An ELCA pastor is spearheading the establishment of the Lutheran World Federation Foundation, designed to provide a financial basis for carrying out the LWF's core functions.Eugene Ries, former head of the federation's Department for World Service and now retired and living in Switzerland, says the foundation is needed to ensure that the LWF's organization and central activities can be carried on without disruption. In recent years the LWF has faced financial squeezes because of reduced giving by member churches to the federation and by fluctuations of the world's currencies and economies. The need is especially great because much of the LWF's administrative task is dealing with long-term commitments to projects and needs.
Adopted by the LWF Council in June, the initial goal is to raise $10 million for the foundation by 2002, with an eventual goal of $50 million.
When visiting the ELCA churchwide offices in Chicago, Ries was delighted to learn about a $213,000 gift that had been received by the ELCA Foundation from an ELCA member for the support of the LWF. The gift will be one of the initial contributions to the LWF Foundation.
After his visits to LWF churches in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany and the United States, Ries was heartened that the initial goal could be met.
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