Looking for a very special way to help?

by John Beem (Treasurer, WordAlone Network)

October 29, 2004

WordAlone's Seminary Debt Relief Fund is an excellent way to help! Seminary expenses together with expenses resulting from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America candidacy process leave most of our seminary grads with significant indebtedness. WordAlone has established a Seminary Debt Relief Fund separate from our national budget as a way to help.

It is set aside for graduates who are members of WordAlone and who reject episcopal ordination, which was a new requirement placed upon new Lutheran pastors after the ELCA’s full communion agreement with The Episcopal Church USA in 1999. A bylaw amendment in 2001 allows grads to request an exception to that requirement. So far at least 15 grads have requested and received such a ruling from their local bishops. The bylaw amendment was also used one other time when a bishop could not attend an ordination because of bad weather.

The bylaw amendment was most recently used for Janet Gwin, who was ordained by one of her pastors, Steve Grumm, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Seatac, Wash., on Aug. 29. She began serving Evanger and Our Savior Lutheran churches, rural Kenmare and Sherwood, N.D., in September. She graduated from Luther Seminary in 2004. Bishop Duane Danielson of the Western North Dakota Synod granted the exception.

WordAlone would like to be able to assist eligible pastors in the first five years of their pastoral ministry with grants of up to $5,000 per year as payments toward their seminary student loans. You may send your donations payable to “WordAlone Network” and designated on the memo line for the “Seminary Debt Relief Fund” or “SDRF” to:

  • WordAlone Ministries
  • P.O. Box 111
  • Maple Lake, MN 55358

You may make a credit card donation by calling the WordAlone Network at 888-551-7254 (toll free).

The needs are significant and your support will certainly be a giant assist to many of our new pastors. Your continued support of our national budget is likewise valued and necessary.