2017 Growing In Generosity and Mission Resource Packet

September 2016

Congregations have now received a packet in which you will find materials to help you prayerfully plan your congregation’s gift of mission support (benevolence) for 2017. Materials in this packet include:

  • A pastoral letter and Invitation to Grow in Generosity and Mission from Bishop Clements.
  • A video entitled Generosity and Mission featuring Bishop Jeff Clements
  • Northern Illinois Synod Stewardship and Mission Support Strategy. This important mission document was approved by the 2011 Northern Illinois Synod Assembly. It sets out the heart of our giving and the mission we share through our gifts for ministry. This strategy can be a model for a congregation’s own strategy for stewardship ministry.
  • “Northern Illinois Synod Ministry Facts and Figures 2016” This is a great resource giving a narrative and numerical picture of the ministry and mission of our Northern Illinois Synod.
  • Northern Illinois Synod 2017 Budget Pie Graph which breaks down the Northern Illinois Synod Ministry Program budget by percentage of resources for ministry areas.
  • A Copy of “Faith In Action,” a very informative magazine that contains stories of our ELCA’s mission and ministry throughout the world. These ministries happen because of our congregational gifts for Mission Support.
  • A “Where Does My Offering Go” poster which is a wonderful graphic of how gifts for Mission Support enable ministries throughout the world. (this link online is updated for 2015)
  • A copy of one ELCA member’s reflection on Mission Support entitled “What Do “Benevolence and Mission Support Mean?”
  • 2017 Mission Support Information sheet. The packet you received in the mail has information specific to your congregation concerning recent history of the congregation’s gifts for Mission Support. Please prayerfully consider this information and Bishop Clements’ Invitation to grow In generosity and mission as you plan your congregation’s gift of mission support in 2017. Your gift of Mission Support makes a difference in the lives of people both locally and globally as we proclaim God’s abundant grace in Christ.

Giving In Generosity Through Mission Support

Two years ago, we began a three year, synod-wide stewardship program entitled “First, We Give of Ourselves.” We are now entering into year three of this program with the theme of “Giving in Generosity.” This is also the theme for our 2017 Mission Support and Stewardship emphasis in the Northern Illinois Synod. We generously share our gifts of Mission Support as a grateful response for the blessings of God, especially the gift of grace in Christ, that as a church, we can be a blessing to our neighbors throughout the world.

An Invitation to Grow by 10

As your congregation considers what it means to give in generosity, an invitation is extended to prayerfully consider growing your gifts of Mission Support. This year, we are following the suggested growth in giving pattern of 10% contained In the ” First, We Give of Ourselves” stewardship program. For 2017, your congregation is invited to prayerfully consider growing your Mission Support gift by 10% over your 2016 Mission Support Statement of Intent. For example, if your congregation’s 2016 Statement of Intent was $10,000, you are invited to prayerfully consider increasing your 2017 gifts for Mission Support by $1,000.00. Enclosed in this packet is information which specifically shares what this growth request would mean for your congregation as you consider mission support gifts in 2017. Hopefully, these materials can be of assistance as your congregation prayerfully considers gifts for Mission Support in 2017. These gifts for ministry are an expression of joy, gratitude, and generosity for all God’s gifts, especially the gift of God’s abundant grace in Christ.

Thank You! Please know that your congregation’s gift of mission support is an essential part of the ministry we share together in Christ’s name. Your gifts make an incredible difference in the lives of people both locally and globally.