Christian Aid and Relief
Rev. Dan Sims became the first full-time director of WELS Christian Aid and Relief in July 2020. Sims (left) is pictured here with a couple that was helped by Christian Aid and Relief in August after strong storms blew through Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Having a pastor serve full time in this position will allow more time to develop an intensive program—including a printed training manual and video materials—to prepare and train congregations and their leaders in disaster response before a disaster hits. Another goal is to establish and equip disaster relief coordinators in each district to assess and oversee local disaster response.
But Sims wants to do more than just respond to disasters; he wants to create a compassionate spirit in WELS congregations to help those who are suffering in their communities. He says that not only does that follow Christ’s command to “do good to all people” (Galatians 6:10), but also “if [the neighborhood residents] can see WELS congregations and people as caring and active in helping with physical needs, then we gain more opportunities to talk with them about their spiritual needs and their Savior.”
For more information, visit wels.net/relief.
WELS Communication Services
WELS Communication Services helped coordinate synod resources to keep WELS congregations, schools, and members informed on how COVID-19 was affecting ministries and resources to help them adapt during the pandemic. All the information was featured on wels.net under the title “As we face COVID-19.”
Forward in Christ, WELS’ official monthly magazine, launched its redesigned magazine in January 2020. Taking into account answers and comments from the reader survey that Forward in Christ conducted in 2019, the magazine now includes new columns, old favorites, and a fresh design, all presented to help 21st-century Christians grow in their faith. Forward in Christ also debuted a new website as well as Facebook and Instagram pages. For more information, visit forwardinchrist.net.
WELS Ministry of Christian Giving
WELS Ministry of Christian Giving serves on behalf of the Conference of Presidents to encourage every WELS member to “excel in the grace of giving” through Christ. During the COVID-19 pandemic the Ministry of Christian Giving has continued assisting members with their Christian giving goals via phone meetings, web conferencing, and in-person visits.
WELS Ministry of Christian Giving has been involved with Martin Luther College’s “Equipping Christian Witnesses” campaign to recruit more called workers, increase tuition assistance, and build needed facilities so that WELS will have more called workers to meet growing worldwide ministry opportunities. Just over $5 million in gifts, pledges, and commitments had been received as of late 2020.
To request free, confidential assistance with a gift to your church, synod, or WELS-affiliated ministry, visit wels.net/Christian-giving or call 800-827-5482.
In 2020, WELS Technology helped pastors, teachers, and synod workers at the Center for Mission and Ministry adjust their work during the pandemic. WELS Technology helped lead the conversation on topics such as livestreaming and video conferencing options and how technology can help advance ministry, especially during a time when large groups of Christians can’t meet in person. Pictured is Timothy Walsh presenting a Facebook Live devotion in spring 2020 when he served as a vicar at Grace, Falls Church, Va.