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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.

 

2017 MNS LCEF Outreach Event Grants Announced!

A 2016 MNS LCEF outreach grant helped fund this National Night Out block party hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minnesota last summer. Pictured is local law enforcement interacting with the community; more than 250 people attended the event. Several people from the neighborhood met their own neighbors for the first time, and many of them commented on how much they appreciated Trinity’s special invitation to the event.

A 2016 MNS LCEF outreach grant helped fund this National Night Out block party hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minnesota last summer. Pictured is local law enforcement interacting with the community; more than 250 people attended the event. Several people from the neighborhood met their own neighbors for the first time, and many of them commented on how much they appreciated Trinity’s special invitation to the event.

Five Minnesota South (MNS) District ministries will receive $1,000 each from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) to help provide funds for outreach events:

  1. POBLO International Friendship Center, Rochester, Minnesota

    • Host a Christmas/New Year’s outreach event for neighbors who come from many religious backgrounds, including atheism, Buddhism, and Islam; some of whom have never had Christian friends or heard the message of Jesus’ love.

  2. Rose of Sharon Lutheran Church, Cottage Grove, Minnesota

    • Host a community open house event to invite local families to the church and tour the new Christian Child Care Center. The center will be the only faith-based child care center in the community.

  3. St. Paul Lutheran Church, Pipestone, Minnesota

    • Host a “Thank You Lunch” for local police officers, fire fighters, EMT workers and National Guard members, plus an outreach event to Jamaica to conduct acts of mercy in conjunction with the church’s 125th Anniversary.

  4. St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fulda, Minnesota

    • Host "Praise in the Park,” an event that includes outdoor worship, vintage farm and auto display, and a community meal on the last Sunday in July.

  5. University Lutheran Chapel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    • Provide bilingual Bibles in Arabic, Chinese, Somali, Farsi, Russian, Korean (and others as the need arises) for University of Minnesota international students attending the weekly Bible study.

Special thanks to all MNS District Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) investors and our Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) loan partners for their support. Based upon another LCEF strong fiscal year end, this nonprofit ministry of the LCMS was able to award grant funds with a portion of its year-end operating results.  It is a blessing to put funds right back into mission and ministry at the local level via these grants.

Online grant applications are accepted at lcefuppermidwest.org beginning in September. All LCMS Minnesota South District organizations are encouraged to apply.

For more information on how to become a Lutheran Church Extension Fund investor to support ministry via affordable loans, support and more, visit our national website at lcef.org.

Growing Congregation Completes Construction

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Preschool has been growing significantly in recent years; the congregation is nearing a total of 800 members. The ministry is located in Owatonna, Minnesota, serving an immediate community of 25,600 with a median age of 37 years old. The congregation’s vision is a testament to their love for God’s people in their area: “We will prepare people to serve in our community and world, so more can find a meaningful relationship with Jesus.” Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has been blessed to partner with this ministry by helping fund its expansion over the years.

To better serve their members and community, Good Shepherd embarked on several years of construction. They celebrated a ground breaking in February 2009 with their sights set on adding a sanctuary, social hall and more. The congregation celebrated the dedication of the new space in September 2009. While the initial construction moved rapidly, the congregation had to persevere. There were a few remaining projects; the finishing touches were finally completed by fall 2016. Last year, Good Shepherd completed work on several areas including a new coffee bar and a glass wall between the sanctuary and narthex. 

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church LCEF Advocate Paul Enter (left) and Rev. Mark Rosenau receive an LCEF Shared Blessings Loan Rebate check on behalf of their congregation Oct. 2, 2016.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church LCEF Advocate Paul Enter (left) and Rev. Mark Rosenau receive an LCEF Shared Blessings Loan Rebate check on behalf of their congregation Oct. 2, 2016.

On October 2, 2016, Good Shepherd celebrated an LCEF Sunday and received their annual rebate check. The congregation is eligible for an LCEF Shared Blessings loan rebate. The more members who are LCEF investors, the higher their rebate amount based upon total congregation membership each year.

