In the comments to the previous post some folks wondered how they could make sure their contributions for relief efforts go to relief efforts. LCMS World Relief and Human Care posted a new FAQ on the future of mercy work in the Synod. PDF link is here and the questions can be found here and also below.
Answers to Your Questions About the Future of the Synod’s Mercy Work and LCMS World Relief and Human Care
Q. I understand that WR-HC no longer exists. What happens to donations I’ve already given to LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC)?
A. While the WR-HC program board no longer exists, the WR-HC staff continues to work hard to share Christ’s mercy with people in need. If you designated your gift for WR-HC, rest assured that it will support WR-HC mercy work. The Board for Human Care Ministries (WR-HC’s supervising program board) was eliminated at the Synod’s 64th Regular Convention in July, but it’s important to understand that WR-HC’s mercy work continues to touch lives every day.
Any gift you designated to specific WR-HC ministries or projects will be used for that specific purpose. Likewise, any undesignated gift that you gave to WR-HC (perhaps for “where needed most”) will be used for LCMS mercy work. The World Relief and Human Care brand (Mercy Forever) continues to represent and stand for the mercy work of the Synod.
Q. I want to continue to support human care work through the LCMS. How do I do that now?
A. Please continue to send your gifts, made payable to LCMS World Relief and Human Care. Your gifts will be honored and processed as they always have been. You can make a gift three ways:
1. By mail (gifts by check):
LCMS World Relief and Human Care
P.O. Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861
(Please make your check out to LCMS World Relief and Human Care.)
2. By telephone (credit card gifts): toll-free 1-888-930-4438
3. Online (credit card gifts): http://givenowlcms.org
Q. To ensure that my gift supports LCMS human care work, should I designate my gift for a specific WR-HC project?
A. You can support the general work of WR-HC (by designating your gift for “where needed most”) or you can designate a specific WR-HC project, category, or ministry. Here are some examples of how your gift may be designated:
* Where needed most: These gifts can be used in any area that supports WR-HC ministry, including support for unexpected needs and opportunities to share Christ’s mercy.
* WR-HC projects include: 1001 Orphans, Project 24, Building Homes and Hope in Haiti,
* Mercy Medical Teams.
* General need categories include: hunger, children, medical, water, education.
* WR-HC ministries include: Life Ministries, Health Ministries, Veterans of the Cross (to help impoverished church work retirees), Prison Ministry, Chaplaincy.
Q. How do I make sure my gift to WR-HC doesn’t disappear into the Synod’s “black hole”?
A. When you designate your gift for a specific WR-HC ministry or project, it will support that specific purpose. A WRHC core value continues to be integrity. Amid the changes mandated at the LCMS convention, our church body’s national office will work with integrity to reach out in mission and mercy — ensuring honor and accountability to all our donors and partners.
Q. Will programs and speaking engagements scheduled with WR-HC staff be honored?
A. Yes! All commitments for speaking engagements and programs by WR-HC staff will be honored unless you are otherwise notified.
Q. What will happen to existing WR-HC programs and projects?
A. Delegates to the 2010 LCMS convention approved realignment of LCMS programs under two mission boards, one each for domestic and international ministries. Since WR-HC includes both domestic and international mercy work, some programs ultimately may move under one of these two boards. Rev. Matthew Harrison, the Synod’s president-elect and former WR-HC executive director, has stated that any future change will happen over time, not immediately:
“Restructuring brings many challenges and questions for our Synod, which we will tackle with hard work and prayer. And I pray that as we work together, we also can equip our church to grow even stronger in what Lutherans are called to do — proclaim the Gospel and share acts of mercy that touch hurting people, today and for eternity.”
Q. When will the Synod restructuring approved at the LCMS convention take place and who will future ministry contacts be?
A. President-elect Harrison and his staff already are working to ensure a smooth transition. They are reviewing resolutions and bylaw changes approved at the convention. One such resolution asks that care be taken to ensure “decency and order” and avoid undue hardship on ministry and ministry staff in the wake of restructuring. The changes mandated at the convention will take months to implement. President-elect Harrison asks for your prayers as he and staff tackle the many challenges mandated at the convention. He prays that “as we work together, we also can equip our church to grow even stronger in what Lutherans are called to do — acts of mercy that touch hurting people, today and for eternity.”
If you have any other questions, please contact us at 1-800-248-1930, ext. 1380.