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ELCA’s comprehensive campaign celebrates first year with nearly $45 million raised

3/18/2015 1:00:00 PM

            CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) first comprehensive campaign, Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA, is celebrating the completion of its first year with nearly $45 million raised, representing 23 percent of the five-year, $198 million Jan. 31, 2019, goal. In addition, the campaign has received another $3.4 million in current gift commitments and $10.8 million in planned gifts commitments to the priorities of the campaign.
            "In the first year of our first-ever comprehensive campaign, we achieved more than 23 percent of our goal. We are actually slightly ahead of our goal," said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop. "This points to the abundance of God, the generosity of our people and the hard work of our campaign staff. I am excited and encouraged."
            Officially launched Feb. 1, 2014, the five-year campaign seeks to raise $198 million to help sustain and grow the ministries of this church through four priorities – Congregations, Hunger and Poverty, Leadership, and Global 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.

First-year gifts to the campaign already are making an impact throughout our church:

  • In addition to placing 21 percent more volunteers this year than last, ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission launched a new country program in Rwanda this past fall and will launch the Cambodia program in August.
  • Twenty new-start ministries were approved to start already in 2015 with a goal of 50 additional proposals for the remainder of this year.
  • The ELCA Malaria Campaign is nearing its financial goal of $15 million and the program is active in 13 countries.
  • The first class of International Leaders – Women will be starting at six ELCA colleges, universities and seminaries this fall.

            "We're off to a great start because of our donors. It is wonderful what we have accomplished together as church this first year of the campaign; people are responding very generously," said the Rev. Ron Glusenkamp, director for the campaign. "As we enter the second year of this five-year campaign, we give thanks to God for the excellent foundation of gifts already given and look forward to increasing those gifts so we are able to do more together in Christ's name."
            In its second year, the campaign is focused on the Congregations priority, including ELCA New Congregations, Renewing Congregations and Disability Ministries. This priority gives ELCA members and supporters the opportunity to share the love of Jesus far and wide by starting more congregations, discovering innovative ways to grow and renew our existing communities of faith, and expanding our ministries with people living with disabilities.
            "As Bishop Eaton says, 'At the heart of what we do together as church is worship. And at the heart of our worship is the crucified, risen Christ.' So this year, as we focus on working with congregations — both new and renewing — and people living with disabilities, we are raising awareness and funds to not only grow in our life of word and sacraments but to be spiritually renewed, together," said Glusenkamp.
            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 congregations
  • 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

    Information about The Campaign for the ELCA is available at 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 3.8 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.

For information contact:

Melissa Ramirez Cooper
Associate Director, Publications and Public Relations
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@elca.org
ELCA News: www.ELCA.org/news
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Living Lutheran: www.livinglutheran.com

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