Planning for 175th anniversary underway
The 175th anniversary of the founding of the Wisconsin Synod will occur in 2025. A WELS 175th Anniversary Planning Committee began meeting in January 2023 to discuss and carry out plans to help WELS celebrate this milestone of God’s grace. Two major projects are being planned—a new pictorial history of WELS and an accompanying video. All WELS members are invited to submit historical photos (such as the one above) for consideration in these projects. Submissions can be made at wels.net/175-photos. Watch for more information about anniversary projects and events at welshistoricalinstitute.org.
Pictured is the dedication of the new seminary campus in Thiensville (now Mequon), Wis., on Aug. 18, 1929. The service was one of the largest gatherings of WELS members in history with more than 10,000 people estimated to have attended.
Ministry of Christian Giving
WELS Ministry of Christian Giving works on behalf of the Conference of Presidents, assisting with gathering Congregation Mission Offerings (CMO) and encouraging direct gifts to WELS through mailed appeals, coordination of special offerings, and WELS Christian giving counselors.
We praise God that Congregation Mission Offerings have set new records each year since 2019 and as of this writing, 2023 is also looking to finish with strong congregational offerings.
In 2023, the Ministry of Christian Giving worked with Martin Luther College to promote competency-based education, a program that provides training to second-career teachers. We rejoice that $581,000 was given through November.
WELS Ministry of Christian Giving is working with WELS Home Missions on the effort to plant 100 new home mission churches and enhance 75 existing ministries from 2023–2033. From July 2021 through November 2023, 1,587 individuals and groups have offered 2,285 gifts/commitments totaling $2.76 million. Christian Giving is also working with Luther Preparatory School on a capital campaign to build a new music center on the Watertown, Wis., campus.
In fiscal year 2023 Christian giving counselors made thousands of contacts with WELS donors and helped them arrange 202 major gifts and expectancies totaling $40.5 million. Visit wels.net/givingcounselors to find your giving counselor and receive free, confidential assistance with offering a gift to WELS.
Did you know?
You can find information about WELS churches, schools, called workers, and WELS-affiliated ministries at yearbook.wels.net. WELS Technology maintains a database that allows for this comprehensive look-up service. Wondering where the closest WELS church is in a particular city? Visit yearbook.wels.net and choose “Organizations.”