LCEF has also supported this congregation in the past with a Minnesota South (MNS) District LCEF Outreach Event Grant. Members started a backpack program to provide food for school children in need on the weekends throughout the school year. MNS District LCEF is offering five $1,000 outreach event grants again this year. To apply, visit lcefuppermidwest.org, click on the ‘resources’ tab. The deadline to register for 2017 grants is February 28, 2017.

For more information on LCEF loans, investments and ministry support, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Truth or Treat a Huge Success!

MLHS students in Northrop, Minn. helped attach a Christian greeting card and invitation to their school to blinking lights. They gave nearly 1,400 of the lights away to trick-or-treaters at their Truth or Treat! event in Fairmont, Minn. on Oct. 31, 2016.

MLHS students in Northrop, Minn. helped attach a Christian greeting card and invitation to their school to blinking lights. They gave nearly 1,400 of the lights away to trick-or-treaters at their Truth or Treat! event in Fairmont, Minn. on Oct. 31, 2016.

Nearly 1,400 children and adults received Martin Luther High School blinking buttons in just over three hours on October 31, 2016 in Fairmont, Minnesota. The lights were very popular with kids and parents alike, according to MLHS Director of Development, Marge Thiesse. The school is located in Northrop, Minn., a rural community just north of Fairmont.

"MLHS students enjoyed interacting with the trick-or-treaters," wrote Thiesse. "Thank you LCEF for funding this project. We hope that in some way we were able to make an impression on the community. It was a very fun and rewarding experience for everyone-givers and receivers!"

MLHS was the recipient of a $1,000 Minnesota South (MNS) District Lutheran Church Extension Fund outreach event grant. Attached to the blinking buttons were informational cards and invitations to the school. 

Applications for MNS District LCEF outreach event grants are now available. Click here for more information and to apply. 

Reaching the Community for Christ

Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church leadership received a SWD LCEF $1,000 outreach event grant in June 2016. Pictured left to right: LCEF SWD LCEF VP Diana Raasch, Mt. Calvary Outreach Chair Allen Neuwirth, Congregation Pres. Chris Williams and Rev. Daniel Czaplewski.

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin received a $1,000 South Wisconsin District (SWD) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) outreach event grant this year to help fund movie nights for their community this fall.

Pictured right, Mt. Calvary leadership received their SWD LCEF grants funds last June. Left to right: LCEF SWD Vice President Diana Raasch, Mt. Calvary Outreach Chair Allen Neuwirth, Congregation President Chris Williams and Rev. Daniel Czaplewski.

LCEF grant funds are available for South Wisconsin District organizations again this year. Visit lcefuppermidwest.org for the online application. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2017.

LCEF Grant Awarded to Trinity, Northfield, Minn.

MNS District LCEF VP Kurt Fuhr presented a $1,000 LCEF grant check to Trinity Lutheran Church, Northfield, Minn. LCEF Advocate Barbara Anderson and DCE Jaclyn Ohmann.

MNS District LCEF VP Kurt Fuhr presented a $1,000 LCEF grant check to Trinity Lutheran Church, Northfield, Minn. LCEF Advocate Barbara Anderson and DCE Jaclyn Ohmann.

Director of Christian Education (DCE) Jaclyn Ohmann and congregation member Barbara Anderson wanted to get to know their neighbors better around Trinity Lutheran Church, Northfield, Minnesota.

"We realize the need to be focused on connecting with our neighbors,” said Ohmann. They hope to match up their congregation’s resources to fit their neighbors’ needs effectively. They have had success in the past. As a result of a Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) demographic study a few years ago, Trinity members discovered a need in their community for a Christian preschool. Trinity opened a preschool and it has continued to thrive.

