The Western Connecticut (Fairfield and Litchfield Counties) Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans approved supplemental funding for forty-nine activities in 2011, organized by 18 different teams. Twelve Lutheran congregations, Immanuel Lutheran School, the Southbury Home Guild and the Women of ELCA all planned assorted programs to benefit their communities and services. There were also three Thrivent teams that held activities to benefit other 501(c)(3) organizations.
One-third of the 2011 projects were concerned with food and hunger issues. Sixteen different events provided community meals or food pantry staples. The next two largest groups benefitted needy children and families and religious mission efforts. Other activities raised funds for community agencies, servicemen assistance, and disaster relief groups such as Lutheran World Relief, LCMS and ELCA programs.
In all, twenty-five thousand, five hundred seventy-five dollars ($25,575.00) were given to chapter service teams to supplement hands-on or fundraising projects.
Congratulations and thank you to all our members who diligently planned, cooked, served, sewed, knitted, quilted, walked, collected, filled food packets, backpacks and holiday baskets, who golfed, tasted chili or BBQ, held fairs, dinners and coffee hours to raise money or create gift or supply packages for recipients who appreciated them so much. Your Thrivent Chapter Board officers appreciate all the time, talent, and contributions you made in 2011.
Chapter 31001 also was able to support a number of educational and member social events last year. In February, we celebrated their 50th anniversary with a Concordia College Choir Performance at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown. In July, we offered members tickets to a Rock Cats and/or Blue Fish baseball game. In October, we held a workshop in Danbury with John Busacker, author of "8 Questions God Can't Answer". (And congratulations to the hardy souls who came out that night in a miserable icy rain storm to attend.) We also supported a Women's Health and Wealth Day in Maspeth, Queens, offering bus transportation to those interested in attending.
2011 was a busy year and we hope 2012 will see even more participation from our members.
Thrivent Choice is a recently introduced program that allows eligible Thrivent members to direct funds to Lutheran organizations such as your church or Lutheran School. As a fraternal benefit society, the money they dedicate to charitable programs, such as Thrivent Choice, comes from the sale of fraternal benefit society products (Thrivent Financial life insurance, health insurance or annuities). The funds Thrivent would otherwise pay in taxes from the sale of those products (if they weren't tax-exempt) allows them to work with and through our chapters and members to help others – an important part of our mission. None of the designated funds comes from your personal Thrivent account.
If you have received a letter or e-mail telling you that you can direct Choice Dollars and haven't as yet done so, you can go online or call Thrivent at 1-800-847-4836, and say "Thrivent Choice" to get further information or help in making your choice. If your church has a Congregational Advocate, he or she should also be able to assist you with this. Deadline to direct 2011 Choice Dollars is March 31, 2012.
It's already March and your Western CT Chapter Board has approved supplements for ten fundraiser and hands-on service activities. We are asking our members throughout Fairfield and Litchfield counties to think about events they are planning for 2012 that will benefit their communities or Lutheran organizations. Please submit your projects to the chapter board for supplement consideration.
Submitting a request is simple. There is a short form to fill out (download it from www.thrivent.com -Volunteer Leader Resources - Forms and Conducting Activities - Funding Requests. Or call Melba at 203-840-1942 for a form to be mailed to you.) Send the completed form to a chapter officer (see list below) at least one MONTH before the planned activity. If you are new to this process, call an officer and we will walk you through it. Requests sent after the event takes place are unlikely to be approved for a supplement.
Chapter 31001 officers for 2012 are: President: Roger Dow - firstname.lastname@example.org, 203 579 8858
Vice President: Rev. Eric Wismar - pastor@ goodshepherdnf.org.
203 746 6604
Records Director: Linda Gollenberg - email@example.com, 203 264 3766
Director of Congregational Advocates: Joanne Meyer - 203 268 2080
Financial Director: Melba Grieshaber - firstname.lastname@example.org, 203 840 1942
Please consider being part of a service team this year. We are hoping to hear from you.
Or, you may want to become involved at the Chapter Board level. You are welcome to visit and see if you want to serve in one of our board positions. Our next meeting is Monday, May 7, 2012, at 9 A.M., at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Newtown, CT.
For members, by members.
This newsletter was written by volunteer leaders of your local Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Chapter to keep you informed of chapter news. If you have any questions and/or comments about the content of this newsletter or would like to learn more about chapter activities being planned in your area, please contact one of your chapter leaders. Go to Thrivent.com, click on Locate a Chapter, enter your ZIP Code and click on your chapter's name.