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11/08/2017

What's in it for us? Where your donations go

The following letter was recently sent to your congregation. We thought you'd want to know where your mission support that you send to the Southern Ohio Synod goes...


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

Did you know that financial mission support to the greater church began with Paul? The context for mission support was an example of his position in a conflict between him and James, the Lord’s brother. James proposed two separate and equal churches, one for those of Jewish background and one for those of Gentile background. Paul, on the other hand, proposed one church where those of Jewish and Gentile backgrounds come together in worship, sharing their spiritual gifts for the common good, and witnessing to the saving grace of Jesus.

Paul’s one church concept becomes tangible in two offerings by predominately Gentile congregations for those in need in Judea and Jerusalem which are predominately Jewish in background. The first offering is collected in Antioch (Acts 11: 27-30) and the second in Macedonia and modern-day Greece. (2 Corinthians 9:6-9) One church is where Gentiles support Jews and Jews support Gentiles.

The Southern Ohio Synod, along with the ELCA, adopted Paul’s one church organizational structure. Like the first century church, one tangible expression of this structure continues to be congregations supporting the ministries and needs of other expressions of the church, i.e., the national church located in Chicago and the synodical church in Columbus. As a congregation participates in its annual mission support to the Southern Ohio Synod, it is replicating mission support in the scriptures and in the life of the church for 2,000 years.

In 2018, 40% ($714,800) of the mission support contributed to the Southern Ohio will be forwarded to the ELCA and the synod’s ecumenical partners. The ELCA and the synod’s ecumenical partners deliver ministries around the world, to the United States, and local communities in Ohio. As the ELCA and the synod’s ecumenical partners witness to Jesus by meeting spiritual, psychological, and physical needs of communities and individuals, our synod is part of these ministries, and thus your congregation is part of this ministry.

In 2018, 40% ($714,800) of mission support contributed to our synod is allocated for ministries on the territory of the Southern Ohio Synod with the primary emphases on helping and serving congregations and rostered ministers. Serving congregations occurs through Bishop Dillahunt and her assistants as they consult with congregations in such areas as conflict management, offering advice on ministry strategies, providing personal and corporate educational opportunities to clergy and lay, and offering workshops in evangelism and stewardship. The synod also financially supports campus ministries, Wittenberg University, Capital University, and Trinity Seminary.

In 2018, 20% ($370,700) of the mission support contributed to our synod is for administrative purposes. This category could have just as easily been added to ministries for congregations and rostered leaders because the Bishop and her assistants need telephones, paper, duplicating machines, office space in which to hold meetings and work, cars for transportation, etc.

A pictorial graph accompanies this letter illustrating the allocation of mission support contributed by congregations of the Southern Ohio Synod. 

2017 SOS Whats in it for me pictorial graph

We ask that you and your congregation prayerfully consider your mission support for the synod. As you gather offerings, remember you are duplicating what happened in Antioch, Macedonia, and Greece 2,000 years ago.

  

In Christ,

The Stewardship Committee

Becky Witt, Mick Althauser, Tim Iseringhausen, Katie Kerrigan, Emily Beckering, Carey Hovland, Dale Poppe, Doug Ware, Mary Lasits, Pete Rudowski and Roger Quay