Monday, July 12, 2010

Paying off debt before 2011

We are rejoicing! Donors from across the country have responded over the last year and a half to the news that Concordia Lutheran Seminary suffered from financial shortage. Hearing the need, individuals, companies, and congregations gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the costs of running this graduate school. Through their giving people are expressing their excitement for the seminary’s mission and goals, its reason for forming students, the proclamation of the Gospel and the ministry of God’s grace in this world, especially in Canadian LCC churches.
The response came in donations from $10 to $500,000. People are giving out of their gifts and out of their tithes. People are giving sacrificially, sharing not just extra money that could have been used for that regular latté, but giving a donation that takes money away from their regular buying power. Even with the generous support, we still need to gather in more money. As President Zeuch mentioned, we are obligated to pay off the deficit of roughly $150,000 incurred over the last years’ economic downturn. Thankfully, it appears that some surplus will be left over in this year’s budget to pay more than half the deficit, but we want to eliminate the deficit completely.
Concordia Lutheran Seminary depends on the direct donations of supporters; the Synod provides just a small portion of the funds needed for the budget. The Seminary receives no government funding. Over $50,000 a month is needed to cover on-going expenses. That doesn’t include special contributions to endowments or money for capital projects. Endowments help seminary administration with budget forecasting by providing normally consistent earnings.Capital funds are becoming increasingly more important now that our building is twenty years old and starting to show maintenance needs.
The bottom line (as accountants like to say) is continuous need for significant contributions by donors who see the vision and want to support the mission of Concordia Lutheran Seminary. That’s the reason for a response card and envelope included in every mail-out sent by the Seminary. Through faithful on-going support CLS continues to send out pastors as “servants for Jesus’ sake.”

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