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Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) is a unique ministry-through-investment organization that offers Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod members the opportunity to invest their money, earn interest, and help build LCMS churches and schools at the same time.

LCEF - Central Region serves Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod organizations and members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Learn more about LCEF at lcef.org.

 

“By Grace . . . Access for All!”

 Zion Lutheran Church, Atlantic, Iowa conducted a successful capital campaign last year and is adding on to improve accessibility.

Zion Lutheran Church, Atlantic, Iowa conducted a successful capital campaign last year and is adding on to improve accessibility.

For more than 140 years, Zion Lutheran Church, Atlantic, Iowa, has been blessed to be God’s instrument. The congregation helped bring access to the Gospel for generations and was instrumental in several church plants. However, the ministry was not without its challenges over the years. Zion lacked accessibility; the church needed an elevator and an updated restroom on the sanctuary level.

Increasingly over the years, attendees found the multi-level (think ‘many steps’) facility was not easily accessible for many elderly and people with physical impairments. Pastor Ken Davidson and congregational leaders decided it was time to respond to the challenge.

Zion’s Journey

In 2012, Zion contacted the Lutheran Church Extension Fund Architectural Advisory Committee to explore options to enhance access. LCEF’s AAC consists of professional Lutheran architects and liturgical artists who advise on architectural design, planning, construction and preservation of facilities.

Architectural assistance provided a plan for an ADA compliant entry to the church and fellowship areas as well as a lift to enable all members and guests to enjoy all levels of the facility.  One of the challenges initially was finding out how to finance the improvements. It was projected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In order to learn more about the feasibility of a capital campaign, the congregation reached out to Carole White, LCEF District Vice President – Iowa East and West, and Rev. Bob Riggert, LCEF Immeasurably More Campaign Consultant.

By the fall of 2016, the congregation voted to enter a partnership with LCEF to develop a campaign based on Gospel-powered, Biblically-based stewardship principles. The capital campaign would also be reflective of Zion’s history and culture, unique to their needs and provide significant gifts toward the project.

Consultant Riggert and a team of dedicated Zion volunteers immediately went to work to plan a campaign for early 2017. The team chose the campaign theme— “By Grace . . . Access for All!” —with Romans 5:2 as the Biblical base.

A Generous Response

After a Lenten season of prayer and Bible study, including communicating the need and opportunity to fellow Zion members, the congregation gathered for a Commitment Celebration on April 2, 2017.  Congregation volunteers made a special effort to invite those who would be blessed by the improved accessibility to attend, thus, there were numerous wheel chairs and walkers in the sanctuary.

The response of Zion members was generous, over three years, more than $250,000 was committed toward the facility improvements. A celebration banquet at the local high school was a congregation highlight.

“Working with Bob was great,” said Pastor Davidson. “It helped as we continued to move forward and unify around the goal of providing Access for All in our church building so that the Gospel could be better shared.”

Digging Began!

Zion’s construction of the improvements began this summer. “God-willing there will be access for all—members and community—to the means of grace shared in and through Zion Lutheran Church,” said Riggert. 

Based on Ephesians 3:20-21, “Immeasurably More,” is a process for trained LCMS consultants to walk alongside congregations as they grow as stewards and respond to opportunities including updating facilities, helping to grow ministry, reducing debt and other endeavors requiring capital funding.

To learn more, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregations in the Iowa East and West Districts should contact Carole White for more information at Carole.White@lcef.org or 515-240-2229.

Guthmiller 2018 Recipient of LCEF North Dakota District Scholarship

 Allison Guthmiller was awarded the 2018 LCEF North Dakota District scholarship. A member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, N.D., Allison is a 2018 graduate of Legacy High School, Bismarck, and currently attending the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

Allison Guthmiller was awarded the 2018 LCEF North Dakota District scholarship. A member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, N.D., Allison is a 2018 graduate of Legacy High School, Bismarck, and currently attending the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

“What I admire about the mission of LCEF is that it gives churches and individuals the support it needs in order to go out in the world fearless and make disciples just as God intended us to do, “wrote Allison Guthmiller, Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, North Dakota. “The financial aspect of keeping a ministry running is often forgotten or overlooked and yet it remains such a vital part of a functioning congregation.”

