Planting Hope

What is The Planting Hope Capital Campaign?

Ready to make a gift? We appreciate your enthusiasm for The Planting Hope Campaign! Congregations are preparing to share the story of this campaign beginning in January, 2022. If you would like to offer an early gift or perhaps provide a leadership, challenge, or matching gift from your congregation, we would be delighted to discuss that with you. Email us at if you would like to talk with us about an early gift or a gift to help your congregation be more successful with the campaign. Otherwise, we look forward to your participation with your congregation in early 2022.

About the Campaign


The Planting Hope Campaign expresses our confidence that God is at work in the 110 congregations and mission starts of the synod and God is at work in the East Metro of the Twin Cities, the territory served by the Saint Paul Area Synod. This three-year campaign offers an opportunity to contribute to the collective involvement of 120,000 Lutherans of this synod in four activity areas.


They include:
> Invite neighbors into life in Christ;
> Renew the congregations of the synod;
> Raise up the next generations of leaders;
> Invest in a transformative project on the East Side of St. Paul with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.



“For me God’s call is to go out into the community and tell people that they are
here because of a purpose, the purpose is to do God’s will.”

Peter Songster, Member of Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Our Four Campaign Goals

Goal 1: Invite Neighbors into Life in Christ - $150,000


The first activity area challenges every church member to deepen their faith through daily faith practices and every congregation to be an inviting church. This involves more than inviting others to worship services. It encourages the creation of initiatives for adult faith formation, speaking about faith in daily life, telling others the stories of God’s grace today, and preparing adults and children for baptism. Through the campaign every congregation is challenged to set local, lead metrics by which they will gauge their progress in becoming a more inviting church.


$150,000 raised for this activity area will fund $110,000 in congregational grants and provide $40,000 for training lay and rostered leaders. The impact goal over a five-year period is to engage 10,000 adults in a process of deepening faith in Jesus Christ including preparation for baptism as new Christians.




Goal 2: Renew the Congregations of the Synod - $700,000


Congregations, large and small, call individual Christians to be church together with others and provide a center for worship, service, learning and shared life in Christ. Every congregation is a mission outpost, discovering ways to revitalize mission and share God’s good news in a time of increased secularization and indifference to faith life. $700,000 raised for this area will provide $125,000 annually for five years to support the work of current mission starts and intentional redevelopment of congregations and $75,000 over that period to provide stewardship and vitality training in 10 congregations per year.


The measurable impact goal for this activity area is to strengthen five to seven mission starts and ethnic specific congregations, lead two more redevelopment congregations through an intense program of renewal, and to engage 300-400 individuals in 50-60 congregations in the process of congregational vitality and stewardship education. Overall, hundreds of thousands of neighbors in the East Metro will benefit from congregations that are stronger, eager to share God’s grace, and firmly planted to serve others in their specific context.




Goal 3: Raise Up the Next Generations of Leaders - $700,000


With the changing demographics of the East Metro, we anticipate that more and more of the leaders needed in this synod will be persons of color, whose sense of vocation needs to be honed from early in their life. In each of the initiatives described below, priority will be given to participants from communities of color. $700,000 raised in this area will fund three distinct projects: 1) Paid Internships, 2) Learning and Travel 3) Debt-reduction Fund for the Synod’s Pastors and Deacons.


The impact goal for the $700,000 in this activity area is 40 young adults with deepened vocational formation through the paid internship initiative, 40 young adults having a transformative experience through mission focused travel experiences, and 25 rostered ministers and their households released from a portion of their seminary education debt burden over a five-year period.




Goal 4: Invest in a Transformative Project on the East Side of St. Paul with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota - $1,000,000


While the synod covers Chisago, Ramsey, Washington, Dakota and a part of Anoka counties, some of the most challenging economic realities are concentrated on the East Side of St. Paul. This historic neighborhood has long provided a home to the most recent immigrants and includes seven ELCA congregations, as well as a wealth of community-based initiatives and local non-profits.


$1,000,000 will be raised as a significant investment in a transformative community project in partnership with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. This collaboration will provide new and critically important services to children and families living on the East Side of St. Paul, an area known to have a high concentration of families and vulnerable populations facing economic disparities.


“We’ve been in meaningful conversation with LSS for many months about this project,” said Bishop Patricia Lull as she announced the LSS partnership in November, 2021. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner for this aspect of the campaign: investing in a transformative project on the East Side of St. Paul with other community partners.”



Summary of the $2,750,000 Campaign Goal:

Inviting others into life in Christ$150,000
Renewing congregations$700,000
Raising up the next generation of leaders$700,000
Investing in the East Side of St. Paul$1,000,000
Campaign communications, staffing and events (4.2%)$117,500
Consultant's fee (represents just 3% of overall goal)$82,500

“I would challenge all of us who have been blessed by the Gospel to invest in
something that’s going to bring hope and wholeness to people who don’t
experience that right now.”

The Rev. Jeffrey Marian, co-chair of campaign

How You Can Help:

Leadership Participation

Leadership donors are invited to consider a three-year gift commitment to The Planting Hope Campaign. To meet our challenging goal of $2.75 million, generous gifts of all sizes will be needed:


Number of Gifts

Congregational Participation

Congregations will be invited to consider a goal based on average worship attendance in the range of $100 to $200 per average worshipper. The training and materials provided to each congregation will be practical for use by the congregation for special gift fundraising beyond this campaign.


Sample Goal:
Average weekly attendance of 200
Base goal ($100/worshipper) = $20,000
Challenge goal ($200/worshipper) = $40,000

“If we take our story seriously, if we believe
that this triune God is actually up to something,

why would we not want to be a part of it?”

The Rev. Jenny Sung

How Congregations Will Benefit From Campaign Participation

Some benefits to congregational campaign participation include:


> Training and mentoring in how to conduct an effective and meaningful special gift appeal. The manual provided becomes a resource for future congregational fundraising efforts.


> Training for congregational campaign leaders by the consultants.


> A focus on planned giving education, during and following the campaign effort, teaching members why and how to remember the congregation and/or other ministries of the church in their estate plan.


> Training in the final year of the campaign in how to transition special gifts for this effort into regular, ongoing and generous support of the congregation and shared ministry opportunities.


> Training for lay and rostered leaders in resource development.


> A common derivative of a successful synodical campaign is increased donor generosity to the congregation as well.

“We had to ask the hard question – are we done? Because of the support we
received from the Synod, instead of closing our doors we received an opportunity
to be renewed for a new chapter.”

The Rev. Liz Eide, pastor/redeveloper at Lutheran Church of Peace