Complete Story


Thrive! eBlast for 2.11.20

In this Blast:

  • Jacob’s, Anna, Gives to Overflowing
  • Two training opportunities arrive next week
  • Moving forward on Goal #5
  • Clarification for retired rostered leaders & spouses


Abundant Generosity Evident at St. Jacob’s, Anna

St. Jacob’s in Anna is a mid-sized congregation with an average worship attendance of about 150. Its Council set a non-binding goal of $30,000 for the congregation to shoot for in their campaign and its Endowment Committee graciously agreed to match up to $15,000. They ran their campaign, providing information and inspiration about Thrive, and then simply gave church members the opportunity to contribute or not as they wished.

The results? Well, the results were way beyond expectations with commitments totaling $46,785! And the Endowment Committee then agreed to increase its gift in order to match all of the members’ commitments for a total gift of $93,570!

Not only did they overflow with abundant generosity for Thrive, but they combined their Thrive campaign with an invitation to help restock their depleted food pantry. Their generosity overflowed once again and the pantry is now filled.

David Fogt, St. Jacob’s Congregation Leader, noted: Our congregation has truly been blessed and we want to continue to be a leader in the Southern Ohio Synod.”

As of February 2nd, four congregations have completed Thrive campaigns: St. Jacob’s; St. Luke’s (Marietta); Emmanuel (Germantown); Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (Cincinnati). In EACH case, commitments exceeded expectations. In EACH case, we heard that congregations were energized by doing campaigns because people saw hope for the future of the Church in the goals of the campaign and were motivated to give beyond themselves. In EACH case, those who ran the campaigns reported that it was easy to do because the materials we provide lay out the process in detail.

The Spirit is unlocking the power and potential of Thrive among us. These four congregations – two small and two mid-sized ­­– are leading by example. By God’s grace, may we all follow their lead … and thrive!

Campaign Update: Synod-wide commitments to Thrive made to-date (including non-binding goals, individual and other gifts, and designated gifts from other sources) now total over $520,000.


Final Call to Register for the Two Training Opportunities Arriving Next Week

The Thrive Campaign and the generosity of many people are making possible the following training events taking place next week. It’s not too late to sign up! To register for either event, send an email to and include:

  • Which event you are registering for
  • The name and address of your congregation
  • The email address & preferred phone number of each person who will be attending



Tuesday, February 18th
Epiphany Lutheran Church, Centerville
6430 Far Hills Ave, Dayton
7:00 -9:00 p.m.

The goal of this training is that Council members will be able to reflect on their time of Council service as the highlight of their service to the church. Yes! Really! This workshop can help lead to an effective council that positions the church to thrive in today’s world.

Who Should Attend?

Council members, pastors and other church leaders should attend Effective Congregation Council training to increase skills in:

  • Developing and working from a strategic plan
  • Focusing on fiduciary, governance, and generative issues
  • Making the best use of time with consent agenda, a purpose for every meeting, and other tactics
  • Having the meeting itself be spiritually fulfilling
  • Leadership development

Workshop leader:

Mike Ward, CFRE—Partner with GSB Fundraising.  Mike is a 1997 graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and has served on the board of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network and on the ELCA Church Council.  Mike studies best practices of non-profit boards and applies those practices to congregation councils. His passion for this topic is related to his desire for organizations to thrive in their fundraising, and that without effective boards leading the organization, the funding of those organizations will naturally struggle.



Saturday, February 22nd
Zion Lutheran Church
10 N Breiel Blvd, Middletown
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Who Should Attend?

This training is for designated Thrive! Congregation Leader(s) of any church planning to conduct a Thrive! Mission Campaign. Pastors and Stewardship Team members are also encouraged to attend to obtain skills in running future special needs campaigns for their congregations

Workshop leader:

Pastor Larry Donner—Thrive Campaign Manager. Larry has served in three congregations of the Southern Ohio Synod — from small to large, single pastor to multi-staff, and in small town, city and suburban locations. He has lead stewardship campaigns for numerous congregations around the synod, helping people grow in their personal stewardship and their understanding of how giving is an essential part of knowing our giving God.


Moving Forward on Goal #5: Enhancing Vibrant Worship

“The Thrive! Worship Team has been formed!” reports Joshua Brodbeck, our Synod Administrator & Worship Director.

“We are looking forward,” continued Joshua, “to getting to work and figuring out the best way to help congregations enliven their worship. One way this has already been happening is through Pr. Joe Wolf’s liturgical videos that can be used for Worship or other church events. Those videos can be found on the Synod’s website and also on his personal video channel.”

Be on the lookout for more information coming soon as we move forward on this and other goals of the Thrive Campaign, all propelled by your generosity.  


Clarification for Retired Rostered Leaders and Spouses

Retired rostered ministers and their spouses may give their Thrive! contributions to their congregation, designate them for Thrive, and have the congregation pass it on to the synod OR they may send donations directly to the synod, payable to the synod and designated for Thrive. Either way is acceptable although we suggest directing donations through congregations. Appropriate IRS charitable contribution acknowledgments will be provided in either case.


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