Following a visit by Southwestern Washington Synod Bishop Richard E. Jaech, the Vancouver Trinity Lutheran Foundation, at its June 13 meeting, responded by approving a major gift to help fund theological education through the Synod’s Deep Roots, New Life campaign, the goal of which is to raise $3 million in current and deferred gifts through 2019. Your Foundation’s gift of $6,000 per year for three years is in addition to $30,000 approved for scholarships to Trinity members for the 2017-2018 Scholarship Year. These generous gifts are made possible by designated bequests from faithful Trinity members over the years.
Our Synod comprises 92 congregations and mission starts with approximately 30,000 baptized members. The campaign is being undertaken by the belief that God is calling us to serve a rapidly changing region. We need—and the world expects—bold leadership and innovative congregations and ministries. Deep Roots, New Life celebrates the his- tory of God’s work through the Church and our Lutheran heritage and looks to the future as the Spirit leads us to share God’s love and grace through Jesus Christ.
The campaign’s purpose is to recruit and equip leaders and congregations to carry out our shared mission to spread the good news of Jesus Christ by empowering congregations and church leaders to grow in worship, education, outreach, stewardship, and other ministries. The campaign has two major objectives: Funding Theological Education, and New and Renewing Congregation and Ministries. At this point, the Foundation Board of Directors is especially excited by the opportunity to help ensure an adequate supply of trained church leaders for the future. The Board encourages individual Trinity members/families to consider joining your Foundation in helping avert a growing leadership crisis in our Synod and the ELCA. No longer is theological education funded by our national church bodies. The trend has been an increasing burden placed upon the ministry candidate to pay for such education. Seminarians are incur- ring heavy debt from their undergraduate and graduate years, only to enter a vocational calling which provides compensation levels making it difficult to repay accumulated debt—and in some cases preventing graduates from accepting calls to lower paying congregations because managing debt repayment could prove impossible.
Gifts to the campaign will provide two benefits: scholarships for endorsed seminarians and other called church leaders for our Synod so they can enter Lutheran ministry without a heavy financial burden; and, debt relief for theological education, so that pastors can boldly proclaim and model a life of good stewardship. Currently, our Synod has ten men and women engaged in theological education who will be benefited by gifts to the campaign. Are you interested in learning more about making a gift? If so, contact our pastors or Foundation board member Jack Johnson.