Earlier in the year, the ELCA announced a 38% cut in their funding of Campus Ministry for 2012 and predicted much deeper cuts for future years. In addition, the synod budget passed at Synod Assembly in June also cut funding for Campus Ministry, although by a much smaller margin. Times are difficult for churchwide and synod budgets. Each year, congregations give less support to their synods and to the churchwide organization. The effect that these campus ministry funding cuts will have on Augustana is not yet known, but it is certain that the state campus ministry board (which compiles and distributes the funds for all of the campus ministries in Illinois) will not be able to reimburse Augustana for the entire salary of the campus pastor in 2012. The model in the past has involved full reimbursement to Augustana for the campus pastor's salary, benefits, and pension. In the past few years, the checks to Augustana from the state campus ministry board have decreased, by about 5-10% each year. We've done special campus ministry fundraising in the past to make up this difference. It seems that the decreases will continue, although the exact figures for 2012 won't be known until the Lutheran Campus Ministry of Illinois board meets in early November.
Please pray for Lutheran Campus Ministries across the country, most of which are trying to find ways of reinventing and reorganizing their ministries as they go through similar financial woes. And please pray for campus ministry at Augustana as we discern how to make the ministry sustainable for the future in light of the current and future funding cuts from synods and the churchwide organization.