Reading the Reporter

Mollie here. So I was reading my copy of the Reporter tonight and see that the quarterly newsletter from the LCMS Board of Directors is included in the July issue. A copy of the 2008/2009 Mission and Ministry Operating Budget is included. I see that the Board for Communication Services has been allocated over $2.2 million for the coming year. So the synod lost its only nationally syndicated broadcast program but we’re still spending $2.2 million . . . on what exactly?

Anyway, the most interesting thing was the update on the Ablaze! program’s fundraising arm — “Fan into Flame.” The goal is to raise $100 million by 2017. It is a 13-year campaign. Only $14 million has been raised in the last four years. Of those funds, only $3 million have been distributed to LCMS World Mission. Anyway, the last two paragraphs seem interesting:

The board also was informed that a number of LCMS districts were not ready to move forward and join the campaign early on, making it necessary to continue the Synod’s contract with Community Counseling Service Co., LLC, which has provided assistance with the campaign in the area of involvement of districts. The Board for Mission Services proposed to the Board of Directors that the contract with Community Counseling Service be extended through December 31, 2009.

The proposal, adopted by the Board of Directors, will increase fundraising costs associated with the Fan Into Flame campaign to a total of 15 percent of the $100 million goal. The additional costs will be assumed by the Board for Mission Services. Also included in the contract extension is a $100,000 donation to Fan Into Flame by Community Counseling Service and significant donated services by its executives.

So fundraising costs thus far are $15 million. Cash on hand totals $14 million. Oy vey! I love that we’re hiring high-priced consultants to help us COMMUNICATE with districts while we’re canning an actual mission program that reaches out to the entire world. Does something seem strange about that?

Meanwhile, Concordia Publishing House actually cut a check to the LCMS for $828,000. What a difference a few years makes.

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