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Mission Support

Our congregations support local ministry in their communities, and the mission support funds they forward to the synod office support ministry among our congregations and throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Congregations wishing to send their mission support online can click on the button below and fill out the form. If you send the same amount each month, you can schedule your gifts to be sent automatically.

Each year, 50% of all mission support from congregations is used by the synod office to provide pastoral ministry, nurture the mission of the church, tell the story, and support ministries with partners. Congregations are invited to share their mission support plans with the synod office annually.

Your mission support has in impact on people in this synod. Our narrative budget for 2024 tells the stories of two people who have benefited from our ministries. Share the narrative budget with your congregation (printable version) and learn how to tell your own ministry stories with a narrative budget.

This includes pastoral care for congregations and rostered ministers in times of celebration and times of crisis, as well as providing for Word and Sacrament ministry in congregations during transition and vacancies. The Bishop and synod staff accompany and guide congregations through the call process from the time of a pastor’s departure until calls are extended to new pastors and deacons. This involves meetings with councils and call committees, reading ministry site profiles and rostered minister profiles, as well as arranging for interim pastors and synod-authorized ministry appointments to congregations. As a way to connect with congregations and provide support to pastors in recent years, the synod staff has provided a Sunday video sermon every couple of months.

The Synod Council, committees, and working groups equip congregations for ministry and provide opportunities for disciples to grow in faith. With greater online access to adult faith formation courses, we have seen increased participation from around the synod. Online workshops for congregation presidents, treasurers, and other council members equip leaders to serve the body of Christ. The synod candidacy committee accompanies and approves candidates to serve as pastors and deacons in the ELCA. New pastors continue their formation through First Call Theological Education, a series of required learning retreats for pastors in their first three years of ministry. Synod staff produced resources and videos to encourage congregations to raise up people to serve as pastors, deacons, and synod-authorized ministers, and the New and Renewing Congregations Committee sponsored a synod mission trip to Trinity Lutheran Church in Olney to support their ministry efforts and build community across the synod.

As a synod we are called to witness to God’s love in Christ for the world in the way we present ourselves as congregations and as a synod. A portion of our annual budget is dedicated to equipping the synod staff and congregations to effectively communicate who we are and what we are about. Our full-time director of communications not only produces a twice-monthly synod newsletter but also works with congregations on their own websites and video communications. Our entire synod staff is crucial for gathering and disseminating information about ministry as a synod and across the synod.

One-fourth of our synod budget supports ministries with partners. As a synod we cannot and do not wish to do everything ourselves. Our synod budget extends the scope of our ministry by financially contributing to the ministry of other organizations like seminaries, campus ministries at universities, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center, and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) in addition to staff time. For example, the bishop cultivates connections with ecumenical partners and sits on the boards of Lutheran Campus Ministry of Illinois and LSSI.

The remainder of our budget designates mission support funds to carry out ministry through the churchwide organization, which partners with synods, other Lutheran churches across the world, and ecumenical church bodies to strengthen the witness and work of the global church. Mission support dollars return to synods in a number of ways. Our synod congregations have received grants for stewardship education, feeding ministries, innovation, and new start exploration. The churchwide organization also fully funds the Director for Evangelical Mission position. See more opportunities to support C/SIS ministries.

Mission Support At Work

How is your mission support used in ministries across the country? The ELCA publishes regular Mission Support Memos with stories from synods and congregations; they also include stewardship resources such as blogs, books, videos, and webinars. Check out recent mission support memos below.