‘We must do well to do good,’ Thrivent chairman tells convention

ST. LOUIS — Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a Minneapolis-based financial services organization, is financially sound, protecting members, managing expenses and recruiting quality employees, said John O. Gilbert, Thrivent board chairman, in a brief address to the 62nd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod July 13.

 

Thrivent values the ministry of the LCMS, and the working relationship it has with the LCMS and its president, Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, Gilbert said.  The company, which serves 3-million members — mostly Lutherans — has been concentrating on the theme, “we must do well to do good,” in its work, Gilbert said.

 

“In other words, the better we do financially, the more good we are able to provide others,” he said. Nearly all the company’s financial numbers are higher than one year ago, he said.  In 2003, Thrivent provided Lutherans with an additional $2.5 billion in life insurance, and the company paid nearly $1 billion in death benefits, he said.

 

Research about Thrivent members revealed they have a common set of values, Gilbert said.  They are dedicated to faith, to family, to a life of service and to financial discipline, he said.

 

“We believe we have a responsibility to provide for those values, to use them as a guide in the plans we make and the benefits we provide,” Gilbert said.

 

For example, he cited a project of nine local volunteer chapters here.  The chapters organized a wheelchair collection drive.  In the end, the chapters collected 335 items including used wheelchairs, walkers, canes and crutches, plus about $29,000 in donations, Gilbert said.

 

The values shared by Thrivent members “are due in part to the leadership of the church,” he said, adding that the church’s leadership “has helped create a church body focused on one mission seeking the lost for Christ.”

 

Posted July 13, 2004

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