Dear People of the Greater Milwaukee Synod:
Resolution 2 from our Synod Assembly states that
“Resolved, that the Synod Council be directed to develop a policy and procedure to handle the proceeds from the sale of property that will identify
- How to receive and hold these monies
- How to discern, evaluate and select new, creative ministry opportunities that may be funded from these monies in order to bless and grow God’s Church in bold ways…”
While this will set forth a synod policy on future monies which would come to the synod after a sale of church property, it does not affect the plans already underway to utilize the monies from the sale of two congregations: Good Shepherd Lutheran and St. Andrews Lutheran, both in Waukesha.
First, the monies from St. Andrews have already been designated. Part of it was used to pay off the mission investment fund mortgage on the Good Shepherd property. Much of the remaining money has been earmarked as a loan ($150,000) to SpiritAlive! in Kenosha contingent on their ability to purchase a piece of property for a church building. They have been looking at that property over a number of years. The time and the price seemed right to act. Thus, at the May Synod Council meeting, the $150,000 was approved.
Second, after settlement of the debt related to Good Shepherd, Waukesha, there remains approximately $430,000 for the purpose of ministry. Before Christmas, I suggested to our Synod Council that we establish a task force to look at various proposals from throughout the synod, proposals that could truly make a difference in the future of ministry. The goal, instead of plugging $10,000 holes, is to make one or more significant grants.
I have appointed a task force of eight individuals to examine various proposals from all over the synod. The task force will include three representatives from Waukesha (because both of the churches were located in Waukesha) so Waukesha will have a strong voice, but not an exclusive voice, in looking at the proposals. Ultimately, the task force will make a recommendation to our Synod Council on how the money should be disbursed.
Hopefully the work of the task force will provide valuable information in helping shape the overall synod policy on distribution of funds dictated by resolution 2.
Therefore, between now and September 15th, we welcome proposals from throughout the synod to be offered. One of the first priorities of the task force will be to offer guidelines for assembling the proposals, but you can begin to imagine creative ideas immediately.
This can be a very exciting time for our synod. Blessings on your work.