In the past few weeks, you may have heard about Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA. We've started to hear some questions from ELCA Malaria Campaign supporters who are looking for additional information about this new campaign, and how the ELCA Malaria Campaign fits in. Let me tell you, I'm really excited about The Campaign for the ELCA, and the opportunities that it represents. here are some frequently asked questions, and my answers. (If you still have questions after reading these, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!)
What is this Campaign about? The campaign for the ELCA is about what we do together as a church: proclaiming the gospel; preaching, teaching and learning about our faith; raising up and training new leaders; empowering youth and people living with disabilities; equipping people to break the cycle of poverty, hunger and disease in our own country and across the world; and walking together with our global Lutheran partners. The Campaign for the ELCA will strengthen these ongoing ministries and priorities of our church. Together, we can do more.
Which ministries will be supported by the Campaign for the ELCA? The Campaign for the ELCA includes four different areas, and each area has a couple of specific goals to be achieved over the five-year period of the campaign. (Visit www.elca.org/campaign for more details!) Here's an outline:
How does the ELCA Malaria Campaign fit in? The ELCA Malaria Campaign is a unique part of the Campaign for the ELCA. Since we rolled out the ELCA Malaria Campaign to the whole ELCA in 2011 (and pilot synods were at work even before that), we have already raised more than two-thirds of our $15 million campaign goal. We plan to celebrate the success of the ELCA Malaria Campaign in 2015—and that will mean the first completed goal within the Campaign for the ELCA!
What happens to malaria work after 2015, then? Since malaria still threatens lives, we expect that many of our companions in Africa will choose to extend their malaria programs beyond 2015. These programs will likely integrate malaria more closely with other health ministries led by Lutheran churches in Africa, such as HIV and AIDS work, and will be funded alongside other health-related projects within the scope of ELCA World Hunger. If malaria is your passion, you can continue to support malaria work through ELCA World Hunger after 2015.
I support Lutheran Disaster Response. Why is that ministry not included in the Campaign for the ELCA? As the name indicates, LDR is a responsive ministry—helping Lutherans to respond to disasters at home and around the world. Since we don't know what disasters may arise during the course of the Campaign for the ELCA, we are not setting a campaign goal specific to Lutheran Disaster Response. However, LDR will definitely continue its good work of mobilizing Lutherans to respond to these situations!
My congregation sends 10% of our budgeted funds to the synod, and I know that our synod shares part of those funds with the Churchwide office. Why is the Campaign necessary?
That is a great question, and the answer is a little bit complex.
How can my congregation get involved in the Campaign for the ELCA? Well, one great way to get involved is by supporting the ELCA Malaria Campaign! Perhaps your congregation would consider commemorating World Malaria Day on April 27th-- that's a good way to get started. What is your congregation passionate about? Hunger? Supporting leaders? Young Adults in Global Mission? Supporting any of the ministries that are a part of the Campaign for the ELCA is a great way to get involved in the dynamic and growing ministries that our church does together.