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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.

 

Carlson Received 2017 LCEF Minnesota South District Scholarship

 Kristen Carlson received a $1,000 LCEF scholarship award on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at her home congregation, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota. Kai Larson, LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota South,  presented the check.

Kristen Carlson received a $1,000 LCEF scholarship award on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at her home congregation, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota. Kai Larson, LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota South,  presented the check.

[Kristen] is an excellent example of what we want for the next generation of church and world leaders that are willing to serve others because of the good news of Jesus Christ,” wrote Richard Heuton, Chairman of the Board of Elders at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota.

A 2017 scholarship recipient, Kristen Carlson received her $1,000 scholarship award on Sunday, January 28, 2018, at her home congregation. Carlson plans to graduate this spring from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, majoring in communication studies, music and philosophy. She expressed gratitude for the support of her home church and Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF).

LCEF is blessed to provide annual scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students. To read more about Kristen’s story, click here: http://lcefuppermidwest.org/news-feed/2017/5/9/kristen-carlson-awarded-final-mns-lcef-scholarship.

The 2018 LCEF district scholarships will be announced this spring. Follow our newsfeed at lcefcentral.org for announcements.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Findlay Received 2017 LCEF Minnesota North District Scholarship

 Megan Findlay received a $1,000 LCEF scholarship award on Sunday, January 7, 2018, at her home congregation, St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Minn. LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota North George Miller presented the check.

Megan Findlay received a $1,000 LCEF scholarship award on Sunday, January 7, 2018, at her home congregation, St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Minn. LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota North George Miller presented the check.

Megan Findlay received her $1,000 LCEF scholarship on Sunday, January 7, 2018. Findlay is a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Minn., and attends Minnesota State University of Moorhead.

Findlay expressed gratitude for making the LCEF Scholarship possible and is deeply appreciative of the support. She is the daughter of Gary and Rhonda Findlay, the family lives in Herman, Minn.

“Megan has a positive outlook on life,” wrote St. John Rev. Michael Breach in his letter of recommendation for Findlay. “Her career goal is to be a middle school math teacher, helping young teens understand math concepts more easily. Whatever Megan strives to do she will be hardworking to achieve success. She will confidently reach her goals. Having known Megan and seen her dedication, desire, and hardworking personality, she will accomplish whatever her goals are.”

LCEF is blessed to provide annual scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students such as Megan. In her scholarship essay, Megan wrote, “LCEF has a biblical mission. This mission is our highest mission throughout life. We are called to proclaim Christ as our salvation, to be a light to the world. LCEF provides an opportunity through its mission to impact many people in a tremendous way.” LCMS members invest in LCEF — those invested dollars support loans and services throughout the church body.

To read more about Megan’s story, click here.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Treasurers Learn the Latest Updates at Workshop

 LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West Carole White presented at the Iowa District West Church and Clergy Finance/Treasurer Workshop at Zion Lutheran Church, Ogden, Iowa, on Saturday, January 20, 2018.

LCEF District Vice President - Iowa East and West Carole White presented at the Iowa District West Church and Clergy Finance/Treasurer Workshop at Zion Lutheran Church, Ogden, Iowa, on Saturday, January 20, 2018.

A 'walk through' the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Congregational Treasurer's Manual might sound, well, a bit 'less than exciting.' However, it can be invaluable for today's church treasurers and finance staff. 

"After last year's workshop and being newly elected, I wondered what I got myself into! However, with one year's experience and participating in the workshop again, I have a lot more confidence to fulfill my role for my congregation," said a recent workshop attendee.

 At the end of the Iowa District West treasurers workshop on January 20, 2018, LCEF Gift Card winners were announced. Pictured above, Howard Killion from Trinity Lutheran Church, Shenandoah, Iowa, and Alena Naberhaus from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Urbandale, Iowa.

At the end of the Iowa District West treasurers workshop on January 20, 2018, LCEF Gift Card winners were announced. Pictured above, Howard Killion from Trinity Lutheran Church, Shenandoah, Iowa, and Alena Naberhaus from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Urbandale, Iowa.

The Iowa District West Church and Clergy Finance/Treasurer Workshop was held at Zion Lutheran Church, Ogden, Iowa, on Saturday, January 20, 2018. This was the second of two workshops offered by the district each year and nearly 30 people attended representing 21 different congregations. 

