“THANKS” to 131 congregation of the Greater Milwaukee Synod which sent in nearly one million dollars ($999,273 to be exact) in the first half (February-July) of this year.
That enabled our synod to send nearly $550,000 (55%) to our ELCA fulfilling our Lord’s great commission to be witnesses to Him … “To the ends of the earth”.
You will read in the 2014 edition of “Stories of Faith in Action”* from Cameroon and South Africa (on pages 6-7). In addition we shared our witness “in Judea and Samaria” as we began a new ministry in Torrance, California gathering Chinese students (page 8), a food truck ministry in St. Paul, MN (page 9) and at Heart River Lutheran Church housed on the campus of North Dakota Youth Correctional Center (page 10) where half of the worshiping congregation is incarcerated.
We also witness “in Jerusalem” as over $150,000 is returned to our Greater Milwaukee synod to help twelve congregations to renew their ministry.
The other 45% or nearly $450,000 helps our GMS support Lutheran Campus Ministry at UWM and Marquette and two seminaries LSTC and Wartburg along with partnership in ecumenical endeavors with 13% of our Mission Support. The other 32% is used in caring for 131 congregations by our Synod Staff under the leadership of Bishop Jeff Barrow.
The above positive picture is due to 52 congregations which have exceeded their Mission Support commitments for the first six months ending July 31st along with 22 congregations who have fulfilled their commitments.
The picture would be even better if 27 congregations that were behind commitment by nearly $71,000 were up-to-date. The picture would be “out of this world” if the 30 congregations which sent “no Mission Support” with 10 making no commitment leaving 20 commitments of $60,685 unfulfilled.
We trust that the Holy Spirit will move all 131 congregations forward in August, September and October. Then we can share a brighter picture as we go into the home stretch fourth quarter in our witness of our Lord Jesus Christ and Savior. Let us reach beyond the 131 congregations of our GMS to the United States and the world.
Richard Warber, Retired Pastor
GMS Mission Support & Stewardship Committee
*contact Pastor Sandy Chrostowski, Director for Evangelical Mission to obtain the 2014 “Stories of Faith in Action” for your congregation – 414-671-1212