In 2023, God again showed his love and mercy through many of His disciples in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).
Gifts joyfully supplied by Christ’s faithful sent and sustained more than 100 missionary families serving around the world, brought relief to the suffering in the wake of wars and disasters, provided scholarships to international students at both LCMS seminaries, and provided operating support to both seminaries. Yet these examples only hint at the hundreds of Gospel-proclamation efforts made possible because God’s people chose to give.
One specific giving opportunity helps strengthen all the efforts mentioned above, and more.
Every undesignated gift to the LCMS — a “Together as Synod” gift — bolsters domestic and international efforts to give a bold witness, show mercy and live life together as children of God. Undesignated “Together as Synod” gifts are both flexible and cost-effective, supporting whatever is the greatest mission and ministry opportunity or going to address the greatest financial pressure on ministry at the time the gift is received. As 2023 draws to a close, the LCMS invites anyone whom God has put into a position to do so to consider supplying a year-end “Together as Synod” gift.
Giving at year’s end can be done a number of ways:
To qualify as a 2023 tax-deductible gift, online donations can be made with a credit card up until Dec. 31 at 11:59:59 p.m. CST. Visit lcms.org/givenow to search for and select your gift option.
The LCMS Mission Advancement Contributor Care Line will be staffed to accept credit and debit card donations by phone at 888-930-4438. Gifts can be accepted by phone until 2 p.m. CST on Dec. 29. The LCMS International Center will be closed on Dec. 30 and 31.
By text message
Make your “Together as Synod” undesignated gift using your credit card or PayPal account by texting STRONGTOGETHER to 41444. Donations by text can also be made to several restricted options as well as to individual missionaries. Call 888-930-4438 for specific keywords to use. Eligible gifts can be made through Dec. 31 at 11:59:59 p.m. CST.
Cash gifts mailed through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) must arrive with a USPS postmark of Dec. 31, 2023, or earlier on the carrier envelope. The postmark must be from the USPS.
Under strict IRS regulations, any donation not bearing a postmark or one that is postmarked on or after Jan. 1, 2024, must be treated as a 2024 (next year) tax-year gift. The date written on a personal or organizational check has no weight with the IRS in determining when a donation was made.
LCMS Mission Advancement strongly encourages anyone who plans to mail a last-minute gift to walk the envelope into the nearest post office and witness a valid 2023 postmark being applied.
Checks should be made payable to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod or “LCMS.” In the memo line, write “Together as Synod” or “Unrestricted.” If you prefer to give a designated gift for something more specific, the memo line should be used to restrict the use of your donation (e.g., Global Mission Fund, Joint Seminary Fund, name of a missionary, etc.).
Envelopes should be addressed to:
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861. Please do not send hard currency such as bills, coins or money orders through the postal system.
Via IRA-qualified charitable distributions
Those age 70-1/2 or older may be eligible to give from an Individual Retirement Account in a way that treats the donation as non-taxable income. Please contact either LCMS Mission Advancement’s Contributor Care Line (888-930-4438) or the LCMS Foundation (800-325-7912). Special instructions are needed to ensure a good giving experience, and contributors are encouraged to plan ahead.
About 2023 summary contribution statements
LCMS Mission Advancement plans to mail courtesy statements by mid-March. Statements will provide the total amount for tax-deductible contributions given in 2023. Those who want or need the total amount of their tax-deductible gifts earlier or who have questions about their 2023 summary statement can call the Contributor Care team at 888-930-4438 or send an email to email@example.com.
For those who gave multiple times during the year, a detailed gift history can be accessed online through the mylcms.org feature of the LCMS website. Call the Contributor Care team or the Church Information Center (888-843-5267) if you desire direct access to your gift history or need assistance in accessing that system.
Still have questions? Call LCMS Mission Advancement at 888-930-4438 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Nov. 28, 2023