"Bob Joy, CPA presented a variety of helpful and pertinent topics such as properly completing a pastor's W-2, rostered church worker housing allowance components, accountable plans for clergy expenses, and highlights of the new tax bill," said Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) District Vice President - Iowa East and West Carole White. "Concordia Plan Services Account Manager David Henrichs also presented an overview of each worker's benefit package in the afternoon. LCEF was blessed to sponsor the workshop lunch and also provide a fun, online LCEF gift card giveaway. Attendees appreciated our support of the workshop and its pertinent content."

To learn more about becoming an LCEF partner in ministry, visit lcef.org or call your district vice president.

North Dakota District Convention and LCEF Giveaway!

 Mitch Semanko, voting delegate for Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo, was the recipient of the LCEF iPad Mini Giveaway at the North Dakota District Convention in Dickinson, N.D., on January 22, 2018. LCEF District Vice Presiden Tami Ulland presented the gift.

Mitch Semanko, voting delegate for Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo, was the recipient of the LCEF iPad Mini Giveaway at the North Dakota District Convention in Dickinson, N.D., on January 22, 2018. LCEF District Vice Presiden Tami Ulland presented the gift.

In appreciation of the North Dakota District pastors and convention delegates, Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) sponsored an iPad Mini Giveaway at the district convention on January 22, 2018, at the Astoria Hotel and Event Center, Dickinson, N.D.

LCEF District Vice President - North Dakota Tami Ulland presented the gift to Mitch Semanko at the Monday evening banquet. Semanko served as the voting delegate for Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo. 

Conventions are held every three years by each of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s 35 districts. The schedule includes time for conducting business, electing officers and sharing information. The conventions also offer opportunities for worship, nurture, inspiration and fellowship.

LCEF provides LCMS ministries with loans, investments and ministry support services. Learn how you can become a ministry partner with LCEF at lcef.org or contact your district vice president.

 

Where Everything Is about Jesus - New Beginnings

 Pictured in the lower right corner above, Casey Carlson, LCEF District Vice President - Missouri,  shared LCEF opportunities at NBLC in Pacific, Missouri on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018.

Pictured in the lower right corner above, Casey Carlson, LCEF District Vice President - Missouri,  shared LCEF opportunities at NBLC in Pacific, Missouri on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018.

"I had a beautiful reminder that everything really is 'all about Jesus' during worship last weekend," said Casey Carlson, Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) District Vice President - Missouri.

"As a life-long Lutheran who can get into a ‘rut’ now and then, I need to be reminded of that incredibly simple, and wonderful, reality from time-to-time. This congregation was 100% engaged and passionate for Jesus. It was a joy for my family and I to visit, and participate in, services with everyone at New Beginnings Lutheran Church (NBLC) in Pacific, Missouri.”

While at NBLC on Sunday, January 21, 2018, Carlson was invited to share LCEF opportunities to support ministry. Carlson introduced LCEF loans and investments, and how they work together to help support more people learning about Jesus. By becoming an LCEF investor, every individual can make an impact. At NBLC, there is the additional benefit of reaching a qualifying level for a future Shared Blessings Rebate.

Interested in being a ministry partner with LCEF? Learn more at lcef.org. “May God continue to bless New Beginnings Lutheran Church and may His glory shine as they embark on an exciting new chapter. I give thanks to God for the continued partnership in ministry between LCEF and NBLC,” said Carlson.

 

2017 $1,000 ND LCEF Scholarship Received – Apply for 2018 Soon!

ND LCEF scholarshiip - Bieri check presentation 2017 12 31 crop.jpg

Austin Bieri received the 2017 Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) North Dakota District (NDD) $1,000 scholarship at Concordia Lutheran Church, Jamestown, North Dakota on December 31, 2017. Presenting the check was LCEF NDD Vice President Tami Ulland. Read about Bieri’s story here.

The deadline to apply for the 2018 scholarship is January 31, 2018. Members of Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregations in the Central Region who are either a graduating high school senior or a current college student with at least one complete semester remaining are encouraged to apply.

Complete details and an online application are at lcefcentral.org.

Kaleidoscope Fund Announced $52,000 Grant for MNS District

 MNS District Executive Assistant to the President Rev. Bob Schulze (pictured left) received the presentation check from LCEF MNS District Vice President Kai Larson at the district Board of Directors meeting on December 5, 2017, at the district office in Burnsville, Minnesota.  Photo credit:  Billy Schultz, MNS District Director of Communications and Mission Support

MNS District Executive Assistant to the President Rev. Bob Schulze (pictured left) received the presentation check from LCEF MNS District Vice President Kai Larson at the district Board of Directors meeting on December 5, 2017, at the district office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Photo credit: Billy Schultz, MNS District Director of Communications and Mission Support

A $52,000 grant for the Minnesota South (MNS) District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) was announced by the Kaleidoscope Fund, a granting program established by Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF).

