What is the Concordia Lutheran Mission Society (CLMS)?

CLMS is an independent mission society, chartered under the Corporations Act of Manitoba, and registered as a charitable organization with Canada Revenue Agency (BN # 89759-4826-RR0001). We hold auxiliary organization status with Lutheran Church–Canada. CLMS is “independent” in that we are self-governing, and not dependent on any other organization. However, we work closely with Lutheran Church–Canada and its partner churches around the world, to support various missionary, educational and social ministry projects. TOP OF PAGE

Why was CLMS established?

When Lutheran Church-Canada was founded in 1988 one of the reasons stated for its formation was “the conviction that such an organization will facilitate our witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our country and throughout the world.” It was assumed at the outset that achieving this objective would require substantially more financial resources than would be available through the regular budgetary process. In 1990 a convention of LCC established a Task Force on Alternate Funding, which presented its report in 1993. That report, which included a recommendation to establish a mission society, was adopted by the convention, although for various reasons, the organization of the mission society never took place.

In February 1997, LCC President Emeritus Rev. Dr. Edwin Lehman, with the consent and blessing of then president, Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan, invited seven other individuals to meet in Winnipeg to discuss the formation of a mission society. The result was the birth of Concordia Lutheran Mission Society. Present at the first meeting were: Rev. Dr. Edwin Lehman (president); Terry Goerz (vice-president); Anne Taylor (secretary); Doreen Haberstock (treasurer); Rodney Haberstock; Rev. Kevin Cramm; Rev. Dr. David Somers; and Rev. Donald Schiemann. TOP OF PAGE

How is CLMS governed?

Each year our members and supporters elect our nine-person Board of Directors. The board consists of lay persons and clergy from across Canada. TOP OF PAGE

How do I know my donation is used wisely?

We are always aware of our accountability to God and to our donors. We are committed to seeing every cent of every gift reach its desired destination.

Our nine-member volunteer board from across Canada makes sure donor dollars work the hardest for spreading the Good News! These volunteers, with the assistance of some other committee members, carry out all the work of the society. CLMS has no paid staff and we work hard at keeping our operational costs to a minimum. When we receive funds designated for a specific mission project, we make no deduction for operational expenses. The entire amount is sent on to the project. CLMS covers operational expenses primarily from donations specified for operations, with small amounts occasionally required from funds directed to “wherever needed.” To facilitate online giving, we use CanadaHelps, a non-profit organization which charges a small percentage to process the gifts we receive. TOP OF PAGE

How does CLMS choose the projects?

Each year, we solicit project proposals from Lutheran Church–Canada, its district mission staff, and partner churches. From the projects submitted, our Board of Directors annually adopts projects which are most consistent with our objectives, and considered most urgent. Once adopted, we commit to funding the project fully, even if it involves carrying the project forward to the following year. If a project is not completed, or only partially so, the amount we remit is adjusted accordingly. TOP OF PAGE

How do I support a project?

Donors may designate contributions to any CLMS projects by making a donation online or by cheque. If designated, CLMS uses all funds for the chosen project, unless the project is oversubscribed. In that case, we may apply the funds to a similar project or a project in the same country, or they may be carried forward to the next year to the same project if it is of a multi-year nature. TOP OF PAGE

What if I want to support a project that’s not on the project list?

Provided that the project is consistent with our objectives and meets our project criteria, is not contrary to the theological position of LCC, and does not contravene Canada Revenue Agency regulations, such a project will be considered a “Donor Initiated Project.” Funds received will be applied to that project, but CLMS assumes no obligation for the project, nor does it solicit for the project. Those wishing to support a “Donor Initiated Project” should contact the president or the director of mission projects, to ensure the project meets the necessary criteria. TOP OF PAGE

How does CLMS cover its operating and administration expenses?

Our annual budget falls into two broad categories: Mission and Operations. The Mission portion of the budget includes the various Mission Projects, and our educational responsibilities. Operational budgets include administrative costs (annual meeting, telephone conference call(s), bank charges, audit fees, etc.) as well as development costs. While we could use any contributions given “wherever needed” for the operational budget, instead special donations, mostly from our Board of Directors, cover administrative expenses. This makes it possible to assure donors that we apply all funds designated for a mission project to that project, with no deduction for administrative costs, or even bank costs that might be incurred in transferring funds overseas. TOP OF PAGE

Does CLMS receive support from sources other than personal donations?

Each year a small number of congregations, Sunday schools, vacation Bible schools, groups, etc., make contributions to CLMS. We greatly appreciate such support, but do not solicit it. We do not encourage congregations to redirect any of their regular remittances to district to the work of CLMS. We believe God calls each Christian to provide generous support to his or her congregation, each congregation to honour a generous commitment to its district, and districts to extend such support for the Synod. We are not competing with other mission agencies. Rather, we want to provide an opportunity for those who have a special heart for missions, and agree with our objectives and methods to use CLMS as a vehicle for supporting mission work at home and around the world. TOP OF PAGE

Does CLMS receive income from estates and bequests?

We encourage those who have a heart for mission work to consider making such bequests. The legal name which should be used in designating us as a beneficiary is “Concordia Lutheran Mission Society, Inc.” Our legal address is 3074 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3K 0Y2 (The same as the national office of Lutheran Church–Canada.) If you need assistance, we are partners with Lutheran Foundation Canadaand one of its gift planning advisors would be happy to provide more information. TOP OF PAGE