off the dead part of the trunk and pulled the mulch away from the growing branches.
This tree was dead and nearly uprooted and thrown away. Now it is doing well and growing strong. Thus the name, Phoenix (it rose from the ashes).