The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), recently announced the launch of the 1 John 3 Initiative Million Dollar Life Match, a new grant program that will provide up to $1 million in matching funds to LCMS congregations involved in upholding the sanctity of life in their local communities.
The program is specifically aimed at providing care for those facing beginning-of-life challenges. The amount of an individual grant will depend on the amount pledged by the congregation. More details about the application process will be announced in early 2022.
Deaconess Tiffany Manor, director of LCMS Life Ministry, said, “The purpose of the Million Dollar Life Match is to build and expand the network of LCMS congregations and individuals who are working to support those who uphold life in their immediate vicinity — for example, a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) that cares for needy families or a mercy organization that supports single parents or unwed mothers.
“The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod wants to help congregations support RSOs and other groups that are doing the hands-on work of defending life at the local level. And ultimately, we want to point people toward what is most needful: the life-giving nourishment of Word and Sacrament ministry.”
The theme for the Million Dollar Life Match is from 1 John 3: “Christ laid down His life for us. We love in deed and truth.” The theme reflects the initiative’s commitment to helping LCMS individuals and congregations have a greater impact on the cause of life as they walk with, strengthen and support local families.
Harrison recently interviewed Manor for the Synod’s “Life Together” News Digest, which is released monthly by the LCMS president’s office. In the interview, Manor emphasized LCMS Life Ministry’s ongoing commitment to facilitating greater collaboration and mutual learning between those in the Synod who want to support the sanctity of life.
“We have thousands of people in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod who are passionate about and engaged in life ministry,” Manor said, highlighting the LCMS Office of National Mission’s (ONM) new volunteer website. Life Ministry is one of several ONM ministries that are using the new website to help volunteers stay informed about opportunities to serve. “We’re going to continue to help connect people to one another,” Manor said.
Harrison noted that the LCMS — along with other churches and organizations that advocate for life — is often accused of caring for life only in the womb and not beyond. “That’s just false, isn’t it?” Harrison asked.
“It is,” Manor said. “The church, throughout the ages, has cared for women, their children [and] families. … We are continually walking with people who are facing difficult family situations, with women who have life occurrences while they’re pregnant that cause them to be frightened. We’re here to walk with them as they’re pregnant, when the babies are born and afterwards.”
Posted Dec. 13, 2021