Under the theme "Always being made new," the ELCA celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2013. As part of that celebration, the ELCA Church Council endorsed at its Nov. 9-11 meeting in Chicago the concept of a comprehensive campaign.
Such an anniversary campaign could raise money over the next five years for ELCAchurchwide ministries, perhaps $65 million, over and above the current $120 million funding goal for that period.
Mission Advancement executive director Christina Jackson-Skelton said going beyond current income goals would help the ELCA start a record number of congregations, train more leaders, break systems that foster hunger and poverty, and create new opportunities for people to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. The campaign proposal "received overwhelming support" from the Conference of Bishops, she said.
"While I like the campaign and the challenge of it," council member Stephen R. Herr of Gettysburg, Pa., said, "I'm struggling with seeing this along with declining mission support dollars."
Gerald Mansholt, bishop of the Central States Synod, responded: "Funding patterns in the church are in enormous change. We need to look at various resources [and] this is one of the ways that can happen."
The council authorized continued development and finalization of a campaign subject to approval at its spring 2013 meeting and the 2013 Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh.
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