The Joy and Blessing of Giving: A Fundraising Drive of the FELSISA
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Encouraged by these words of the Apostle Paul, the Synodical Council of the FELSISA is embarking on a drive of generous and joyful giving to consciously embrace the divine opportunities given to us to build the kingdom of God.
- Starting new congregations
- Training of pastors
- Support for small and in particular poor and socially struggling congregations
- School fee support for pastors’ children
- Support for Mission and Partner Churches
Historically the FELSISA raised funds through a levy system, whereby a budget was set up to cover the essential needs for the day-to-day running of Synod. Although effective the levy system invariably also curtailed giving: (a) Giving subsided when a budgeted target was reached, (b) giving was limited to the essentials without realising the opportunities of growth, (c) with congregations being levied, individuals were seldom presented with opportunities of additional giving.
In the recent past it became clear that due to ever-increasing socio-economic differences of the FELSISA congregations, the FELSISA budget can hardly be increased. But this should not take away the opportunities of individuals to share in the joy of building God’s kingdom with the blessings received. Indeed the impetus of generous giving should not be a synodical or congregational budget, but God’s grace and the enjoyment of sharing one’s blessings with others.
In order to promote the joy and the blessing of giving, the Synodical Council, at its meeting held on 4 February 2019, mandated the official position of a Fundraising Manager. Part of the task of the Fundraising Manager will be:
- to undergo extensive fundraising training
- in consultation with the Synodical Council to identify and clearly define the purpose of each fundraising opportunity
- to set up and train a support team
- to share fundraising opportunities within Synod and beyond
- to prepare a database of donors with regular feedback
- to set up proper accounts and provide professional fiscal management of the fund
The fundraising manager, being an official position in Synod, is to receive a monthly remuneration to be raised initially through donations, followed by a commission of donations received.
This long-term goal is to be preceded by a short-term drive to (a) secure the position of the fundraising manager and (b) to raise funds for the FELSISA Solidarity Fund, as tabled and accepted by the 2018 Synodical Convention.
The solidarity fund has the long term goal to move away from a mandatory synodical levy system, to a system of voluntary and joyful giving. All congregations are to strive to be self-sustainable, yet in the knowledge of continued support from Christian brothers and sisters. The initial fundraising drive is to build up a reserve to sustain Synod for at least one financial year, amounting to approximately 5 million Rand.
Kristin Straeuli (Wittenberg) has graciously accepted the call to be trained and appointed as the FELSISA Fundraising Manager, with Eckhardt Paul (Panbult) to lead the short-term fundraising drive.
We take encouragement from Paul’s words (2 Corinthians 9:10-11):
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Synodical Council of the FELSISA
15 February 2019
Bishop Dr Dieter Reinstorf, Pietermaritzburg