by Ron Nelson
Fan Into Flame is different from previous Synod campaigns. The Forward in Remembrance and Alive in Christ campaigns were conducted nationally across the entire Synod. Fan Into Flame is being conducted district-by-district. Below is a summary of where participating districts are in the process.
Texas. The district has concluded its participation as a pilot district with gifts and pledges totaling more than $5.9 million. District President Ken Hennings is establishing a continuation committee, which will encourage pledge completion and work with approximately 40 congregations that still wish to participate in Fan Into Flame.
South Wisconsin. South Wisconsin was the second pilot district. More than $3.4 million has been pledged. A continuation committee has been meeting since mid-August. District leaders are aware of at least 41 congregations that still desire to participate in Fan Into Flame.
Southeastern. The district is conducting Fan Into Flame as part of its Ablaze! for God’s Mission campaign. Gifts and pledges now stand at more than $2.6 million. The total pledged by members of Mountainside Lutheran Church, Linville, N.C., exceeded $279,900—on a goal of $15,000!
New Jersey. The district is gearing up for its case-statement distribution. The district’s mission plan calls for $350,000 to support urban and Hispanic church developers; $100,000 for development of a Web-based mission leadership process; and $150,000 for congregation revitalization. Recently, more than half of the district’s congregations attended “Mission Ignition” workshops. Congregations in the pilot phase raised 163 percent of their goal.
North Dakota. The North Dakota District’s pilot phase raised 400 percent of its goal. Circuit coordinators are enlisting congregations for participation beginning now and into the winter.
Oklahoma. District activity is focused on two-dozen congregations now conducting their campaigns. Sixty congregations were represented at an Ablaze! festival. As of Sept. 1, the district had passed the 60-percent mark in its congregation-phase goal.
Atlantic. The district is just beginning its congregation appeal. One pilot has been completed and circuit coordinators have been trained and are conducting preliminary Ablaze! education in congregations.
SELC. The district is focusing on districtwide Ablaze! education, with congregations to start after Easter 2008.
English. The district is recruiting large congregations as it seeks pilot sites. Preliminary Ablaze! education is underway across the district.
California-Nevada-Hawaii, Northern Illinois, Missouri. Planning phases are underway, congregations are being recruited, staff trained and information sessions held.
Fan into Flame is the national campaign in support of the Ablaze! vision of LCMS World Mission and its partners to share the Gospel with 100 million unreached or uncommitted people globally by 2017. The campaign, approved by the 2004 LCMS convention (Res. 1–04), supports outreach activities of Ablaze! and seeks gifts of $100 million by 2010.
Fan into Flame unrestricted funds are distributed quarterly based on an Acts 1:8 model: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem … Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Of the net proceeds, distributions consist of:
• 15 percent to participating congregations;
• 15 percent to the district;
• 20 percent for national mission projects;
• 50 percent to fund LCMS World Mission global projects.