Allison is the recipient of a $1,000 Lutheran Church Extension Fund North Dakota District scholarship, one of nineteen 2018 LCEF district awards. A member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, North Dakota, she is a 2018 graduate of Legacy High School, Bismarck. Allison is currently attending the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Her parents are Bryan and Tanya Guthmiller.

In her letter of recommendation for Allison, Bethel Lutheran Youth Fellowship Advisor Patricia Sebastian wrote,

“Allison's academic performance is superior as evidenced by her grade point average and advanced course work. Her intelligence and work ethic in academics does not manifest itself in an arrogant know-it-all way. She realized early that academics are crucial to being the most competent nurse anesthetist she can be to best serve patients.

She excels in music and athletics and has been chosen for leadership roles as drum major, student council, Bismarck Public School Foundation Advisory Committee and volleyball team captain. Allison is a leader who others want to follow! I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for Allison beyond high school.”

In her scholarship essay, Allison wrote,

“I have seen firsthand what blessings LCEF can help bring. I have grown up in the same Missouri Synod Lutheran Church my whole life and since I was baptized the church has consistently grown. Unfortunately, several years previous our church reached a standstill because we no longer had the room for our growing population, that was until LCEF stepped in and helped us with a loan to expand our education wing.

… [since the addition,] our church has grown exponentially and the mission to spread God’s word remains relentless. I [have been] a Sunday School Teacher in that very education wing teaching the precious gift of God’s word that was made possible by the generosity of the LCEF loan our church was granted.”

In his letter of recommendation for Allison, Advanced Placement Senior English Teacher John Tufte, Ed.D. wrote,

“…I have come across strikingly few students with the capabilities [that] Allison Guthmiller displays on a daily basis. Academically, she separates herself with relative ease. She carries a 4.5 GPA and is ranked #1 out of 267 students at Legacy High School.

Academic prowess acknowledged, the real strength of Allison is to be found in her character and demeanor…. At a time when the make-up of today's youth is often questioned for substance, Allison reminds that there are indeed fantastic young people headed toward higher education. Classmates and teachers alike find themselves comfortable in Allison's presence; this is a priceless reality few students possess and will serve her well for years to come.”

LCEF is blessed to provide annual district scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students just like Allison. The 2019 scholarship application will be available beginning in September 2018 at lcefcentral.org/scholarships. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2019.

Learn how you can become a partner in ministry via LCEF investments, loans and ministry support at lcef.org.

Supporting the Mission in Iowa District East

 Carole White, LCEF District Vice President - Iowa Districts East and West, connected with convention attendees in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 29, 2018.

Carole White, LCEF District Vice President - Iowa Districts East and West, connected with convention attendees in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 29, 2018.

“I have been privileged to serve the congregations and families of Iowa through LCEF for over 19 years in various ways,” wrote Carole White, Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) District Vice President – Iowa Districts East and West, in her report for the 40th District Convention of the Iowa District East – The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. 

“As always, loans to finance church and school operations, expansion, improvements, new mission starts and many other ministry purposes are available through our church’s financial organization, LCEF, and I consider it a joy to meet with committees and congregations interested in furthering the Lord’s work in their communities. 

 Attendees at the convention in Cedar Rapids.

Attendees at the convention in Cedar Rapids.

In Iowa District East for the last triennium, LCEF has made 14 new loans totaling over $2,314,000 thanks to faithful investors and borrowers partnering together to make a difference in things eternal. Over the last three years, Iowa District East received $103,313 in operating results from LCEF.  This earnings distribution is made available to districts and the Synod each year that LCEF is profitable.  The amount given back to each district is based upon a 5-way average consisting of the following components: loans to congregations compared to total congregations, operating income, income producing assets, investors as a % of confirmed members and capital-to-asset ratio.  

LCEF was blessed to provide Iowa District East with these extra funds for new mission starts in Charles City and North Liberty, supporting congregations and our camp, as well as missionaries in our district and around the world.”

 LCEF sponsored a fun, putting green for convention attendees; pictured is LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day.

LCEF sponsored a fun, putting green for convention attendees; pictured is LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day.

