With Barbara A. Below
The 2013 LCMS Convention presents an opportunity for individuals, congregations and organizations to gather a special offering in support of our work together as the Synod.
The 2013 National Offering theme, “Together As Synod,” will dovetail with the convention’s theme of “Baptized for This Moment.” LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison encourages the entire Synod to participate, saying “The national offering is an opportunity to see the tremendous strength and capacity of our national church body at work.”
Participants will have an opportunity to direct their donations toward five designations specifically selected for their impact on the Synod’s mission.
“One of our goals for this national offering is to give each participant greater control over how their donation is allocated and a clear understanding of the impact each of the five designations has on our witness, mercy and life together work,” said Mark Hofman, executive director for LCMS Mission Advancement. “We’re attempting to structure the offering to efficiently and effectively deploy dollars to ministry, and in a manner that illustrates how all of us — ‘Baptized for This Moment’ — can accomplish more when we work and walk together.”
The five designations are:
- “Together As Synod” Fund — used where needed most to resource the Synod’s work according to needs and opportunities (includes administration, operations, services).
- Global Mission Fund — used where needed most to support and sustain work through the LCMS Offices of International and National Mission.
- LCMS Joint Seminary Fund — additional financial resources to supplement the Synod’s subsidy allocated to our two seminaries.
- Global Seminary Initiative — financial aid to international partner-church pastors as we equip them for theological leadership at home and to support partner-church seminaries.
- Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) — financial support to the joint effort with Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore, to mobilize U.S. Lutherans in a global effort to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.
Material describing the five designations will be provided in January. The appeal itself will begin in April, when participants will be given the opportunity to allocate their donations among the various options provided. Reports detailing how gifts have been allocated will be published during the convention and after the offering concludes.
“We will provide pastors and interested individuals descriptions and a case for support for each designation as they consider how best to participate in the National Offering,” said Hofman. “We believe each congregation and potential donor will find at least one choice that fits with how they want their sacrificial gifts to make a difference.”
Additional information on the national offering will be made available on the Synod’s website at www.lcms.org and in future articles of this column.
Barbara A. Below is an assistant to the Synod president.
Posted Nov. 21, 2012