In his June letter to pastors, President Kieschnick says that the Ablaze!(TM) fundraising campaign has brought in $48.1 million in pledges and gifts.
Now, back when the claim was $31 million, that meant less than half of that amount in the bank (the pledges hadn’t come in). So out of $14.8 million in the bank, we learned that it cost $10 million to raise those funds.
So I’m kind of wondering how much of the pledged amount has actually come in and how much it has cost to raise those funds. President Kieschnick doesn’t mention those figures in his letter.
However, he does mention that of the funds raised, $1.5 million has been distributed in $50,000 grants to 27 congregations. I have to quote what follows:
These recipients are among more than 160 congregations that have covenanted with their districts and LCMS World Mission to plant up to four new churches each by 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Neighborhood outreach concerts, summer Bible camps, food pantries, and all manner of community events are bringing unchurched people into contact with the love of Christ through these “Ablaze! Covenant Congregations.”
Is it too much to ask that Synod, Inc. not use the word covenant as a verb? It just sounds so corporate and dated. Also, while my church runs a food program for the poor, and while we definitely believe this puts believers and non-believers in contact with the love of Christ, is this something that legitimately fits into the Ablaze! program? Really?