by Linda Post Bushkofsky
EARLIER THIS SUMMER WOMEN OF THE ELCA launched a major campaign to raise $1 million for the Katharina von Bora Luther Endowment Fund, lovingly known as Katie’s Fund. The churchwide executive board, as financial stewards of Women of the ELCA, recognizes that it is time to grow the principal of this endowment so that today’s participants ensure that a women’s ministry organization continues into the future. Because we will be contributing to the next 100 years of women’s ministry when we support Katie’s Fund, the campaign is named 2122. Before I tell you more about 2122, let’s take a brief look at funding practices in women’s ministries.
Since the creation of women’s groups within the North American Lutheran tradition in the 19th century, women have been steadfastly supporting ministry and mission. Their financial support has come both through offerings collected regularly when women gather and through special funding initiatives raised from time to time. Women of the ELCA continues this tradition with regular offerings collected when women gather in their congregational units, Thankofferings collected as over-and-above giving, convention offerings and special initiatives.
Katie’s Fund is an important means of financial support within Women of the ELCA. Created in 1997, Katie’s Fund offers financial support for ministries and activities in three areas: leadership development, global connections and living theology. Katie’s Fund was established as an endowment so that the principal in the fund remains untouched and only the earnings on the principal are used for the fund’s purpose.
“When I think about Katharina von Bora Luther, I can’t help but be inspired by how determined she was,” says Lisa Plorin of Upham, North Dakota. “Her unwavering faith helped to raise up bold women in the church. By supporting Katie’s Fund, this tradition will continue for future generations.”
The churchwide executive board members and staff, along with members of the Core and Leadership Teams of the campaign, have all pledged their financial support to 2122. Now it’s your turn. You can make a pledge, payable over three years, or you can make a one-time gift to the campaign. Estate gifts, appreciated assets, gifts of stock and cash are all vehicles by which a gift can be made to the campaign.
Why would you want to support Katie’s Fund? “Women of the ELCA impacts and changes women’s lives every day. I know this because it changed my life,” says Jody Smiley of Blacksburg, Virginia. “I support Katie’s Fund so that this community of women will continue to impact other women all over the world for years to come.” Echoing that sentiment, Rhonda Templing of Hoisington, Kansas, states: “I wouldn’t be a lay minister in my synod today if it wasn’t for Women of the ELCA.”
Go to www.welca.org/katiesfund to learn more about 2122 and ways you can honor the role Women of the ELCA has played in your faith journey with a gift to Katie’s Fund. There you’ll also find information about ministries and activities that Katie’s Fund has supported during its first 25 years. If you’d like to talk with me about 2122 and Katie’s Fund, please contact me at [email protected] or 773-380-2740.
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director of Women of the ELCA.