Lutherans in the Twin Cities

ELCA’s St. Paul Area Synod launches major fund appeal

Effort seeks to raise $2 million for four mission areas

The ELCA’s Saint Paul Area Synod (SPAS) has launched an ambitious three-year fund appeal intended to underwrite four kinds of ministry.

Under the title “Crossing Bridges,” the $2 million effort hopes to divide proceeds from members and congregations for the support of:

* new seminary students;

* new mission starts;

* an initiative to help end poverty in the synod;

* a partnership with the synod’s companion church, the Iringa Diocese of Tan-zania, East Africa.

Honoring the “bridges” theme, synod leadership hosted clergy and others on one of two river cruises on the St. Croix River two days in late August (see photo). While on board, participants got an introduction to the appeal, which grew out of a 1996 initiative called “Making Waves.”

In the 1996 campaign, the synod exceeded its $500,000 goal by $75,000.

The Rev. Michael Foss, pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, Minnesota, told participants on the river cruise, “We should find it unacceptable that Lutheran seminary students today are forced to begin theological training with crushing debt, face a prospect of graduating with still more unpaid bills, and then are required to spend the rest of their lives in modestly-paying ministry ca-reers trying to get out of debt.”

For more about the appeal, visit www.spas-cros singbridges.org.