One in Christ update : May

The 2015 synod convention launched the “One in Christ” debt elimination offering through June 2016 to eliminate the remaining $4.7 million synod debt. As the offering reaches its final months, Pastor Kurt Lueneburg, WELS director of Christian Giving, shares how “One in Christ” participation has been so far.

Q: How have congregations and individuals responded to the debt elimination offering?

A: The Lord has moved his people to generously participate so far! Almost two thousand families, representing 462 congregations, have sent “One in Christ” offerings directly to WELS—some of them have given offerings multiple times. Many other individuals have given “One in Christ” offerings through the 388 congregations that have remitted gifts. To God’s glory, a total of $1.8 million has been generously presented to Jesus for “One in Christ” from July 1, 2015, through March 22, 2016! In addition, our church body is making monthly principal and interest payments this fiscal year that will total $1.6 million. That leaves our remaining debt at approximately $1.4 million, which we hope will be eliminated by additional offerings. We thank all those who have participated in “One in Christ” so far!

Q: How does eliminating this debt affect our synod’s future?

A: Eliminating our debt this year enables us to deploy the resources we receive from God through his people on our present and future kingdom endeavors. As we gratefully reflect on how the Lord allowed us to fully fund our past capital projects and internal borrowing to maintain ministry, we can humbly and confidently move forward in the blessed work of sharing Christ’s good news of eternal life with a growing number of people in North America and around the world.

Q: What if we don’t meet our goal?

A: If offerings and planned payments this fiscal year total less than $4.7 million, we’ll gratefully rejoice in the blessings we received from God! Then our leaders will decide how to pay off the remaining balance either through applying other assets, reducing our ministry, or a combination of both. Our ministry plan has no budgeted payments after June 30, 2016.

Q: Is there still time for congregations and individuals to make a gift?

A: Absolutely! It’s our hope that every WELS member and congregation will prayerfully consider generously participating and/or giving additional offerings in this opportunity to move forward in ministry through the “One in Christ” debt elimination. Since the outcome of this endeavor, as with all we do, is in our Savior’s gracious hands, we believe that he will enable us to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine to the praise of his name and the salvation of blood-bought souls!

Learn more about how you can help at



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Volume 103, Number 05
Issue: May 2016

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