missionsupport1-proclaiminghopeQ. What is Mission Support? I have heard this term used, but I am not sure what it means.

A. Mission Support is the portion of your financial offering that your congregation shares with the synod and churchwide ministries-the other two expressions of this church. As members of the ELCA, we do mission together through our financial giving. Together we do God’s work in ways that no individual congregation can do alone, including:

  • Identifying, training and nurturing leaders
  • Developing mission strategies
  • Supporting camps, campus ministries and seminaries
  • Providing resources for developing and transforming congregations
  • Walking with congregations and leaders in transition
  • Working with global, ecumenical, and social ministry partners
  • Responding to disaster, world hunger and social justice issues

missionsupport2-proclaiminghopeQ. How does my congregation benefit from Mission Support?

A. More than one-half of your Mission Support funds the work of the synod. The rest is forwarded to the churchwide offices for support for wider mission. Every congregation benefits by knowing that they are part of this larger mission beyond the local congregation. Direct impact on congregations is evident in the work of the Director for Evangelical Mission, Pastor Judith VanOsdol, disaster response in upstate NY communities as well as mission trips, theological education and training for pastors and other leaders, ministries with youth and young adults through camps, campus ministries, youth gatherings, and programs like Project Connect, the work of the synod staff, deans, and the Conflict and Healing Team, the training of deacons, and outreach grants to congregations and new missions, to name just a few.

missionsupport3-proclaiminghopeQ. Is Mission Support different from my weekly offering?

A. Mission Support is a small percentage of your weekly offering. It’s best described as that part of your gift that is shared with the other two expressions of this church-your synod and churchwide ministries-to fund the work of the broader church. Many synods set a goal of 10 percent or greater from each of their congregations.

The rest of your offering (about 90 percent) remains within your congregation. You help pay for local ministries, outreach, salaries, administrative and building expenses, ensuring your congregation’s vital presence in your community.