Congregation Mission Offerings Update
Congregation Mission Offerings (CMO) for calendar year 2015 ended the year 1.1 percent higher than 2014 gifts and 2.9 percent higher than subscriptions. Total CMO for the year was $21.5 million, an increase of $234,000 over the previous year. This is the highest CMO total in the synod’s history and the fourth consecutive year that congregations have exceeded their subscriptions. “We praise Jesus for providing such generous offerings through his people’s congregations!” says Kurt Lueneburg, director of the Ministry of Christian Giving.
Recently, 95 percent of WELS congregations reported their plans for 2016 CMO. While CMO subscriptions for 2016 show a decrease of 1.8 percent from 2015 actual receipts, no reductions in ministry are necessary because of the higher than anticipated offerings in 2015.
“We thank God for the high percentage of congregations that reported subscriptions for CMO for 2016,” says Lueneburg. “We are confident that Jesus will enable our churches to exceed their subscriptions for the fifth consecutive year.”
Lueneburg says that a stable—not declining—CMO makes it possible to maintain the present level of ministry as long as there are also many substantial special gifts from churches and individuals. While CMO has increased about 1 percent annually over the last ten years, that increase provides only one-third of the 3 percent annual increase in gifts needed for maintaining WELS’ present level of worldwide gospel outreach for Jesus. “We ask our heavenly Father to help us keep growing in the grace of giving for our local and global ministries,” he says. “This is an opportunity for each of us to dedicate to the Lord an increased level of financial support through our congregations and special gifts. To that end, God help us.”