Author Topic: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent  (Read 53106 times)

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #270 on: December 21, 2013, 10:55:43 AM »
When AAL and LB merged years ago they ran advertisements on the public broadcasting station in DC.  I knew then that the end of Lutherans helping Lutherans was on the horizon.

Several years ago a Thrivent rep came and made a presentation to our local ministerium. I asked him why he was there since I was the only Lutheran pastor present (the other Lutheran pulpit in our area being vacant).  He said even before the vote to change the name, that they had ways to sell insurance to anyone.

Having cast aside their "constraints" they are simply people marketing a product generally indistinguishable from other companies.  They no longer receive any special attention in the congregation I serve.

I concur.  But they've certainly used their "Lutheran" connection to their advantage. Some years ago I recall listening to an ELCA pastor turned Thrivent rep marketing their investment programs by using the good Lutheran term "grace." His theme was "How to Live a Grace-Full Life," centered on making appropriate investments so, at retirement, one could live a comfortable, aka "a grace-full" life. He'd target these wealthy Lutherans, take them on retreats, and move from the Lutheran understanding of grace into the topic of sound investment to maximize gains, weaving a wonderful prosperity gospel of grace, grace-full, and graceful.  The guy was very good and did very well. He was a top salesman in the Mpls. office.
Don Kirchner

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carlvehse

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #271 on: December 21, 2013, 11:33:37 AM »
Given the ELCA Membership Trend and the LCMS Membership Trend it is not surprising to see Thrivent working to attract and increase its market share of non-Lutheran customers, even at the expense of losing some of its original base.   

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #272 on: December 21, 2013, 11:52:17 AM »
Given the ELCA Membership Trend and the LCMS Membership Trend it is not surprising to see Thrivent working to attract and increase its market share of non-Lutheran customers, even at the expense of losing some of its original base.

I doubt they've done themselves any favors with non-Lutheran customers they hoped to attract that are from conservative church camps.  This whole Planned Parenthood debacle made lifenews.com, a pretty well-read news outlet by conservative Christians.  Further damaging their reputation among conservative Christians is the additional fall-out from the publicity this has drawn to their support of pro-LGBT organizations.

Dave Likeness

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #273 on: December 21, 2013, 11:58:00 AM »
Vehse's Vitals point out some sad stats.

ELCA had 5,113,418 members in 2000
by the year 2010 it was 4,181,219

LCMS had 2,521,052 members in 2000
by the year 2010 it was 2,270,921.

Bottom Line:  Between the two they lost
about 1,250,000 members.

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #274 on: December 21, 2013, 12:06:41 PM »
Vehse's Vitals point out some sad stats.

ELCA had 5,113,418 members in 2000
by the year 2010 it was 4,181,219

LCMS had 2,521,052 members in 2000
by the year 2010 it was 2,270,921.

Bottom Line:  Between the two they lost
about 1,250,000 members.

If only there was a measurement tool so handily available to gauge the decline in our culture during that time.  :-\  That's the real story. 

Miley Cyrus = Hero
Phil Robertson = Villain
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 12:08:18 PM by Buckeye Deaconess »

Jim Butler

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #275 on: December 21, 2013, 12:20:24 PM »
Given the ELCA Membership Trend and the LCMS Membership Trend it is not surprising to see Thrivent working to attract and increase its market share of non-Lutheran customers, even at the expense of losing some of its original base.

I doubt they've done themselves any favors with non-Lutheran customers they hoped to attract that are from conservative church camps.  This whole Planned Parenthood debacle made lifenews.com, a pretty well-read news outlet by conservative Christians.  Further damaging their reputation among conservative Christians is the additional fall-out from the publicity this has drawn to their support of pro-LGBT organizations.

How about another perspective?

http://www.christianliferesources.com/news/statement-by-clr-national-director-regarding-thrivent-financial-for-lutherans-9215
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

Dave Likeness

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #276 on: December 21, 2013, 12:27:27 PM »
Part of the cultural decline in the 21st century
has been the acceptance of gay marriage.
Almost 20 states have legalized gay marriage
and the culture has changed God's definition
of marriage.

Another compromise with the world has been
men and women who live together without the
blessing of marriage.  Cohabiting Couples
increased from 4.2 million in 2000 to 7.5 million
in 2012.

Bottom Line:  Slowly the American family is
being attacked from all sides of our culture
with high divorce rates, 41 percent of children
were born to unwed mothers in 2008, gay
marriage and co-habitation.

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #277 on: December 21, 2013, 12:52:26 PM »
Given the ELCA Membership Trend and the LCMS Membership Trend it is not surprising to see Thrivent working to attract and increase its market share of non-Lutheran customers, even at the expense of losing some of its original base.

I doubt they've done themselves any favors with non-Lutheran customers they hoped to attract that are from conservative church camps.  This whole Planned Parenthood debacle made lifenews.com, a pretty well-read news outlet by conservative Christians.  Further damaging their reputation among conservative Christians is the additional fall-out from the publicity this has drawn to their support of pro-LGBT organizations.

