Mission Support Update

 

We recently received a letter from the North/West Lower Michigan Synod sharing with CLC that we are one of the top ten tithers to them, and our mission and ministry touches so many lives.  Reverend David Sprang quoted from the hymn We Plow the Fields and Scatter the following lines: "All good gifts around us are sent from heav'n above, We thank you Lord, we thank you Lord, for all your love.", and how thankful the North/West Lower Michigan Synod, and the ELCA are for how we help lift up the Lord and share his love.

As a congregation, we tithe some of our giving to the North/West Lower Michigan Synod, and I want to share with you what they do with our tithing with them and with the ELCA.  Together with the other churches of the North/West Lower Michigan synod, as a synod, we have pledged to send 50% of all undesignated funds that come into the synod office as mission support to the ELCA.  Those funds support all of the work we do together as the church.  The remaining 50% is used for the work of the synod.

Here is how the North/West Lower Michigan Synod used the tithing in 2020.

  • The office of the Bishop and staff support to congregations, call process, supporting and equipping leaders, ethical guidance and boundary training, support for strategic congregations, congregational sustainability, conflict management, and so much more
  • Synod Council – financial management, establishing policies and proper procedures and credentialing
  • Support and governance for Living Water – Lutheran Outdoor Ministries
  • Support and guidance for Lutheran Campus Ministries: One Community – MSU, Matrix – WMU, Immanuel on Campus – CMU
  • Providing Lutheran Disaster Response Partnership – Grants to the ELCA congregations in the 8 county area effected by the Edenville dam breach and flood
  • Communications and public relations resources
  • Training for congregations in vitality, evangelism, stewardship, and visioning
  • Planning and support of new ministries, and engagement and re-engagement in community
  • COVID-19 response grants from the ELCA – 24 congregations have received funds to continue or increase feeding and housing outreach during the pandemic – reaching about 2,000 people per week
  • COVID-19 education grants – 7 congregations have received grants to assist their local school systems with the challenges of the pandemic
  • Outreach grants for new mission ideas
  • And so much more

 

How the ELCA uses the churchwide offering

32.8% Coordination and support of ministries

  • Coordinating relationships and activities between synods and churchwide ministries
  • Providing communications and technological support to ministries across the church
  • Supporting mission through research of attitudes, practices, and trends
  • Planning and evaluating the work of the ELCA locally, nationally, and globally
  • Providing administrative and organizational services for God’s work, including maintaining the list of more than 15,000 rostered leaders

31.3% Supporting congregations and evangelical outreach

  • Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in communities across the country
  • Nurturing faith communities through word and sacrament to witness God’s grace
  • Recognizing and promoting the gift of diversity

17.6% Bringing forth and supporting leaders

  • Expanding youth and young adult ministries
  • Preparing, recruiting, and supporting church leaders
  • Supporting educational and teaching networks
  • Encouraging the ministry of the baptized in the church and world
  • Supporting retired church leaders

Global and ecumenical relationships

  • Assisting global companions in building their capacity for mission and ministry in over 90 countries
  • Developing and nurturing inter-Lutheran and full communion relationships
  • Relating to other communities of faith

Stewardship and mission funding

  • Thanking, informing, teaching, inspiring, and inviting people to be good stewards
  • Interpreting the ELCA mission and budget
  • Developing financial resources to fund God’s work

Stepping forward as a church serving others

  • Supporting the response to poverty, hunger, violence, disease, and disaster
  • Serving creation and humanity through study and deliberation on current issues
  • Developing and supporting leaders who engage economic and social issues
  • Serving in response to God’s love through social ministry organizations

Governance

  • Making decisions through governance procedures including the ELCA Church Council, ELCA Churchwide Assembly, and Conferences of Bishops

I am writing this branch article because I want to share with you a letter we received from the North/West Lower Michigan Synod – ELCA.

Jennifer Buddemeier

 

 

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