LCEF is your Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod partner providing loans, investments and ministry support. Loan funds are available thanks to the faithful support of LCEF investors. To learn how you can become a partner in ministry with LCEF, email Carole White, call 515-240-2229 or visit lcef.org.

 Two of the seven LCEF gift card recipients were Rev. Reed Stockman (pictured left) and lay delegate Stan Burrichter (right,) both of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Monticello, Iowa.

Two of the seven LCEF gift card recipients were Rev. Reed Stockman (pictured left) and lay delegate Stan Burrichter (right,) both of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Monticello, Iowa.

LCEF Gift Card Giveaway Recipients

In appreciation of convention delegates, LCEF sponsored a gift card giveaway
Congratulations to the seven recipients of the 2018 LCEF Gift Card Giveaway at the convention. 
•    Stan Burrichter, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Monticello, Iowa
•    Verla Hinrichs, St. Paul's Lutheran Church-Artesian, Waverly, Iowa
•    Rev. Zachary Voss, St. John Lutheran Church, Homestead, Iowa
•    Tim Koch, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa
•    Jerome Dusek, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Wapello, Iowa
•    Rev. Matthew Rueger, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hubbard, Iowa
•    Rev. Reed Stockman, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Monticello, Iowa

 Convention coloring cards are still available for your use, contact  Carole White .

Convention coloring cards are still available for your use, contact Carole White.

How about those creative coloring cards?!

In support of the 2018 Iowa District East Convention theme—Life Together: Laity and Clergy—LCEF provided creative, coloring cards for attendees during the convention. The coloring card file is available for your continued use throughout the year; if you would like a copy, please contact Carole White.

LCEF is a nonprofit religious organization; therefore, LCEF investments are not FDIC-insured bank deposit accounts. This is not an offer to sell investments, nor a solicitation to buy. LCEF will offer and sell its securities only in states where authorized.  The offer is made solely by LCEF’s Offering Circular. Investors should carefully read the Offering Circular, which more fully describes associated risks. StewardAccount access features are offered through UMB Bank n.a. StewardAccount products are not available to investors in South Carolina. The Family Emergency StewardAccount is known as the Family StewardAccount in the state of Ohio.

Supporting the Mission at Iowa District West Convention

 Iowa District West staff at the 2018 Iowa District West Convention at Camp Okoboji in June, 2018.

Iowa District West staff at the 2018 Iowa District West Convention at Camp Okoboji in June, 2018.

LCEF is your Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod partner providing loans, investments and ministry support. "I consider it a joy to meet with committees and congregations interested in furthering the Lord’s work in their communities," said Carole White, Lutheran Church Extension Fund District Vice President - Iowa East and West. 

"In Iowa District West for the last triennium, LCEF has provided 17 new loans totaling over $5,088,000 thanks to faithful investors and borrowers partnering together to make a difference in things eternal. 

 LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West Carole White presented her report at convention.

LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West Carole White presented her report at convention.

Over the last 3 years, Iowa District West received $135,343 in operating results from Lutheran Church Extension Fund. This earnings distribution is made available to districts and the Synod each year that LCEF is profitable.  The amount given back to each district is based upon a 5-way average consisting of the following components: loans to congregations compared to total congregations, operating income, income producing assets, investors as a % of confirmed members and capital-to-asset ratio. 

LCEF was blessed to provide Iowa District West with these extra funds for new mission starts, supporting congregations and church workers, missionaries in our district, and many other outreach initiatives."

How about those creative coloring cards?!

 The print file for these creative coloring cards featuring the convention theme are available. Contact  Carole.White@lcef.org .

The print file for these creative coloring cards featuring the convention theme are available. Contact Carole.White@lcef.org.

In support of the 2018 Iowa District West Convention theme—Bound Together in Christ’s Love—based upon Colossians 3:12-17, LCEF provided creative, coloring cards for attendees during the convention. 

The coloring card file is available for your continued use throughout the year; please contact Carole White if you would like to use it.

