5/1/2014 11:00:00 AM
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Ronald T. Glusenkamp will become director of Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) effective June 16. Glusenkamp is senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Approved by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August and officially launched Feb. 1, 2014, the five-year campaign seeks to raise $198 million in designated funding for new and expanded churchwide ministries.
"The world needs this church to do more," said Glusenkamp. "Always Being Made New is a great way to help people and change lives. It is a historic moment for this church, and now is the time for us to work together, help grow congregations, develop leaders, respond to malaria and world hunger and support the global church all in the name of Jesus Christ."
For the past eight years, Glusenkamp has served as senior pastor of Bethany, the largest congregation in the ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod. Prior to his current call, he was vice president of customer outreach at the ELCA Board of Pensions (now Portico Benefit Services in Minneapolis) from 1999 to 2005. Glusenkamp was pastor at three ELCA congregations – Gethsemane Lutheran Church in St. Louis; Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Mo.; and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kan. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the former Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Ind., and a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from the former Christ Seminary-Seminex in St. Louis. He was ordained in 1981.
Glusenkamp is married to Sue Ann Glusenkamp, a clinical nurse educator at Porter Hospital in Denver, and together they have three adult children.
"Ron brings tremendous creativity, passion and experience to this effort that we are embarking on as a church, together. His experience in working across the ELCA with members, congregations and synods will assist us in having greater engagement and impact so that more people know and experience the love of God in Christ Jesus. I give thanks that Ron has said yes to this new and exciting call to serve the church," said Christina Jackson-Skelton, executive director of ELCA Mission Advancement.
"I see this campaign as a wonderful opportunity for this church," said Glusenkamp, adding that he anticipates that the campaign will draw the 4 million-member ELCA "closer together in working through our various ministries to change lives."
"I feel called to this position. I look forward to engaging with others in how they might engage in responding to Jesus' call. Our baptismal identity calls us to be claimed, gathered and sent into the world. The (campaign) is a great way to do so much more together for the sake of the world in Jesus' name."
Through several featured priorities, The Campaign for the ELCA seeks to:
+ Increase this church's capacity to support congregational renewal and the planting of new
+ Form and support new lay, ordained and global leaders for mission
+ Encourage and form lay youth and young adult leaders
+ Support this church's disability ministry
+ Bolster our commitment to walk with global companion churches in shared witness
+ Expand our efforts to address poverty and hunger
At the time of launch, total current gifts and commitments exceeded $16 million toward the campaign's goal of $198 million. With the addition of $5 million in planned gifts, more than $21.2 million was committed toward campaign priorities. The ELCA Malaria Campaign, which has garnered $11 million in current gifts to date, is now part of the comprehensive campaign. The campaign also includes the implementation and integration of churchwide assembly actions related to youth and young adults and disability ministries.
Information about Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA is available at http://www.ELCA.org/campaign.
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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 about 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.