Congregations and schools across the country help launch the Lutheran Malaria Initiative
ST. LOUIS—September 14, 2011—The Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) will launch publicly Sept. 18-20 with several Lutheran congregations and schools of hosting special offerings, awareness events and other activities.
LMI is an unprecedented campaign to mobilize U.S. Lutherans in the global effort to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. LMI goals are to increase awareness of malaria and raise $45 million to help fight the disease. The initiative is a partnership of Lutheran World Relief and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and is made possible through support from the United Nations Foundation.
At the 2010 Synod Convention, more than 97 percent of voting delegates moved to encourage the LCMS through its agencies, congregations, schools, universities and seminaries to support LMI.
Lutheran congregations, schools and individuals have already contributed nearly $2 million for LMI to help the people of Africa whose everyday lives are affected by malaria.
Included among congregations and their schools holding LMI events during the public launch are:
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Cameron, Mo.
- St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Ill.
- Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ohio
- St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, York, Pa.
- Faith Lutheran Church, Lacey, Wash.
- Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, Texas.
All told, some 650 congregations and 200 schools across the country expect to hold LMI events before the end of the year.
Churches, schools and individuals interested in showing their support of LMI during the public launch might choose to pray a special LMI prayer or read the children's book about malaria, “Little Things Make Big Differences,” from Concordia Publishing House. They are also asked to show their support by joining LMI to receive an “LMI Starter Kit” that gives a step-by-step guide on how to organize and complete a local campaign in congregations, schools, offices, neighborhoods and communities.
“I want to thank everyone who is participating in this LMI public launch and am likewise grateful for all those who plan to join in the future,” said LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. “We are working with our Lutheran partners at the last mile who are best positioned to help those affected by the ravages of malaria. This initiative will vastly increase the capacity of our partner churches to deliver care, education and prevention of malaria where they live, and while doing so, demonstrate the mercy of Christ.”
“Between 40 percent and 60 percent of health care in the developing world countries is provided by faith-based organizations, like our Lutheran partners,” UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin added. “It is inspiring to see how the Lutheran community in the U.S. can help the UN reach families in rural villages on the other side of the world.”
“We are thrilled and excited about this Lutheran Malaria Initiative, this global partnership to end needless deaths due to a preventable disease,” said Rev. John Nunes, LWR president and CEO. “Malaria is a devastating disease, and through LMI, there is something that each and every one of us can do to make a difference.”
About the Lutheran Malaria Initiative
The Lutheran Malaria Initiative, a partnership of Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and made possible through support from the United Nations Foundation, aims to mobilize Lutherans in the United States to help end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Both LWR and the LCMS have a long history of working to alleviate suffering and reduce poverty in rural communities around the world. Through the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, the LCMS and LWR can leverage the reach and power of the Lutheran network to make a significant impact through education, prevention and treatment of this devastating disease. For more information, visit www.lutheranmalaria.org.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 1847, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in 89 countries around the world. In the last five years, the LCMS has awarded more than $35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide and is a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social ministry organization serving one in every 50 Americans. For more information, visit www.lcms.org.