Ohmann and Anderson wondered what other service opportunities existed around their church. When they saw the Minnesota South (MNS) District LCEF outreach event grant opportunity, they submitted an application for a neighborhood event. Trinity received their $1,000 grant check on Sunday, May 8, 2016. MNS District LCEF Vice President Kurt Fuhr presented the award.

As one of five recipients of LCEF’s 2016 $1,000 grants, Trinity will host a fun, welcoming neighborhood party with food, carnival games and musical entertainment. The event will coincide with National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2. See all 2016 grant awards here. 

The event will be organized and promoted by a special committee of church members, and will include adults of various ages and high school youth. We will be strategic about placing members in positions that best suit their talents. The committee will work to involve all Trinity members in the event in some capacity so that children, youth and adults can help with this outreach effort.  

Each year, MNS District LCEF offers five $1,000 Outreach Event grants. Applications are posted online each September at lcefuppermidwest.org

Ascension Accepts LCEF Outreach Grant

Left to right:  LCEF Volunteer Jennifer Ragborg and Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Burnsville, Minn. Outreach Chair Jill Murray accepted the $1,000 MNS LCEF Outreach Event check on behalf of their congregation on Sun., May 17, 2015.

Left to right: LCEF Volunteer Jennifer Ragborg and Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Burnsville, Minn. Outreach Chair Jill Murray accepted the $1,000 MNS LCEF Outreach Event check on behalf of their congregation on Sun., May 17, 2015.

Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Burnsville, Minnesota received their $1,000 Minnesota South (MNS) District Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Outreach Event Grant from MNS LCEF Vice President Kurt Fuhr on Sunday, May 17, 2015. LCEF Volunteer Jennifer Ragborg and Ascension Outreach Chair Jill Murray accepted the grant check on behalf of the congregation. Murray submitted the grant proposal earlier this year to help fund Ascension's August 8, 2015 Summer Block Party and 50th Anniversary Celebration of the setting of the church's cornerstone.

Ascension invited Fuhr to the congregation in 2013 to present customized demographic information. Members and leadership were able to better understand who in their neighbors were and brainstorm ways to reach them effectively. In Murray's grant application, she summarized their event needs:

"The Lutheran Church of the Ascension is located in an area surrounded by apartments and townhouses - - with several large complexes adjacent to the church." From the demographic information received, it was discovered that more than 10,000 ‘unchurched’ people live within three miles of Ascension. "Our opportunity is in finding creative ways to reach out and touch these people with the hand of Christ."

Ascension's outreach event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the setting of their cornerstone block with a block party. Members will invite neighbors and throughout the day get to know each other. The event will begin with a special indoor church service, followed by food, games, and live Christian music outside.

Read more about these annual LCEF grant opportunities and see the other four MNS District ministries who won 2015 grants here. 

LCEF Grant Supports Burnsville Ministry

The Rev. Joel Vano, the new pastor at Lutheran Church of the Ascension, met with Mayor Elizabeth Kautz last month to get a better feel for the community. (Submitted photo)

The Rev. Joel Vano, the new pastor at Lutheran Church of the Ascension, met with Mayor Elizabeth Kautz last month to get a better feel for the community. (Submitted photo)

Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Burnsville, Minnesota is committed to serving their community to be the hands and feet of Jesus. The congregation's pastor, Rev. Joel Vano, was recently featured in this local online news article.

Minnesota South (MNS) District Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) is blessed to support the congregation in their outreach efforts. Ascension's Aug. 8 community block party will be funded in part by a MNS District LCEF Outreach Grant. LCEF is blessed to support several ministries with grants each year. View 2015 MNS District LCEF grant recipients here. 

Lutheran Church of the Ascension will host a community block party on Aug. 8, 2015 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the setting of their cornerstone. The church is located at 1801 East Cliff Road, Burnsville, Minn.

Lutheran Church of the Ascension will host a community block party on Aug. 8, 2015 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the setting of their cornerstone. The church is located at 1801 East Cliff Road, Burnsville, Minn.