Reflecting on the Future

By Pastor Lori Cornell

I dislike fundraising campaigns. So when I was asked to serve on a Synod fundraising team I was immediately uncomfortable. But the request came from Bishop Jaech. So I listened. And then I said Yes.

Deep Roots, New Life is an opportunity for members of our Southwestern Washington Synod to claim a future for Lutherans in Southwestern Washington. The money raised will provide training that revitalizes current congregations, fund new mission congregations, and unburden new pastors from crippling debt. I feel confident that my work to promote the campaign, and my monetary gifts, will be well used.

Two summers ago, when my congregation was updating its long-term plan, we had Listening Posts with members—asking them to reflect on the future of our congregation and the context in which we serve. One of the questions we asked was, If you could show up at our church in the year 2025, what would you hope to see? It was a question meant to invite members to envision our future together. One of the surprise responses that our leadership heard more than once was, “I won’t be alive in 2025.” The response testified to the nature of our aging ELCA congregations, and the challenges we face as we seek to prepare for a church that will look unlike it ever has in the past.

The truth is that many of us in this Synod may not be around in 2025. But if we are, my hope is that we will see how our deep Lutheran roots can sprout and grow into a vital new version of that life-giving tree (the Church of Christ) that has already born fruit for the life of the world.

That is why I serve on the campaign team, and that is why I give freely and gladly to Deep Roots, New Life. That’s also why I invite you to support and share this vision by your participation in the campaign.

THANK YOU to congregations who have made special gifts and pledges for Deep Roots, New Life:

·      Creator, Bonney Lake (Advent offering)

·      Evangelical Church of Chinook (estate gift)

·      Mountain View, Edgewood (endowment fund)

·      Hope Lutheran, Enumclaw (monthly support) 

·      Calvary Lutheran, Federal Way (special offering in honor of intern)

·      Peace, Puyallup (estate gift)

·      St. Mark's by the Narrows (benevolence and tithe from capital campaign) 

·      Trinity Lutheran Foundation, Vancouver (endowment fund)

We are grateful for these creative ways of supporting Deep Roots, New Life.  If you would like to discuss ideas you have for your congregation, please contact Bishop Jaech, Synod Staff,  Pastor Steve Olson (steve@olsonadvancement.com; 253-973-2611), Campaign Consultant, or Carol Watson, Campaign Coordinator, watsoncm@plu.edu). 

Remember, you can find more information and resources at deeprootsnewlife.com.