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Status of our Synodical Work April, 2015. Our synodical work The Great Commission: Congregation’s primary focus is local; Synod’s primary focus is “all.

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Presentation on theme: "Status of our Synodical Work April, 2015. Our synodical work The Great Commission: Congregation’s primary focus is local; Synod’s primary focus is “all."— Presentation transcript:

1 Status of our Synodical Work April, 2015

2 Our synodical work The Great Commission: Congregation’s primary focus is local; Synod’s primary focus is “all nations.” We train, equip, send, and support workers in the United States and 23 other countries so far. Congregations participate through conventions, prayers, and a pledge of Congregation Mission Offerings (CMO) each year. 2

3 The significance of Congregation Mission Offerings God gives us the privilege of reaching out to the world in his name, and his Holy Spirit works generosity in our hearts so that these and other ministries can exist. Our congregational offerings are, year after year, our main source for funding the proclamation of Christ’s love to us and to all the world. 3

4 CMO in recent years The synod appreciates the Christ-compelled generosity of congregations that has kept CMO relatively stable in recent years despite declining membership and sometimes difficult economic circumstances. At the same time CMO is down compared to 2007 and millions of dollars short in economic terms (inflation has outpaced offerings). 4

5 CMO in recent years 5

6 In 2014, when the synod ministry plan called for a four percent increase over the previous year, but CMO subscriptions decreased by 1.3 percent, WELS’ Conference of Presidents revisited CMO with congregations, and the response increased offerings to a total of 1.3 percent more than 2013! This reduced the funding gap enough to preserve core synod ministry (missionaries, faculty at our schools). Still, $825,000 in other ministry reductions had to be made. 6

7 CMO in recent years A couple months later when CMO subscriptions were tallied for 2015 the result showed a 1.8 percent decrease over 2014 offerings. The non-core ministry reductions already made in 2014 and the drawdown of reserves should ensure we have the support needed for synod ministry in the current year. 7

8 Future synod needs The ministry plan being forwarded by the Synodical Council for approval by this year’s synod convention requires a one percent increase in offerings in 2016 and again in 2017 to maintain current ministry. If offerings surpass the one percent increase, additional ministry can be funded as prioritized in an “unfunded priorities list” to be approved by the synod convention. 8

9 Future synod needs Also note that WELS will be encouraging congregations to participate in an above and beyond offering to eliminate the synod’s debt from late 2015 through mid The elimination of the synod’s $5 million debt with its $1.6 million annual payment is assumed in the proposed ministry plan. 9

10 Ministerial Education Responding to synod needs: early childhood, urban education, prep schools, mission exposure, world seminaries, continuing education World Missions Continuing growth in our 23 existing fields Partnership with sister synods in other countries New fields being explored Home Missions Six to eight new home missions established Cross-cultural efforts Synod work made possible through CMO 10

11 Congregation and Ministry Support Provide assistance to congregations and schools so they might carry out gospel ministry in the most faithful way on the local level Focus areas include Evangelism, Adult Discipleship, Lutheran Schools, Youth and Family, Special Ministries, Worship, and Congregational Counseling Synod Support Services Ongoing support of our churches and schools in the areas of communication, technology, Christian giving, and finance This is just a brief summary. See the 2014 WELS Annual Report PowerPoint for more uplifting details, stories, and images from across our synod. Synod work made possible through CMO 11

12 While declining membership and instances of economic difficulty are real challenges, the big picture for WELS is that God has richly blessed us both spiritually and physically, and to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). May we review God’s Word with our fellow members regarding the great things he has done for us in Christ and our calling to use these blessings for saving souls now while we still can. The big picture 12

13 Lord God, we know that all we have and are is due only to your grace. Just as you have enabled us to hear and believe the good news of a Savior, so now move us to continue our work together to share that message of life with a dying world. Remind us of your promises, continue to enrich us with your Word, and keep our eyes fixed on a Savior who lived and died and rose again to bring sinners to their heavenly home. In Jesus we pray. Amen. Closing prayer 13


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