This year WELS Ministry of Christian Giving and WELS Foundation are celebrating 15 years of God’s blessings—and the generosity of God’s people—through our synod endowment funds.
In 2005, delegates at the synod convention prayerfully considered how WELS could better support ministry in a predictable and ever-increasing way. One answer was to establish the WELS endowments. These funds were established to benefit gospel work in WELS Home, World, and Joint Missions and at our four ministerial education schools: Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Luther Preparatory School, Martin Luther College, and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.
These endowments would not be possible without the generosity of God’s people. Out of thankfulness for the Lord’s blessings and to leave a legacy of faith for generations to come, WELS members have faithfully and steadily given to these endowment funds over the last 15 years, resulting in $32 million in gifts received and $68 million planned for the future. What innumerable blessings for ministry!
In July of this year, Lord willing, WELS Foundation will distribute over $1 million from these WELS endowment funds to support Ministerial Education and Home and World Missions.
Annual distributions from these endowments have profoundly impacted gospel work in our neighborhoods and around the world in addition to supporting the future called workers who will carry out that gospel work.
“Because of the highly competent way in which these endowment funds are administered, the ministerial education schools can make firm plans to help students with financial assistance and to repair buildings on campus every year. It’s hard to overstate how helpful that is,” says Rev. Paul Prange, administrator for Ministerial Education and chairman of the Joint Mission Council.
Rev. Larry Schlomer, WELS Board for World Missions administrator, agrees that the endowments are crucial for ministry. “The reach of our Joint Missions work, funded almost entirely by these distributions, has led to work in Vietnam, South Sudan, Liberia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and several new opportunities that continue to be explored. The sturdy backbone these endowments provide allows us to aggressively pursue contacts that our WELS members in the US have around the globe. It seems the more we explore these contacts, the more doors the Lord is opening for his gospel to grow.”
The list of impacts—and the list of blessings—could go on and on. Even following a year of great uncertainty, these endowment funds are a solid foundation for gospel work. Not only do they provide dependable support today, they also provide predictable, growing support for ministry next year, and every year after that, until the Lord returns.
To learn how you can join your brothers and sisters in faith in supporting ministry through WELS endowments, visit wels.net/endowments or call 800-827-5482.