Always Being Made New: How does the ELCA Malaria Campaign fit in?

Jessica Nipp Hacker

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 jessica.nipp@elca.org!)

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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:

  • Congregations ($16 million total): includes goals for renewing congregations ($8 million), starting new congregations ($4 million) and disabilities ministries ($4 million).
  • Leadership ($19 million total): includes goal for our Fund for Leaders, which gives scholarships to seminarians ($15 million) and opportunities for youth and young adults ($4 million).
  • Hunger and Poverty ($130 million total): includes goals for ELCA World Hunger ($115 million) and the ELCA Malaria Campaign ($15 million).
  • Global Church ($33 million total): includes goals for supporting missionaries and Young Adults in Global Mission ($22 million); supporting specific ministry projects of our Lutheran global companions ($7 million); and helping our global companions to raise up and educate women leaders ($4 million).

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.

  • ELCA World Hunger, the ELCA Malaria Campaign and ELCA Fund for Leaders have always relied on "second-mile giving," which is support that comes from individuals and congregations outside of normal benevolence giving from congregations/synods (also known as "mission support"). ELCA World Hunger, for example, has consistently raised $18-$20 million per year, and through the Campaign for the ELCA, this vital ministry can grow. Support received through the Campaign for the ELCA will allow us to increase the number and scope of Hunger projects we support, and to support an increasing number of seminarians studying to be rostered leaders in the ELCA.
  • New and renewing congregations: Historically, these ministries have been supported through benevolence/mission support received from synods.  The Campaign for the ELCA will raise money above and beyond that ongoing support—and that means that more money will be available within your synod, to support the planting of new congregations and the renewing of existing congregations.
  • Disabilities ministries and youth and young adult ministries: Staff positions for disabilities ministries and for youth and young adult ministries at the ELCA Churchwide office are supported through mission support funding.  The Campaign for the ELCA includes fundraising goals that will support new, expanded programs to serve and equip these communities.
  • Global projects and missionary support: These ministries receive some of their funding from your benevolence/mission support, and some of their funding from gifts given directly. For example, supporting a Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM) costs a total of $11,000 a year; the young adults are asked to help raise $4,000 toward their expenses, and the ELCA provides the remainder of the funding. The Campaign for the ELCA will expand opportunities for YAGMs, and will raise millions of dollars to support scholarships for international women and grants to grow Lutheran churches all over the world.  

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.​