Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Seminary and the ABC District Church Extension Fund (CEF)

In light of recent ABC District Church Extension Fund news, this information may be helpful to our Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS) family.

1) Concordia Lutheran Seminary is a corporate entity independent of ABC District, and although we are a seminary of Lutheran Church - Canada, we are not structurally incorporated with ABC District.

2) Concordia Lutheran Seminary owns the property and building at 7040 Ada Blvd NW, and has no current debt against the building.

3)  CLS has endowment money and restricted capital invested in two sources: LCC-FM (the financial Foundation of Lutheran Church-Canada in Winnipeg)  and ABC District Church Extension Fund (CEF).  Roughly 78.5% of our money is with LCC-FM and 21.5% is with ABC CEF.

4) Roughly $898,000 of our assets are invested in ABC CEF. These assets are currently frozen (like all investor assets in the ABC CEF). After the decision is made, whether the short-term or long-term solution is chosen, we lose a significant amount of money.

5) Because of the nature of this investment (two term notes), we have NOT been drawing from this ABC CEF money for daily or annual operations costs like we have been upon the investments in LCC-FM that pay out semi-annually.

6) We had anticipated accessing some of the CEF monies for capital improvements in the Missionary Study Centre and other parts of the building after the fire.

7) Although we are deeply affected by the CEF situation in real financial losses, we are reminded that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and promises to provide for all of our needs of body and life as He raises up supporters. We strive to be good stewards and managers of your finances ... good fiscal management is an important part of our commitment and your trust in our leadership.

8) We are heavily dependent upon our support base: a) direct donations from so many wonderful visionary Christian people; b) LCC direct subsidy to help support the Seminary mission; and c) support from each of the three districts (ABC, Central District, and East District), as well as agencies like LWML and congregations. THANK YOU!

9)  We assure you that the mission at Concordia Lutheran Seminary continues. Our students study and learn and are being prepared to minister to a church that will need long term support rooted in the Gospel of Christ.  We still "form servants for Jesus' sake."

10) We need your continual partnership with us in broad Gospel ministry, in your prayers and support, but especially in your financial contributions -- directly, but also, continuing to support the mission and ministry of the Lutheran Church-Canada, all three of her districts, and all of the congregations that are part of God's "ministry on the ground" to people who need to connect regularly with Word and Sacrament ministry.

Regardless of how anyone may be feeling right now, we all serve a trustworthy and changeless Christ in this changing world. Christ's ministry still takes place through His Church and her seminaries, using the tools of His Gospel. We "lift high the cross" and "proclaim Christ crucified" even in, and especially at times like these. Thank you for your continued partnership and support in our mission. 

May God bless you,
Rev. James R. Gimbel, Ph.D., President
Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton

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