Having identified a need for emergent leadership training and continued education, the district plans to offer need-based scholarships with the grant funds. These scholarships will allow church leaders to attend intensive leadership training programs to help equip them to better serve God.

MNS District Executive Assistant to the President Rev. Bob Schulze (pictured left) received the presentation check from LCEF MNS District Vice President Kai Larson at the district Board of Directors meeting on December 5, 2017, at the district office in Burnsville, Minnesota. 

"It is a pleasure to present this check to the Minnesota South District," said Larson. "These funds will be put to great use to further God's Kingdom."

In November, the Kaleidoscope Fund announced their 2017 grant recipients. The fund awarded a total of $601,000 to 11 LCMS ministries throughout the United States. Visit lcef.org to learn more about the Kaleidoscope Fund and see additional recipients.

Sievers Receives Scholarship in Iowa

 Recipient of the 2017 LCEF Iowa District West $1,000 Scholarship, Mallory Sievers (pictured right above) received the funds at her home congregation, Zion Lutheran Church, Storm Lake, Iowa. Presenting Mallory with her scholarship check on Nov. 26, 2107 was LCEF IDW VP Carole White.

Recipient of the 2017 LCEF Iowa District West $1,000 Scholarship, Mallory Sievers (pictured right above) received the funds at her home congregation, Zion Lutheran Church, Storm Lake, Iowa. Presenting Mallory with her scholarship check on Nov. 26, 2107 was LCEF IDW VP Carole White.

"Mallory has been an LCEF investor since birth and has a great understanding of the ministry of LCEF," said Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Iowa District West Vice President Carole White.

White presented Mallory Sievers' 2017 $1,000 LCEF Scholarship check on Sunday, November 26, 2017, at her home congregation, Zion Lutheran Church, Storm Lake, Iowa. 

Sievers is studying Elementary Education at the University of South Dakota (USD), Vermillion.

Read more about Mallory's story here

Applications for the 2018 scholarship is available here. Deadline to apply is January 31, 2018. 

Lutheran Church Extension Fund has served as the financial extension of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) since 1978, offering funding and resources in support of the Church. When you invest with LCEF, you’re providing for the creation and growth of congregations and ministries across the country.

Investing in a strong LCMS community

LCEF empowers LCMS ministries with every dollar invested. And with nearly 60,000 investors, we’ve been able to make a difference for thousands of ministries. We provide customized loans and support services to new and growing ministries as well as loans for Rostered Church Workers who dedicate their lives to sharing the Gospel.

Learn more at lcef.org.

Loving Boldly: 2017 LCEF Fall Leadership Conference

 LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day speaks at the 2017 Fall Leadership Conference.

LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day speaks at the 2017 Fall Leadership Conference.

Well into its third decade, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) 2017 Fall Leadership Conference continued its tradition of presenting the Gospel-inspired results and benefits of church extension work. This year’s conference was held in New Orleans on Nov. 17-19.

Organized around their annual corporate meeting, the conference serves as an opportunity to acknowledge and applaud all that God has done through LCEF’s partnerships with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Every year the conference follows a theme. This year’s theme was “Love Boldly.”

In his opening remarks, LCEF Senior Vice President – Ministry Support and conference emcee Max Biesenthal noted the noble nature of “loving boldly.” In practice, he said, “we tend to love the things we like,” such as ice cream, naps, our children, sunsets and books. Instead, loving boldly challenges us to love the unlovable just as Christ has shown us.

One ministry loving boldly was Redeeming Life Maternity Home. This home for unwed mothers in Sanford, Fla., offers a safe haven for women who may not know a pro-life Christian option is available to them. Pastor Ed and Sheryl DeWitt started the ministry when their unmarried daughter learned she was pregnant and knew that abortion was not an option. Their daughter shared her situation with the congregation and asked for their support—and it was given in abundance. LCEF gave Redeeming Life the 2017 Fred E. Lietz Mission Project Award.

“I loved hearing the stories of the awardees,” Rev. Jeffery David Nickel of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Clarence, N.Y. said. “It’s encouraging to hear how God is working around us, often in small, nearly invisible ways,” through His people and investors. “It’s a testament that LCEF support makes a difference in the Church.”

For his tireless and charitable work at his congregation and in the community, Rev. Dennis Bartels received the Lietz Individual Ministry Award. Bartels is a 35-year veteran of Holy Cross in North Miami and LCEF advocate.

