Synod worker swims lake to raise money for missions

Neither a couple of angry swans, a gaggle of geese, nor snapping turtles prevented Jeffrey A. Craig-Meyer from making good on his challenge to fellow LCMS Worswim-swan.gifld Mission employees: “Raise $20,000 for mission work by June 30 and I’ll swim the International Center lake!,” Craig-Meyer told them earlier this year.

On July 16, Craig-Meyer — wearing a flowery swim cap, a gift from coworkers — kept his promise, as Synod employees on the bank cheered him on, chanting “Go, Jeff, go!  Go, Jeff, go!”  The swim celebrated a total of $100,500 in donations from World Mission staff, missionaries worldwide, the Board for Mission Services, and the mission board’s leadership team, of which Craig-Meyer is a member.

Missions staff members contributed about $21,000 — raising some funds from a bake sale and a barbecue at the LCMS International Center headquarters in St. Louis.  Contributions from missionaries, the mission board, and the leadership team totaled about $43,000.  And a large gift — given by a donor on June 30, the last day of the challenge — pushed the total past the $100,000 mark.

The funds will be used “where needed most” to benefit the Synod’s worldwide mission effort, including thswim.gife support of missionaries, according to Craig-Meyer, associate executive director of Development Services with LCMS World Mission.

Craig-Meyer said he was happy his stunt helped “bring the organization behind a common goal,” especially because the funds will help the Synod “spread the Gospel” worldwide.

With the nation’s poor economy and other “bad news” today, “we need more feel-good kinds of things that make people laugh,” he said.  “The fun and the camaraderie, I think, is helpful.”

For links to photos, a KFUO-AM radio interview, and a video of the swim, visit on the Web.

Posted July 23, 2009

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