Dear Partners in Ministry,
A frequently-used offertory in our congregations is the traditional doxology. The words of this hymn reflect the joy and thanksgiving we share in response to God’s abundance and generosity. Thomas Ken has crafted this wonderful verse:
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below ;
praise him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Text: Thomas Ken 1637-1711
It is in joyful praise that we give thanks for the faithfulness and generosity of Northern Illinois Synod congregations in sharing gifts for Mission Support in 2015. Because of these gifts, we were able to finish fiscal year 2015 at 100% of our 2015 ministry budget. This is tremendous news as it represents a vibrancy and commitment to God’s work in our congregations and beyond in bringing the life-giving grace of God in Christ to a world so desperately in need of this good news.
Because of these gifts for Mission Support, ministries such as LSSI have received a full measure of support for their ministry to our neighbors in need, which is very important and a strong statement in light of their present economic dilemma. Because of these gifts, we are also able to partner in other ministries such as ELCA colleges, seminaries, and campus ministries. We help provide faith formation ministry for our youth through the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center. Together, we help in the start of new ministries and supporting congregations in renewal. Through these generous gifts we also help those who suffer and are in need through ministries such as the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and Lutheran Disaster Response. All of these ministries, and so many more, happen because of faithfulness and generosity in sharing gifts for God’s work.
It is indeed with a profound sense of praise to God that we thank you for your partnership and gifts for the ministry we share together as the Northern Illinois Synod and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Together, we are the church, and together we join in God’s work, bringing the life-changing good news of Christ to the world.
Serving Christ Together,
Rev. Dr. Gary Wollersheim, Bishop, Northern Illinois Synod
and Rev. Kurt Nordby, Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship and Development