The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Giving and forgiving

Synods help indebted congregations expand their missions

Like many small countries in the developing world, Church of the Holy Redeemer, Brooklyn, found itself year after year buried in debt. Last year's $250,000 credit load required so much of the budget that parishioners could neither pay it down nor find money to expand its evangelism and ministries.

"Psychologically that put some kind of pressure on us," says Stephen Marsh, the congregation's pastor since 1993. "Instead of being able to concentrate on the next 30 years, we had to concentrate on the past 30 years."

But this year Holy Redeemer has a good chance of being debt-free. It is one of three targeted by Proclaim Jubilee, the Metropolitan New York Synod's effort to erase a total of $700,000 in debt from three inner-city congregations.

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