By Vicki Biggs
Congregations were asked to gather contributions on June 2 for the National Offering and send them with their delegates to the Synod convention, which met July 20-25 in St. Louis. The offerings were collected during opening worship July 20 and throughout the convention.
“One of the real surprises of the offering thus far is the preponderance of unrestricted and undesignated gifts, which make up the vast majority of the total,” said Mark Hofman, executive director of Mission Advancement for the LCMS. “We really didn’t expect to see that. It may indicate a growing level of confidence in the Synod’s ability to wisely utilize gifts and offerings as together we vigorously make known the love of our Savior in word and deed throughout the world.”
Gifts to the National Offering will benefit five LCMS funds that specifically support the Synod’s Witness, Mercy, Life Together work, both nationally and internationally.
The funds are:
- Together as Synod, for LCMS work where needed most.
- LCMS Global Mission, specifically supporting the work of the LCMS offices of National Mission and International Mission.
- Lutheran Malaria Initiative, to support efforts to help end malaria deaths in Africa.
- LCMS Joint Seminary Fund, benefiting Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- Global Seminary Initiative, to provide advanced theological education for divinity and deaconess students through LCMS partner churches.
Here is a breakdown of gifts to each fund through July:
- Together as Synod (unrestricted): $323,178.17
- LCMS Global Mission Fund: $60,612.32
- Lutheran Malaria Initiative: $38,956.70
- LCMS Joint Seminary Fund: $42,212.01
- Global Seminary Initiative: $19,058.01
TOTAL — $484,017.21
Contributions to the National Offering may be designated for one, some or each of the selected funds. Gifts not specifically designated must be treated as unrestricted.
For progress reports and to make a gift online, visit lcms.org/nationaloffering. Congregations and individuals may continue to offer support via the National Offering through 2015.
Vicki Biggs is director of Public Relations for the Synod.