Frequently Asked Questions

The following are commonly asked questions about our work. If you have a question and do not see it addressed here, you can email us.

What is changing?

Before 2013, the international and domestic disaster response work of the ELCA was known as ELCA Disaster Response. The ELCA was engaged in a cooperative domestic disaster ministry with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and this joint ministry was known as Lutheran Disaster Response. When The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod decided to end its participation in this work, Lutheran Disaster Response became a ministry solely of the ELCA. Because of this change, all of the ELCA’s disaster work, both in the United States and around the world, will now be known as Lutheran Disaster Response.

Why make this change?
  1. The work of our church’s international and domestic disaster response takes place in different areas of the world, but there are many similarities. Having one name for this ministry is the best way to help members of the ELCA connect with the disaster work of our church.
  2. This change will reduce any possible confusion among ELCA members and others interested in the ELCA’s disaster work.
Does this change affect the way Lutheran Disaster Response does its work?

No! We are just including the ELCA’s international disaster work under this name. The disaster work done in the United States and internationally will continue as it has in the past. There will be no changes in the way we work cooperatively with and through our international church companions, agencies and other partners across the United States and overseas. We will continue our work with social ministry organizations and The Lutheran World Federation and will still be a member of the ACT Alliance. The values, integrity and trustworthiness of the Lutheran Disaster Response program will remain.

What about ELCA Disaster Response?

The name ELCA Disaster Response formerly referred to the disaster work of the ELCA, both internationally and in the United States. Now that The Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod has ended its participation in Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA Disaster Response has become Lutheran Disaster Response.

Will this affect donations?

No, the only difference will be the name. General gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response will support work in the United States and around the world. Donors who wish to designate their gifts solely toward U.S. or international work can do so. Donors are advised to simply note that their gifts are for Lutheran Disaster Response, U.S. or international by including that information on the memo line of checks, for example. Please note that donations will still be accepted for specific disasters. Gifts intended for specific disasters, for example gifts designated for “Haiti earthquake relief,” will be honored.

In general, the ELCA understands that bequests for the benefit of Lutheran Disaster Response that were established before Jan. 1, 2013, will be focused on work in the United States. It is suggested that those who wish future gifts to focus on work only in the United States include the language “Lutheran Disaster Response, U.S.” in any future addendums. For more information or questions about giving, please call 800-638-3522 or visit

What about old Lutheran Disaster Response resources and shirts?

With this change, there are new Lutheran Disaster Response resources that show the connection between the ELCA and Lutheran Disaster Response. These standards will include a new logo. While you do not need to get rid of your existing shirts, the preference would be that you use the new resources that feature the new design.

Where are resources about the brand, and how do I order a new shirt?

Please visit our resource page to help you promote Lutheran Disaster Response.