The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, proclaims, "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which God loved us....made us alive together, with Christ." Ephesians 2:4-5a

Alive together, with Christ. These words summarize our partnership in God's amazing vision and mission. The Spirit calls us to be alive together with Christ Jesus.

Alive together, with Christ. These words summarize the joy, hope, and new life in Christ you see pictured here.

Each baptism is significant. It reminds us that God's Spirit is at work. It reminds us why we exist: to live out our callings to be alive together, with Christ!

So why is this baptism, pictured above, significant?

You helped make it happen! 
Through your mission support, you helped make it happen!

Venita, the woman in the picture, experienced God's love because your congregation provided generous mission support. That mission support helped make it possible for our Southwestern Minnesota Synod and our ELCA churchwide organization to sponsor our Laotian Ministry in St. Cloud. Weekly this small but growing group of disciples of Jesus meets at Atonement Lutheran in St. Cloud. Through Pastor Thiem Baccam's leadership and through their worship and witness, Venita was the first of three adults baptized from July to September 2018!

So, take a look at the enclosed graph. It shows how this story of Venita is just one of the stories you make possible through mission support. It shows why each dollar entrusted through our synod is invested on your behalf, as Bishop Jon Anderson says, "to equip gracious disciples."

Yes, that's what we do together. We equip gracious disciples to be "alive together, with Christ" in the midst of a fearful and often chaotic world that God loves.

On behalf of all the ministry you support, thank you for joining this call to equip through mission support.

I invite you to share a generous portion in the months ahead. During the last two months of our calendar year, your congregation will receive the largest percentage of your offerings. This is the "season of giving." So why not, at each gathering, encourage that giving by telling a story like the one of Venita? You'll find ones like it in the 2018-19 edition of "Stories of Faith in Action" available online at Or you can visit our synod's blog at Make sure that people at your congregation know why their gifts, tithes, and offerings matter in God's vision and mission. Through them they help "equip gracious disciples" like Venita.

Thank you for your partnership! 

Please take a look at the synod's Mission Support Narrative Budget. On it you'll see, via a graph, why and how your mission support is being invested carefully. You'll see why and how it is important to God's vision and mission for this world where we are " alive together, with Christ."

Thank you for your generous support throughout 2018 and thank you for your generous gifts as we close out this year.

As you pray about and make plans for what your congregation is called to do in 2019, we are grateful for the mission support you give to fund God's mission. It does amazing work! Thank you!

Alive. Together. With Christ!

Rev. Larry Strenge
Director for Evangelical Mission
Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA 

How to register your mission support budget amount: 
As your congregation prepares a budget for 2019, please share with us your PROPOSED mission support budget amount for the Southwestern Minnesota Synod. This will allow us to effectively plan the use of funds given by congregations to support God's work.
  1. Go to
  2. Register the proposed amount you believe will be approved in your upcoming annual meeting.
  3. Contact the synod office if your proposed amount should change after your annual meeting.
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Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA 
PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283
Phone: 507-637-3904