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Postal problems stressing Lutheran agencies

June 24, 2011 One Comment

by James Morgan

The labour dispute at Canada Post has not only meant no mail for millions of people, but it also means various agencies affiliated with Lutheran Church–Canada are receiving fewer donations because donors preferring to mail a cheque are unable to do so.

Stephen Klinck, managing director of the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada says the work stoppage “is having an immediate and very significant negative effect on donations being received by the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada to fund its Lutheran Hour Ministries.”  As an alternative to the mail, Klinck is urging people to make donations online or through a toll-free telephone number.

The work stoppage is heavily affecting Lutheran Bible Translators Canada.  “It is affecting us drastically, probably about 95 percent of donations arrive by mail,” says Development Coordinator Jane Ford, adding that donations were already down before the situation began.  She says very few donations come from online or pre-authorized giving. The organization is relying on reserves to maintain cash-flow.

Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS) in St. Catharines is also feeling the financial pinch. “The summer, when there is no income from student tuition, is a time when the seminary relies greatly on regular donations from church members,“  says CLTS Acting President, Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger, adding that June is normally the strongest month for summer giving and envelopes containing donations usually arrive in the mail daily.  Dr. Winger urges donors to CLTS to make their donations online, over the telephone, or if they live in the Niagara Region of Ontario, deliver their donation to the seminary in person.

Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS) in Edmonton took a proactive approach to the troubles at Canada Post.  “Before the mail strike, we had already been exploring the alternatives we could offer to our financial supporters,” say CLS Director of Development, Rev. Daniel Deyell, adding that an entry was recently made on the seminary’s blog showing supporters other ways to make a donation, such as pre-authorized debits, online contributions, placing a donation designated for CLS on the offering plate or giving it directly to a parish treasurer, and for those in the Edmonton area, dropping donations off in person.

Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) seems to be weathering the postal storm fairly well.  Community Relations Director Tom Brook says while the lack of donations received by mail has affected cash flow, the agency’s operations are not “crippled.”

At the Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (LAMP), the lack of postal service hasn’t really affected donations as much as it has affected other aspects of operations.  Executive Director Ron Ludke says their mail volumes are traditionally lower during the summer months and urges anyone who wants to donate to do it online or over the phone.  He says the biggest challenge is gathering volunteer information and delivering immigration-related documents for teams heading out on mission trips this summer.  Ludke says LAMP is scanning documents and sending them online or using private couriers.

Here is information to continue your support. If the agency you support is not listed, go to www.lutheranchurch.ca/home.php and click on AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS for links to websites.

Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada (Lutheran Hour Ministries)

1-800-555-6236  www.lll.ca , Click on “Donate to LLL”

Lutheran Bible Translators Canada

1-866-518-7071 http://www.lbtc.ca Click on “Supporting LBTC”

Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines

905-688-2362 http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s16803

Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton

http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s3210

Canadian Lutheran World Relief

1-800-661-2597 www.clwr.org  Click on “donate”

Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots

1-800-307-4036 http://www.lampministry.org

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