Tornadoes damage two Illinois churches, members’ homes

Comments (5)
  1. Rev. Dr. Dennis P. Brostrom says:

    If money is sent in, will it go specifically to these two damaged IL congregations or be placed in a general fund from which financial help will then be sent?

    1. Rev. William Engfehr says:

      For your information–St. John’s Lutheran Church, New Minden, IL, (mailing address Nashville, IL) has established two funds for tornado relief. One is for repairs to the church and the other for assisting the 13 families in the community whose homes were destroyed. Gifts may be designated for either or both purposes and will be used entirely for the purposes designated by the donor. –Rev. Bill Engfehr, Southern Illinois District Disaster Response Coordinator

    2. Rev. Ron says:

      We should be willing to help anyone and everyone, not be stingy with our donations and only want them to help certain people.

  2. Mark Hofman says:

    At this early stage, LCMS Disaster Response, is still waiting for the initial assessment of needs to be done by the local congregations in conjunction with their district disaster coordinators. Once an understanding of the specific challenges is clear, the congregations and districts will be in a position to submit grant requests for financial help from LCMS Disaster Response.

    Folks can certainly reach out directly to these congregations and offer financial help. The congregations receiving those donations will be accountable for any assistance they receive direclty from other congregations and donors, including providing appropriate receipts. We won’t be aware of that kind of help.

    It may help to peek behind the curtain about how all of this fits together.

    Money sent to the LCMS for Tornado Relief Fund will be drawn out based on the priorities determined locally by the affected congregations, in consultation with the district disaster coordinators and contingent on how much financial help the LCMS is in a postion to supply.

    Money sent to the General Disaster Fund could be drawn for tornado damage or to help in the Philippines (at this point in time), depending on where the demonstrated need is greatest. But funds are always used at the request of the local congregation or, in the case of the Philippines, the local partner church as they consult with our disaster response team.

    A grant request process is used, which also equips the LCMS to be accountable back to donors for where funds went and what they were spent on.

    When a request for assistance is received by LCMS Disaster response, we will first look to see how much money is available in the tornado relief fund. As of Monday, the balance in that account was very low because of prior grants and commitments made following the Moore, OK tornado, several storms in Texas and other parts of Oklahoma, and even long-term recovery for tornadoes in other parts of the country. Whatever money is available in the Tornado Relief account would then be drawn in an attempt to meet the request.

    If there isn’t enough money in the Tornado Relief Fund to meet a specific request, we would look to the General Disaster Fund’s balance.

    It there isn’t enough in the General Disaster Fund balance, and the request is determined to be significant enough to fund anyway, we would then look to Mercy/Human Care accounts that are not tightly restricted, then to the Global Mission Fund, then ultimately to the Unrestricted Fund of Synod.

    All that said, the local congregation or partner church is in the best position to know what their needs are for external financial assistance. Using the gifts and offerings people supply, our approach is to support those needs to the best of our ability using the financial resources we have on hand. We firmly believe that many hands make the work light. As a Synod, we accomplish more – and have a greater impact – when we combine resources than any of us can if each of us does our own thing.

    If you would like to discuss this futher, please call our donor care line: 888-930-4438.

    Mark Hofman, Executive Director
    Mission Advancement

  3. Lyn Sorenson says:

    We are a small Lutheran Montessori program at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ashland, Ohio. We could help with items relating to families with small children or damaged child care centers, preschool or Sunday School rooms. We are willing to share and reach out to friends to help provide. When you are aware of needs mentioned please feel free to share them with us, and we will do our best to get what is needed.
    Lyn Sorenson
    Montessori Good Shepherd