Today (July 3rd) was your new NT-NL Synod, ELCA Vice President Tom Blaney’s first staff meeting since officially taking office. We enjoyed welcome Tom to the work of the staff and updating on where processes with congregation’s are, issues we are working with in coordination with Briarwood Retreat Center/Briarwood Leadership Center and also planning ahead for fall leadership convo and next year’s assembly. We also welcomed new members to our synod council whose terms began July 1st.
He also was able to assist us in a vital task, collating and stuffing the envelopes for mid-year giving statements and thank you’s to our congregations for 2018 Mission Support. We had held off sending these to do so with the mid-year statement to be wise stewards of our mailing costs (I have found that mailing them gets more into the actual hands of congregations than handing them out at assembly).
In looking at 2018’s mission support we faced the reality that we saw a small decline (about 3%) overall. However, in analyzing the data we found some positive factors at work as well. Looking back over a five-year horizon mission support and taking that average we found 43 congregations or worshipping communities saw an increase in giving in 2018 vs. their average. Of the remaining congregations most were fairly consistent with just a few seeing significant decreases in mission support. We also had 5 congregations who had not been giving any mission support do so for the first time in 2018.
There is still much work to be done on stewardship in NT-NL. A survey will be prepared in the coming months to go out to congregations to gather data our deans and synod council members can reflect on in our September meeting. I am heartened by the increasing number of congregations that are contributing and working to increase their giving to this vital part of our life together. We are thankful for all the gifts shared of God’s abundance by our NT-NL communities. #NTNL#InMissionTogether