Update on Fan Into Flame

June 25th, 2009 Post by

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?

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  1. Eric Ramer
    June 26th, 2009 at 09:53 | #1


    It keeps the ticker moving.


  2. A Walther descendant
    June 26th, 2009 at 10:06 | #2

    Miss Mollie, thank you for calling out yet another example of someone who verbs nouns.

    Weren’t covenants originally pacts between God and man? Should they still be, in church parlance? Am I splitting hairs? Must be the heat. 8-)

  3. helen
    June 26th, 2009 at 10:36 | #3

    I wish they didn’t use “covenant” at all.
    It’s another of those ‘non lutheran’ words because it doesn’t mean what it did in the OT. Also I wonder if the “covenants” are all public to the congregation.

    It is sad to have to be so distrustful of your “leaders”!

  4. Revfisk
    June 26th, 2009 at 12:33 | #4

    If Fan into Flame is such a success, then why have half of the World Mission execs “taken early retirement” packages in the last 6 months, and why have nearly every one of the city-developer missionaries been told that their “three year call” is now not in next years budget after only one year?


  5. June 26th, 2009 at 13:25 | #5

    “Verbing weirds language.” – Calvin (to Hobbes)

  6. helen
    June 26th, 2009 at 16:27 | #6

    Why… and why… –revfisk

    Because the consultants have to be paid.

    Probably we also have to hire a new bunch to tell us why Lutherans aren’t buying the [ ] from the old bunch?

  7. June 26th, 2009 at 17:10 | #7

    I guess you just have to spend money in order to make money, once you have given up on the 2 Corinthians 8-9 model.

  8. Truthplease
    June 26th, 2009 at 22:27 | #8

    rev fisk,

    You have either passed on false information or you have spun what you have heard to meet your agenda. Both of which you should ask for forgiveness from those whom you have made false statements about.
    Yes, a few World Mission staff have taken the early retirment package offered by the synod. Most of whom serve as secretaties, communications staff, or development officers. At this point I would only consider one of those who accepted an exec of world mission. Hardly half. Most of those who have taken it were also planning on retiring in the next few years anyway. Please check your facts and consider those who have chosen to enter retirement.

  9. June 27th, 2009 at 01:10 | #9

    They also are not planting new churches, they are using the grants to fund “satellites” for existing congregations on the doorsteps of current congregations who are trying to remain faithful to the Liturgy and traditional Lutheranism. Johannes Megstab has written that we should be able to put an LCMS church on every street corner and not interfere with each other. (My paraphrase) Thus, Fan into Flame is funding just that.

  10. helen
    June 27th, 2009 at 10:39 | #10

    “Most of those who have taken it were also planning on retiring in the next few years anyway.” — Truthplease

    When you are “planning your retirement” those last few years often mean the difference between comfortable times and a penurious old age. Not to mention the frustration of being dumped before you were ready to stop working. In this market, the next job is hard to find.

    I derive from the comments of “Truthplease” that he is under 40, still has his job, and thinks “it can’t happen” to him!

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