Information and resources related to the three-year LCMS National Offering, “Together As Synod,” were mailed to congregations April 26. LCMS households with a record of recent giving to the Synod, as well as national convention delegates, were to receive information about the offering in late April/early May.
LCMS congregations are asked to gather contributions for the National Offering on Sunday, June 2, and have their delegates bring them to the Synod’s 65th Regular Convention, July 20-25 in St. Louis. The offerings hand-carried by delegates will be received at the convention’s opening worship service on July 20. Individuals may contribute gifts directly to the National Offering by mail, or online at lcms.org/nationaloffering.
The information packet includes several resources designed to support congregations as they communicate information about the National Offering to their members and invite contributions:
- a bulletin-board poster.
- a reproducible bulletin insert that includes a responsive prayer and a letter from LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.
- Information about individual bulletins that may be ordered by congregations for their members at no charge.
- a special courier envelope that congregations can use to send their contributions to the LCMS convention via their delegates.
The goal of the 2013 National Offering is “to invite broad participation by LCMS congregations and households in work that requires a combined, collaborative effort of the entire Synod,” said Mark Hofman, executive director of Mission Advancement for the LCMS. “Those who choose to participate may fully designate their gift to one of five special designations or divide their gift up among two or more of the designations, according to their interests. Allocations need not be in equal amounts or percentages.”
The five designation options selected for the National Offering are:
- LCMS work “where it’s needed most,” as determined by the LCMS Board of Directors. This designation also is called “Together As Synod” and “affords Synod the greatest agility and cost-effectiveness for the use of funds to accomplish what none of us can do alone,” Hofman said.
- LCMS Global Mission, specifically restricted to supporting the work of the offices of National Mission and International Mission, wherever the need is greatest at the time funds are received.
- Lutheran Malaria Initiative, striving to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015 through education, prevention and treatment, along with sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- LCMS Joint Seminary Fund, benefitting Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., over and above what the seminaries already receive in LCMS subsidies.
- the Global Seminary Initiative, providing advanced theological education for international Lutheran partner-church pastors as well as theological resources designed to strengthen partner-church seminaries.
“The Lord blesses, and I’m confident that He will work our gifts toward the National Offering for good,” writes Harrison in a letter to congregations included in the packet. “And as He does, He will prepare us all to go forth together, confident in our bold witness to the Gospel, certain in our works of mercy, and joyful in our life together.
“Truly, we are ‘Baptized for This Moment!’ ”
For more information about the 2013 LCMS National Offering, visit lcms.org/nationaloffering.