As Lutherans, we believe that Christ has freed us from sin and death, even from ourselves, so that we can love and serve our neighbors. One way we put our faith in action is by making a financial gift – an offering – to our congregation.
Did you know that when you give an offering to your congregation, a percentage of that financial gift is shared with your synod and churchwide organization? Each year, during budget season, your congregation’s council pledges to send a portion of the offerings it receives to fund ELCA ministries in your synod and beyond. In the ELCA, we call these funds Mission Support.
Mission Support enables the ELCA’s 9,300 congregations and 65 synods to pool resources to love and serve our neighbors in ways that no individual, congregation or synod can do alone. It shows how we are church together – it’s essential to who we are as the ELCA.
Through our offerings, which are shared with the wider church, we participate in God’s life-changing work in our communities and around the world.
How Mission Support Works:
Your offering is stewarded by your congregation’s council to support the work of your congregation. When your congregation votes to adopt its annual budget, you designate a portion of your offering to be shared with your synod and the ELCA churchwide organization. These fund are call Mission Support
Your Congregation’s Mission Support dollars are then stewarded by your synod leaders to support the work of the synod. Synods use Mission Support to nurture ELCA congregations and rostered leaders and support local partners (camps, colleges, seminaries and more). Some synods support companion churches around the world. Synods also designate a portion of the Mission Support funds they receive to be sent to the churchwide organization.
Your Churchwide Organization
Your churchwide organization stewards Mission Support dollars to respond to national and worldwide ministries and to lead ministry initiatives on behalf of the whole church. A few of those ministries are highlighted in the Stories of Faith in Action publication, but there are many others that together create a strong witness to the love of Christ.
In 2016, ELCA members gave $1.75 billion in unrestricted offerings* to support God’s mission and ministry through the three expressions of the ELCA.
*Unrestricted offerings do not include special offerings such as congregational capital improvements or gifts to ministries like Lutheran Disaster Response.
94.4% Congregations ($1.65 billion was stewarded by the ELCA’s 9,300 congregations)
3% Synods (52.5 million was stewarded by the ELCA’s 65 synods)
2.6% Churchwide Organization (45.2 million was stewarded by the ELCA churchwide organization)
Click here to read Stories of Faith in Action to see how your offering from the past year has made a difference in raising up leaders and revitalizing congregations.