9/4/2014 2:00:00 PM
CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is celebrating the first six months of its five-year, comprehensive campaign, Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA, with nearly $25 million raised. The amount as of July 31, 2014, includes $12.6 million for the ELCA Malaria Campaign, which is part of The Campaign for the ELCA, and represents approximately 12 percent of the campaign's total goal of $198 million by Jan. 31, 2019. Approved by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the campaign seeks to raise funds to sustain and grow the ministries of the ELCA.
"People are responding to the call to give generously; they want this church and campaign to succeed," said the Rev. Ron Glusenkamp, director for the campaign. Glusenkamp joined the campaign team in mid-June. Prior to this role, he was senior pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. "We're hearing from individuals, families and congregations who want to do more, together, in Jesus' name."
Making up $12.6 million of the current campaign gifts is support for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Initiated by the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the ELCA Malaria Campaign seeks to raise $15 million by the end of 2015. Through the campaign, ELCA members have joined with companion Lutheran churches and partners in 13 African countries to prevent and treat malaria, educate communities about the disease and more.
"Lutherans from across the ELCA have already demonstrated great generosity through their support of programs working to make malaria history. I know as we all come together around The Campaign for the ELCA, members and congregations will continue that spirit of generosity through their support of other ELCA ministries," said Jessica Nipp Hacker, ELCA Malaria Campaign coordinator. "Through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, we have seen the impact we can make in the world when we work together."
In addition to the nearly $25 million in current gifts for The Campaign for the ELCA, another $4.8 million is pledged in commitments toward the campaign's goal of $198 million. With an added $1.9 million in planned gifts, $31.5 million has been committed toward campaign priorities.
"One of my favorite pieces of scripture, in all four gospels, is the story of the five loaves and two fish. Jesus receives the offering of the young boy, which the disciples question the value of, and blessed it, broke it and shared it, so that all were fed. The same is true for the campaign; Jesus is blessing what is given. With God's help, we will grow and go in our ability to meet our ministry goals," said Glusenkamp.
Through several featured priorities, The Campaign for the ELCA seeks to:
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.
*Alix Matze is marketing communications manager for The Campaign of the ELCA.