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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Economy affects global mission

Impacted by decreasing mission support and overall ELCA churchwide budget reductions, ELCA Global Mission reduced its budget by $3.6 million (11.4 percent).

That figure reflects a $1.3 million decrease in mission support allocated to Global Mission, as well as a $2.3 million decrease in World Hunger Appeal funds allocated to the unit.

In an April 3 newsletter to mission personnel and others, Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director of Global Mission, regretted the impact the cuts would have “on our ecumenical and interfaith partners, and on Lutheran World Relief, the ELCA’s common ministry with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.” He said the cuts would also “hit hard companion churches and the Lutheran World Federation at a time when they, too, have to deal with ... the worldwide financial crisis [and an additional] 46 million people falling into poverty.”

As a result, eight fewer ELCA missionaries will be deployed in 2009 (but no recalls) and companion church leaders will receive fewer ELCA-funded scholarships and no sabbatical assistance. Grants to partners were reduced by $830,000 for LWR, $525,000 for key ministries of companion churches, and more than $350,000 for the LWF.

Malpica Padilla asked mission personnel to help in thanking ELCA members and congregations for “continued faithful giving in these difficult times, and to encourage them to give generously to increase both mission support and ELCA World Hunger income, so that the ELCA can continue the strong global engagement to which it is called.”


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