What is the focus as the ELCA enters the last year of this campaign? Loren: The Campaign for the ELCA is about

building leaders, strengthening congregations and being a church with a global vision. The last period of this campaign is focused on those initiatives around leadership development. It really is the future. MaryAnn: Leadership is a thread that runs

through all components of the campaign. In some ways we get to save the best for last and hold that up because it ties together all the ministries. Loren:We’ve doubled the involvement of

Young Adults in Global Mission, we’ve brought great resources to the table for the Fund for Leaders, we’re working on the International Women Leaders Scholarship program. All of those ministries are about equipping leadership for the future. … That’s the church we’re building for tomorrow on the basis of what we’re called to do in this campaign today.

What would you say to someone who hasn’t yet participated in the campaign? MaryAnn: Join us! Let’s see what we can

do together. Loren:We as Lutherans believe that we’re saved

by grace and called into service (vocation). This vocational piece is all about how I’m going to live out my life in a way that contributes to the world and gives back.

[Thousands] of people have responded [to

the campaign]—that’s incredible. ... On behalf of your steering committee, I say thank you to all of you who have contributed, and I challenge you to do, as MaryAnn and I have done, to review where you stand today and consider doing a bit more as we push toward the goal—and then invite your neighbors to join you!

How has the campaign made an impact thus far? Loren: I’m always struck by, ultimately, a

campaign and the people who become involved— the No. 1 impact is on the donors. MaryAnn: [Giving] is personally transformative

because you understand community in new ways, and understand the power of leadership in new ways. … We have watched staff transform, and we ourselves have been transformed. Loren: The second impact [of a campaign] is on

what the donors’ resources help the organization do. MaryAnn: These leadership initiatives certainly

impact young leadership, and that young leadership directly impacts us. I’ve watched these international women leaders have the phenomenal opportunity to study at ELCA colleges and universities, and these women are changing the campuses of which they’re part of the community. They impact their fellow students, and all of a

sudden our vision of the world is broader because of their presence among us. It’s an incredible story, and [the ELCA] will be changed because of that.

How you can help Approved in August 2013 by voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, The Campaign for the ELCA was officially launched Feb. 1, 2014. As the ELCA enters its final year of this fundraising effort, Ron Glusenkamp (right), an ELCA pastor and campaign director, said he is grateful to all members and congregations who have contributed to life- changing ministries. He invites everyone to make a new year’s “resolution to be part of the solution” so this church can do more together.

Getting involved is easy, Glusenkamp said: “Select a ministry where you want to invest. You can give online, via check or by phone. Your gifts and prayers for congregations, hunger, global church and leadership make a big impact in the world.”

To learn more or make a gift to the ELCA’s five-year $198 million campaign, visit

Erin Strybis is a content editor for Living Lutheran.


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