Reporting record loan approvals and earnings, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has given The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod $3.3 million as a distribution of its earnings.
“LCEF was blessed with a great year of ministry and financial operations,” said LCEF President Merle Freitag, who presented a symbolic $3.3 million check to Synod President Gerald Kieschnick Aug. 31 at the LCEF national office in St. Louis. “We reached a new level in loan approvals totaling $331 million and achieved a record bottom line. We thank God for these blessings and appreciate the opportunity to share them with our Synod and district partners.”
The LCEF earnings distribution for the 2006-07 fiscal year, which ended June 30, was more than double the typical LCEF distribution of $1.4 million. Freitag attributed the increase to higher loan approvals, more gifts and bequests, the selling of real estate, and investments in equities and fixed-income assets.
Glenn Mahnken, LCEF’s senior vice president for marketing, said, “In effect, we were blessed with double earnings, and in turn, we are doubling our earnings distribution to share those blessings with the Synod and our member districts.”
Of the total $3.3 million gift, $300,000 will benefit the Synod as unrestricted funds and $2.7 million will be divided among the LCEF’s 28 member districts. Distributions to districts are based on the size and activity of each district’s LCEF program and range from $43,000 to $231,000 per district.
The remaining $300,000 will go toward LCMS World Mission’s “Mission Planting Fund” to support the North American Ablaze! goals of starting 2,000 missions and “revitalizing” 2,000 existing congregations.
While Synod and district leaders will decide how best to use the money, Freitag said he is encouraging districts to apply the funds toward:
- Ablaze! and other mission-planting efforts;
- Consecrated Stewards training to enhance stewardship education; and
- new or existing programs to help rostered church workers who are experiencing significant financial problems.
“The ultimate goal is to celebrate what God has done — for us, through us, and to us,” Freitag said. “May God continue to bless us — not for our sake or for our needs, but so that we may be a blessing to others.”
At the check presentation, Kieschnick thanked LCEF “for this generous gift and for the many ways that LCEF supports mission and ministry throughout the Synod.”
LCEF, a not-for-profit organization, provides low-cost loans and facility-planning services to LCMS churches, schools, and rostered church workers through the investment support of LCMS congregation members.
Its mission is to “support the church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ by being a Christ-centered servant partner of the LCMS, ensuring that funds and services are available now and in the future.”
For more information about LCEF, call (800) 843-5233 or visit its Web site at www.lcef.org.
Posted Sept. 11, 2007