LCEF is a nonprofit religious organization; therefore, LCEF investments are not FDIC-insured bank deposit accounts. This is not an offer to sell investments, nor a solicitation to buy. LCEF will offer and sell its securities only in states where authorized.  The offer is made solely by LCEF’s Offering Circular. Investors should carefully read the Offering Circular, which more fully describes associated risks. StewardAccount access features are offered through UMB Bank n.a. StewardAccount products are not available to investors in South Carolina. The Family Emergency StewardAccount is known as the Family StewardAccount in the state of Ohio.
 

Join us for an LCEF Minnesota South District Lunch & Learn!

LCEF advocates and LCMS congregation and day school leaders/members in the Minnesota South District are invited to a Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Lunch & Learn this August. 

Enjoy a catered, complimentary lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  To see a map and get directions, click the church name below. 

See Minnesota South District ministries who have successfully partnered with LCEF. Learn how LCEF can help equip your LCMS ministry. LCEF serves LCMS ministries and rostered church workers exclusively with loans, investments, ministry support, scholarships, grants and more. Please join us!

Questions, please contact Kai Larson, LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota South at Kai.Larson@lcef.org or  952-223-2163.

REGISTER NOW

Register by Wed., August 8, 2018!

Convention Complete in North Wisconsin District

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The 2018 North Wisconsin District Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Convention finished up on June 4 at the Central Wisconsin Convention & Expo Center in Rothschild, Wisconsin. Learn more about the convention results here.

In appreciation of the convention delegates, Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) provided an LCEF Gift Card Giveaway at the convention. Congratulations to the gift card recipients:

  • Pastor Joel Danner, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Merrill, Wisconsin
  • Pastor Nathan Reichle, St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, Manawa
  • Pastor Jonathan Wessel, Grace Lutheran Church, Augusta, Wisconsin

 

 LCEF District Vice President - North Wisconsin Dennis Johnson (pictured left) presents an LCEF gift card to Pastor Jonathan Wessel at the district convention on June 4, 2018 in Rothschild, Wisc.

LCEF District Vice President - North Wisconsin Dennis Johnson (pictured left) presents an LCEF gift card to Pastor Jonathan Wessel at the district convention on June 4, 2018 in Rothschild, Wisc.

LCEF provides loans, investments and ministry support to LCMS organizations. When LCMS members invest in LCEF, it's an investment in the future of the Church. Learn more at lcef.org.

Sapper Awarded 2018 LCEF North Wisconsin District Scholarship

 Brooke Sapper, a 2018 LCEF North Wisconsin District scholarship recipient. A member of Zion Lutheran Church, Ashland, Wisc., Brooke is a 2018 graduate of Ashland High School and will attend Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., in the fall.

Brooke Sapper, a 2018 LCEF North Wisconsin District scholarship recipient. A member of Zion Lutheran Church, Ashland, Wisc., Brooke is a 2018 graduate of Ashland High School and will attend Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., in the fall.

“I believe with all my heart that at the center of [Brooke’s] goals and aspirations lies her strong faith in her Lord and Savior.” – Rev. Richard Williams, Zion Lutheran Church, Ashland, Wisc.

Brooke Sapper is the recipient of a 2018 Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) North Wisconsin District $1,000 scholarship.  A member of Zion Lutheran Church, Ashland, Wisconsin, Brooke is a 2018 graduate of Ashland High School. In the fall, she will attend Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Brooke’s parents are Scott and Rebecca Sapper.

In his letter of recommendation for Brooke, Pastor Williams wrote the following:

“I have known Brooke since her birth, witnessed her baptism, confirmation, and her growth within the church. Brooke is an intelligent, enlightened, and insightful young woman. She sincerely cares about those around her and is always looking for ways to help her neighbor. Brooke has always been active in church…. She used her creativity to lead and direct our Sunday School Christmas program for the past few years. She does a wonderful job with the children and the programs are always well received, creative and true to the message of our Savior’s birth.

…We are in the process of developing a Hispanic outreach program through our congregation and Brooke has offered her services to assist in any way that she can with her bilingual skill set and experience.”

