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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, October 03, 2017 10:26 am

Verbatim: Joint Lutheran Effort to Strengthen Funding Impact of Assistance for Those Hit by Recent Weather Disasters

The following was released on Tues., Oct. 3, 2017 from Trinity English Lutheran Church:


October 3, 2017, Fort Wayne, IND--- Thanks to a local foundation, Lutheran congregations in northeast Indiana will be leveraging financial donations

While families in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico are still reeling from the brutal weather and its after-effects, Northeast Indiana is already asking how it can help.

The Lutheran Foundation is able to match donations from its 95 congregations, dollar for dollar up to $200,000 to get much-needed financial support for the rebuilding of homes, churches and lives damaged by the hurricanes' winds and rains.  The Foundation's governing board has directed these generous matching funds be available as soon as possible.

Better still, some congregations are able to offer a match to donations directed to them for disaster relief: in cases like Trinity English Lutheran, for example, a $5 donation  (from anyone, congregation member or not) will be matched by the congregation, and then the $10 will be matched by The Lutheran Foundation for a total of $20 of impact from the original $5 gift.  The Lutheran Foundation matching dollars will be divided between disaster response agencies within both the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) arms of the Lutheran Church to aid hurricane relief efforts.

"We envision a wave of support flowing to the impacted areas as soon as agencies on the ground can begin to address the biggest needs," said Rev. Dr. Gary Erdos, senior pastor of Trinity English Lutheran Church. "We understand that the biggest need right now is money.  Later, local Lutherans may have the opportunity to travel to the affected areas in Texas and Florida and participate in whatever rebuilding projects are identified by the agencies and congregations with which we'll be working.  Details have yet to be finalized, but we would tentatively anticipate such a trip sometime after the first of January, 2018."

"Our Lord has given us a great privilege and calling to serve our neighbor, " said Pastor Dan Sheafer, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, "yet at times, the real difficulty is figuring out how best to serve our neighbors and their specific needs It is a blessing  to have The Lutheran Foundation's leadership and guidance as we seek to unite as a community to mercifully serve our neighbors impacted by the recent hurricanes."

Lutherans in any northeast Indiana congregation who wish to participate in the initiative can make directed gifts to their church. Churches will then be able to add those offerings to The Lutheran Foundation for the Foundation's match. This initial phase of support will end October 31, 2017, so donors are encouraged to make their gift before then.

Anyone interested in supporting the relief effort and taking advantage of the leveraged impact of their funds may donate at a Lutheran Church , OR checks can be sent to Lutheran Social Service of Indiana - Hurricane Relief, 333 E. Lewis Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802 or online at or online at