From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutherans Strive to Raise $1.75 million for 'Vision for Mission'

Date Thu, 29 Apr 2004 11:14:05 -0500


April 29, 2004

Lutherans Strive to Raise $1.75 million for 'Vision for Mission'

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America (ELCA) will strive to raise $1.75 million this year
for "Vision for Mission," a special offering designated to
support the church's domestic and global ministries.
     "Vision for Mission offers an annual opportunity for members
of the church to give above and beyond their regular mission
support through their congregations," said Nancy Snell, director
for stewardship and mission giving, ELCA Division for
Congregational Ministries.  "It sustains all churchwide
ministries," such as starting new congregations across the
country and supporting mission personnel overseas, she said.
     May 16 has been designated "Vision for Mission Sunday," said
Snell.	On that day, or any other time of the year, congregations
will take a special offering, she said.  To help prepare,
congregations received offering materials including bulletin
inserts, envelopes, posters, a "pastor packet" and information
sheets about some of the ELCA's stewardship and outreach efforts.
     In 2002 total "member giving" was about $2.5 billion, up 1.7
percent from 2001, Snell said.	But "regular mission support,"
money passed from congregations through the 65 synods of the
church to the churchwide organization, decreased by 1.7 percent
last year, she said.
     To help draw attention to mission support, Vision for
Mission and its income goal of $1.75 million, the ELCA's magazine
-- The Lutheran -- has devoted its entire May 2004 issue to
giving and its impact on churchwide ministry.
     "It is important to give thanks to our members for their
generosity and to tell stories of churchwide ministries," what
they are and their impact on people's lives, said Snell.   She
said a goal of stewardship and magazine staff "is to get The
Lutheran magazine in the hands of all active members of the
church, so that they can learn both how the ELCA engages in
mission and ministry and how the magazine works to connect
individual members with the church at large."
     In a letter to congregations, the Rev. Mark S. Hanson,
presiding bishop of the ELCA, said "a generous contribution" to
the ELCA Vision for Mission annual offering enables members to
affirm their "commitment to being part of a church that, by the
grace of God, is claimed, gathered and sent for the sake of the
     Established by the 1993 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Vision for
Mission allows for direct support from individual members and
congregations of the ELCA through gifts used for current
operations or for an endowment.  More than $1 million was
collected for Vision for Mission in 2003.
     An endowment of about $4.6 million for the Herbert W.
Chilstrom Vision for Mission Endowment Fund is maintained by the
ELCA Foundation.  The endowment provides financial support for
the development of new congregations in the United States in
partnership with the ELCA Division for Outreach, supports
worldwide ministries with the ELCA Division for Global Mission
and develops evangelism resources through the ELCA Division for
Congregational Ministries.  Chilstrom was elected first presiding
bishop of the ELCA in 1987 and re-elected in 1991; he retired in
_ _ _
     Information about the annual Vision for Mission offering is
available at on
the Internet.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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