In her letter of recommendation for Brooke, Gretchen Burke, Ashland High School Spanish Teacher, wrote the following:

“… I have witnessed few other individuals more conscientious, attentive or successful than Brooke. She always seems to excel even when handed the most difficult of challenges with poise and effectiveness. She has an innate desire for knowledge and understanding that is exemplified in Brooke’s personal commitment to learning. Brooke studies topics, subjects and languages not offered at Ashland High School on her own time because she simply wants to learn.

As a Spanish club and W.A.T.E.R.S. club member Brooke is dependable, enthusiastic, and a team player. When volunteers are requested, Brooke is always the first to offer and the last to leave and help clean up. Brooke has dedicated herself as a leader in her community by recycling more than four tons of glossy paper, participating in Youthrive and helping to put on free community dinners along with sponsoring a number of fundraisers.”

LCEF is blessed to provide annual district scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students. The remainder of the 2018 LCEF district scholarships will be announced this spring. Follow our newsfeed for updated announcements.

Learn how you can become a partner in ministry via LCEF investments, loans and ministry support at lcef.org.

Schult Awarded 2018 LCEF North Wisconsin District Scholarship

 Clay Schult is a 2018 LCEF North Wisconsin District scholarship recipient. A member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau, Wisc., Clay is a 2018 graduate of Wisconsin Valley Lutheran High School and will attend Carroll University, Waukesha, Wisc., in the fall.

Clay Schult is a 2018 LCEF North Wisconsin District scholarship recipient. A member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau, Wisc., Clay is a 2018 graduate of Wisconsin Valley Lutheran High School and will attend Carroll University, Waukesha, Wisc., in the fall.

“Clay holds firm to his values and allows his beliefs to take root in his life. He is a man who is honest in the lifestyle that he leads and has a heart that bleeds compassion for the hurting and broken.” - Trevor Kunze, Director of Youth, Family and Education at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Wausau, Wisc.

Clay Schult is the recipient of a 2018 Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) North Wisconsin District $1,000 scholarship.  A member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau, Wisconsin, Clay is a 2018 graduate of Wisconsin Valley Lutheran High School (WVLHS) in Mosinee, Wisconsin. In the fall, he will attend Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His parents are DJ and Sara Schult.

In a letter of recommendation for Clay, Trevor Kunze, Director of Youth, Family and Education at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Wausau, wrote the following:

“He is the backbone of many strong relationships and an important leader. He leads through serving others without any thought of reward or boastfulness. Clay has repeatedly shown that he has the ability to stay on task and lead through stressful situations. I have even seen him turn a seemingly stressful situation into an opportunity to encourage the people around him and bring a team together to better accomplish their task. 

I have been able to directly witness Clay’s character through his participation in service projects every month. During these service projects, I have never heard Clay complain about the work being too hard or the hours being too long. Furthermore, his consistency and devotion to seeing any project through to the end is next to the best. Clay clearly has a strong desire to bring about positive change in his town and community. He understands that participating in service opportunities is both a great opportunity to make that positive change a reality and to better himself as an individual. 

I am proud of what I have seen Clay accomplish in the past two years. Clay holds firm to his values and allows his beliefs to take root in his life. He is a man who is honest in the lifestyle that he leads and has a heart that bleeds compassion for the hurting and broken.”

Clay served as student council president, was captain of his varsity basketball and baseball teams, involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteered tirelessly in his community. 

In his letter of recommendation for Clay, WVLHS Interim Administrator Jamie Wehrs wrote the following:

“Clay looks for opportunities to serve both at his school and in his community. He volunteers… packing backpacks for children in need, participating in Feed My Starving Children, cleaning up the environment, working at Vacation Bible School,…. Clay lives out his faith. Clay not only professes to be a child of God but he lives his life in a manner which leaves no doubt about Clay’s faithfulness to his Lord and Savior. 

Clay takes the gift of prayer seriously and volunteers to lead prayers in different groups, taking time to pray for his peers in the situations they are facing in life. Clay Schult is a mature, upstanding young man of God who not only excels academically but who seeks ways to serve others….”

LCEF is blessed to provide annual district scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students. The remainder of the 2018 LCEF district scholarships will be announced this spring. Follow the lcefcentral.org newsfeed for updated announcements.
Learn how you can become a partner in ministry via LCEF investments, loans and ministry support at lcef.org.