Delegates want annual report of 'Fan Into Flame' funds

HOUSTON — Delegates to the 63rd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod July 17 adopted a resolution that requires a “detailed annual report” of funds contributed to Fan Into Flame — the campaign to raise $100 million to support the worldwide evangelism effort known as Ablaze!

The report is to be prepared by the Synod’s Board for Mission Services, which is responsible for gathering and disbursing the funds.

Prior to the presentation of the resolution, the board’s executive director, Dr. Robert Roegner, and LCMS First Vice President William Diekelman reported to the convention about Fan Into Flame, which runs through 2010.

Roegner said $1.75 million of the campaign’s funds already have been distributed to participating districts for projects like church planting, outreach to Hispanic people, and “revitalization” of congregations. Districts and congregations that raise funds for the effort receive 15 percent of those funds back, to be used for local Ablaze!-related outreach projects.

In addition to district and congregational outreach, funds received for the campaign will be used to train missionaries for North America and to increase the number of missionaries serving overseas; “revitalize” existing congregations to become more outreach-focused; establish new overseas ministries, leadership training centers, schools, and seminaries; and seed an Ablaze! mission fund, which will provide money for urgent mission opportunities and emergency needs.

One missionary already has been placed with Fan Into Flame funding, according to Roegner. That missionary is Rev. Stephen Wiggins Sr., who serves an urban ministry in Atlanta.

Diekelman, spokesman for the campaign, said organizers set a goal to raise $20 million by the time of the convention, being held here July 14-19. Fan Into Flame now has more than $23 million in pledges, he said, and “we’re just beginning.”

Diekelman encouraged convention-goers to join the effort by:

  • helping to “ignite” their congregations “with a vision for Ablaze!” and praying for the effort,

  • supporting Fan Into Flame with a financial gift or pledge,

  • being ready to help their districts when they launch their own Fan Into Flame campaigns, and

  • encouraging their congregations to get involved in Fan Into Flame.

The LCMS triennial convention is meeting under the theme “One Message — Christ!  His Love is Here for You!”

Posted July 17, 2007

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