A Message from the SPS Companion Synods
by Kathye Hamm
As the new chair of the Global Missions Advocacy Team, I would like to thank the Synod Council for honoring our request for a $5,000 line item in the Synod Budget for 2021. This will be a first for us in the more than a dozen years since we have been in operation. We do have expenses, especially for travel to and from our Companion Synods for both us visiting there and them visiting here. Costs have been covered either by individual members of GMAT covering their own travel costs, or from the Bishop’s contingency fund (for his travel), or, more recently from the proceeds of our Second Mile Giving. The Council made it part of the 2021 budget in lieu of the 2020 Synod Assembly being cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.
Despite not having had any expenses yet (the 2021 budget year has not even begun yet!), we have submitted the same budget request for the 2022 budget, which will be decided at this coming spring’s Synod Assembly, which will be held, if only online. Only by the end of next year we will have an idea if $5,000 is realistic as a budget estimate.
However, like most of our line-item Mission Support expenses, we are also open to Second Mile Giving, because the line-item amount is really a nominal figure compared to the amount of support we’d like to give our institutions and agencies. $5,000 goes quickly, especially considering travel costs to or from Rwanda! Moreover Chris Segerhammar, former member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, recently reminded me of another worthy mission cause: the ELCA Foundation’s Endowment Fund for support of pastors of the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod, many of whom receive little or no compensation for their services due to the poverty in El Salvador. Our synod was instrumental, along with the Greater Milwaukee Synod, in setting up this fund a number of years ago, and it produces some income each year for its purpose, though not yet as much as is needed. Chris was suggesting the Endowment Fund as a worthy cause for estate planning, but we don’t have to die before offering support!
Please do consider the SPS Companion Synods for your congregation’s or your individual stewardship this year! We are highlighted this month, but would be delighted to receive your gifts throughout 2021! Please also consider the ELCA foundation’s Endowment Fund for SLS Pastoral support, either through GMAT’s Second Mile Giving, or individually by estate planning.
Thank you for your generosity!
Joseph Haletky, Chair
SPS Global Missions Advocacy Team
January 19, 2021
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