January 29, 2014

Consider Your Congregation’s Mission Support

 

Gifts through Mission Support are a primary way that congregations live into their interdependence with the Synod and the ELCA.

Congregations are encouraged to prayerfully consider their Mission Support response and to use the form posted online to indicate their 2014 intent to the Synod Office as soon as possible.

 

The following letter was sent to congregation leaders along with the intent form by Rev. Larry V. Smoose, chair of Synod stewardship:

November, 2013

As a stewardship consultant for more than two decades, I love to share the basics of stewardship.  In parish ministry there were three words that I used to teach new members about stewardship:

Thankful                  Proportional                  Intentional

Stewardship at its core begins with an attitude of gratitude for the blessings God has abundantly provided for us.

OfferingGoesOf course we know that God expects us to share a portion of what we receive to be given away for God’s work.  Since we all have a variety of financial resources, the amount we share is expected to be proportional.  Biblically, the tithe – 10% – was a good starting point.  And finally, we are to beintentional about our giving – making it part of our budget and our regular routine.

I know you teach those same principles to the members of your congregation.

In the same way, our congregations also model these principles.

In this way, our members can see that we practice what we preach, as members and as a congregation. This has been the stewardship legacy of the church for over 2,000 years.  As St. Paul said to the church in Corinth, “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.”  That is really faith in action.

The “Congregational Intent” form we have posted online helps our Synod anticipate how much it will receive for its mission and ministry in the coming year.  This intent also helps your congregation discern and consider how you will model good stewardship and set aside a proportional amount for the work of the larger church. It’s a way of displaying faith that you will have enough and more to share.

Please take some time at your next council meeting, or as you work on your own congregational budget, to determine what proportion you will share with our Synod for our mission and ministry.

ELCAgivingRemember, the Synod shares 50% of the gifts you give for the work of the ELCA.  When you send partnership support to the SEPA Synod you are also blessing our local, national and global work in ways no congregation or synod could do alone.

I’ll be looking forward to your response and to receiving your congregational intent form for 2014 over the next few weeks.

I am grateful for your partnership,
Larry V. Smoose,
Chair, Synod Stewardship

 

Updated Jan. 29, 2014