1/31/2014 12:00:00 AM
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) seek to grow the life-changing, life-sustaining ministries of this church, they can do so through “Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA.” The five-year comprehensive campaign is the first ever for the ELCA.
A goal of the campaign, overwhelmingly approved by the voting members of the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, is to raise $198 million to help sustain and grow the ministries of this church. The additional resources will provide the ELCA with opportunities to deepen relationships and expand ministries that serve communities in the United States and around the world.
“Our lives are changed by our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And because of that relationship with God, who knows and loves us, we are freed to make a difference,” said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop.
“Through this campaign, ELCA members have the opportunity to share God’s love in meaningful and life-changing ways,” said Eaton. “Together we can save a child’s life, identify and prepare leaders in our church and among our global companions, start or renew congregations, and help people and communities break the cycle of hunger and poverty. That’s what this campaign can do. That’s what we can do. And, we get to do this in Jesus’ name.”
Approved during the ELCA’s 25th anniversary year, the campaign goal of nearly $200 million represents a significant increase in designated funding for existing and new ministry initiatives. Through several priorities, the campaign seeks to:
+ Renew and begin new congregations
+ End hunger and overcome malaria
+ Identify and train new leaders and engage young people in the life of this church
+ Expand the ELCA’s disability ministries
+ Grow this church’s capacity to serve globally, support ELCA missionaries and women leaders among global companion churches
In their action at the 2013 Churchwide Assembly, voting members thanked the 4-million-member ELCA for their ongoing stewardship and generosity through regular offerings and invited every one of the ELCA’s nearly 10,000 congregations, 65 synods, related ministries and the individual members to make a contribution toward the campaign. Gifts may be designated for specific campaign priorities or given to the campaign to be applied where the need is greatest.
“The Campaign for the ELCA offers a God-given opportunity to expand this church’s vision,” said Loren Anderson, an ELCA member in Minneapolis who, along with his wife, MaryAnn Waalen Anderson, co-chairs the campaign’s steering committee. “We feel called to serve in a leadership role for this campaign because of the tremendous moment it offers all of us in this church, reflecting on the abundance in our lives and helping to make an impact in this world.”
“This campaign gives us all the chance to reach out locally and globally in new ways that will make a difference not only today but well into the future,” said MaryAnn Anderson.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with almost 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God's work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.