Florida-Georgia District President Greg Walton said the following about Bartels’ generosity: “Their school feeds 400 students both breakfast and lunch. And when Irma went through Miami and the school lost power, instead of losing all the food in their refrigerators they grilled it and gave it away.”

The awards are named in honor of Fred E. Lietz, an early church extension pioneer and LCEF’s first president.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. From left to right: Dave Dravecky; Herman Cain; Rev. Bart Day; Rev. Dr. John Nunes; Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.

Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. From left to right: Dave Dravecky; Herman Cain; Rev. Bart Day; Rev. Dr. John Nunes; Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.

Joy and loving boldly
Noteworthy speakers like radio talk show host and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and former San Francisco Giants baseball player Dave Dravecky advanced the 2017 conference theme in their one-of-a-kind ways.

Dravecky shared the story of losing his pitching arm to cancer and how the bold love of friends helped him navigate that dark period of his life. Cain spoke about the idea that “you cannot love boldly unless you are happy.” He then explained how to achieve that happiness: have something to do; have someone to love (starting with Jesus); and have something to hope for.
Cain’s point about happiness wasn’t lost on LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison who spoke Saturday morning. Harrison said, “If we cease caring for the least, the lost, the last, the disaster victim, the divorced, the struggling, the broken, we lose the soul of the Church. Bold love requires us to be joyful—joyfully Lutheran.”

Other speakers included LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day; Executive Director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty Greg Seltz; and Concordia College New York President Rev. Dr. John Nunes.

“Dr. Nunes’ presentation had the biggest impact on me,” said Rev. Jason Shaw of Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Jackson, Mo. “I loved his personal testimony. He removed fears that I have about changing trends in our culture and gave me hope that the best of the LCMS will survive and prayerfully thrive.”

 Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. Fall Leadership Conference attendees fill care packages for inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola during the Servant Event.

Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. Fall Leadership Conference attendees fill care packages for inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola during the Servant Event.

The Servant Event, hosted just hours before the conference officially starts on Friday, is the highlight of the weekend for many attendees. This event invites people to participate in a benevolence project. This year, care packages were filled for inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

LCMS Northern Illinois District President Dan Gilbert, who attended the Servant Event with his wife, said, “The very positive atmosphere and the encouragement to continue faithfully in the Lord’s mission makes this one of the best LCMS events I attend, year after year.”
Saturday afternoon was dedicated to LCEF’s annual meeting, which serves as an official review of the fund and current organization objectives. LCEF Board of Directors (BOD), officers, members-at-large, former staff, district vice presidents and district voting delegates attended this two-hour gathering.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. LCEF staff members pray after filling the truck with the care packages assembled during the Servant Event.

Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. LCEF staff members pray after filling the truck with the care packages assembled during the Servant Event.

George Cook, international consulting director with Graystone Consulting, shared an overview of the economy, as well as an investment market presentation. LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day reported on LCEF’s 2017 fiscal year performance metrics; announcement of earnings distribution to the Synod and partner districts; and core initiatives for 2018 fiscal year. 


To fill a vacant BOD seat in the West Region, members voted and elected Dale Wagner. Wagner is a retired  finance executive and sat on the LCEF Rocky Mountain District Loan Committee. To fill a vacancy in the East Central Region, members voted and elected Don Scifres. Scifres is President of SmartFile in Indianapolis and serves on the LCMS Indiana District Board of Directors. Incumbents Michael Kzirian and Mark Pieper, both up for re-election, kept their BOD seats. Additionally, a vacancy in an At-Large position was filled with the election of David Worthington by the LCMS Board of Directors at their November 2017 meeting.


Ending on a strong note
There was a general feeling that the love boldly theme energized the attendees and all the presenters connected back to it. This truth could be seen on display during Sunday’s Divine Service. 

Rev. Dr. Ulmer Marshall, first vice president of the Southern District, preached on 1 Corinthians 13:13, the conference verse. He said, “When we are dire and in despair we need to have hope, unconditional love. We need to keep reminding those who are hurting of this truth, through words and deeds, God is love.” 

He left the audience with this thought-provoking question: “Does the world know how much we love?” 

LCEF, a non-profit organization, has served as the financial extension of the LCMS since 1978, offering funding and resources to congregations, schools and Rostered Church Workers through investment support of LCMS members.

The mission of LCEF is to support the Church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ by being a Christ-centered servant partner of the LCMS, ensuring that funds and services are available now and in the future.