Update: After this story was published, Reporter received word that God’s people have responded joyfully and generously to the match on unrestricted (Together As Synod) gifts, fully claiming the $25,000 in available matching dollars. Thanks be to God! As of this update, the opportunities to support National Mission and the Joint Seminary fund are still available, as are opportunities for current contributors to have gifts matched when directed to the Global Seminary Initiative or the general work of the Office of International Mission, described below.
At the May meeting of the LCMS Board of Directors, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison reflected on the budgetary uncertainty of the last fiscal year — an uncertainty that, in spite of COVID-19, God turned into blessing.
“It’s been an amazing year,” Harrison said. “We didn’t know how things would turn out, so we sent a letter to thousands [of contributors] telling them about the challenge.
“Well, [people] kicked in in a big way, and the work of the church marched on. It’s one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen. It’s been a humbling moment for me.”
In an effort to sustain the positive momentum, the LCMS is promoting a number of special gift-matching opportunities. Dollar-for-dollar matches are available to any first-time individual or organization that does not have a prior history of giving to the LCMS. Up to $25,000 in gifts will be matched if supplied before Dec. 1 in each of the following categories:
- “Together as Synod” (unrestricted support) — fully subscribed! (See update at the top of this story.)
- General support for National Mission work
- The LCMS Joint Seminary Fund
A “Together as Synod” gift flows immediately to where the mission opportunity or financial pressures are greatest when a gift is given. A gift to the Office of National Mission (ONM) supports the work of the ONM and its 21 ministry areas where that support is needed most at the time it is received. A gift to the Joint Seminary Fund supplements worship offerings to support the two LCMS seminaries as they prepare pastors and other church workers for service in and to the Synod.
Mark Hofman, executive director of LCMS Mission Advancement, explained that the purpose behind each of these three new gift-match opportunities is to inspire more people to personally connect with Gospel-proclamation work in the church and around the world. “We constantly give thanks to God for those who have already made the LCMS a part of their personal stewardship, pray for those who may do so in the future, and marvel at the raw capacity each of God’s disciples brings to the work of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for broken, sinful people.”
In addition to the first-time gift matches, two additional gift-match opportunities are open to all, both first-time contributors and those who already have a record of giving:
- Gifts in support of the Global Seminary Initiative are being matched dollar for dollar until Nov. 30 or the available $175,000 is fully matched, whichever comes first.
- Contributions to support the work of the Office of International Mission (OIM) will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $240,000. There is no deadline on this opportunity, and the donation cannot be restricted to more specific work or positions within the OIM.
A congregational bulletin insert about the gift-matching opportunities is available here.
For the most current information about matching gift opportunities, visit lcms.org/make-a-gift/matching-gifts.
Posted Sept. 2, 2021/Updated Sept. 3, 2021