How about another perspective?

http://www.christianliferesources.com/news/statement-by-clr-national-director-regarding-thrivent-financial-for-lutherans-9215

Of course this perspective is valid.  Unfortunately, I'm not willing to invest funds with an organization that claims to be Christian and uses proceeds from pooled investments to support organizations whose missions are in direct opposition to Biblical standards.  As a former pregnancy center director, I would never have elected to accept funds from an organization that supports Planned Parenthood.  My donors, volunteers and supporters would have had my head no matter how much I tried to describe the mechanism from which they came, fraternal organization or otherwise.  As a CPA, I would have had to have contingency plans for revenues coming in under budget due to any number of reasons.  A controversy like this can most certainly be used as an advantage for fund-raising strategies in pro-life organizations.  In fact, I'm willing to bet God has a hand in this whole thing.  I'm mailing a check today to the center that gave me my start in pro-life work since they are on Thrivent's "suspended" list, and I hadn't considered doing so in years.  I hope others will consider making direct donations to the pro-life organizations of their choice on the "suspended" list as a way to counter this decision on the part of Thrivent.

LCMS87

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #278 on: December 21, 2013, 01:43:07 PM »
Many will have seen this, perhaps not all.

LCMS Responds to Thrivent's Choice Dollars® Statement

With the recent Thrivent announcement to reconsider their Choice Dollars® Program, the LCMS is encouraged to learn that Thrivent is beginning to recognize the serious concern its members have when their choice dollars are stewarded toward organizations such as Planned Parenthood that directly support the abortion industry and the killing of unborn children.

"We are very happy that Thrivent was willing to reconsider this issue. However, the LCMS and every one of its entities and congregations are both pro-life and nonprofit, so we certainly hope that Thrivent will continue to support such pro-life, nonprofit organizations," said the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

LCMS members are urged to express their concerns directly to Thrivent Financial during this time of re-evaluation of the Choice Dollars® Program.


Of particular note are these words of President Harrison:  "the LCMS and every one of its entities and congregations are both pro-life and nonprofit."  That suggests that if Thrivent is to carry out the temporary suspension they've announced consistently, under their terms NO LCMS entity or congregation is currently eligible for choice funds.  The WELS response takes a different approach, summarized in the paragraph with the sentence highlighted here.

I would note that at this point Thrivent is, "[1]temporarily suspending all pro-choice and pro-life organizations from the Thrivent Choice program, [2]placing a temporary hold on the addition and removal of nonprofit organizations from the program, and [3]conducting a comprehensive program review" (quote from this statement, emphasis added).  Until the temporary suspension ends and the comprehensive program review has been completed, I am temporarily suspending my plans to move my investments.  My review of their final decisions is likely to take far less time than their comprehensive review.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 01:46:22 PM by LCMS87 »

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #279 on: December 21, 2013, 01:50:55 PM »
Many will have seen this, perhaps not all.

LCMS Responds to Thrivent's Choice Dollars® Statement

With the recent Thrivent announcement to reconsider their Choice Dollars® Program, the LCMS is encouraged to learn that Thrivent is beginning to recognize the serious concern its members have when their choice dollars are stewarded toward organizations such as Planned Parenthood that directly support the abortion industry and the killing of unborn children.

"We are very happy that Thrivent was willing to reconsider this issue. However, the LCMS and every one of its entities and congregations are both pro-life and nonprofit, so we certainly hope that Thrivent will continue to support such pro-life, nonprofit organizations," said the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

LCMS members are urged to express their concerns directly to Thrivent Financial during this time of re-evaluation of the Choice Dollars® Program.


Of particular note are these words of President Harrison:  "the LCMS and every one of its entities and congregations are both pro-life and nonprofit."  That suggests that if Thrivent is to carry out the temporary suspension they've announced consistently, under their terms NO LCMS entity or congregation is currently eligible for choice funds.  The WELS response takes a different approach, summarized in the paragraph with the sentence highlighted here.

I would note that at this point Thrivent is, "[1]temporarily suspending all pro-choice and pro-life organizations from the Thrivent Choice program, [2]placing a temporary hold on the addition and removal of nonprofit organizations from the program, and [3]conducting a comprehensive program review" (quote from this statement, emphasis added).  Until the temporary suspension ends and the comprehensive program review has been completed, I am temporarily suspending my plans to move my investments.  My review of their final decisions is likely to take far less time than their comprehensive review.

All true.  But now brought to light much more readily is funding for this and this, and what I'm sure is more if one knows the key search words to use.

Harry Edmon

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #280 on: December 21, 2013, 01:58:26 PM »
As the Treasurer of an LCMS congregation, I am considering recommending that we move our endowment funds from Thrivent to someplace else.   Anyone have any recommendations?
Harry Edmon, Ph.D., LCMS Layman

LCMS87

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #281 on: December 21, 2013, 02:12:16 PM »
As the Treasurer of an LCMS congregation, I am considering recommending that we move our endowment funds from Thrivent to someplace else.   Anyone have any recommendations?

LCEF

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #282 on: December 21, 2013, 02:28:30 PM »
As the Treasurer of an LCMS congregation, I am considering recommending that we move our endowment funds from Thrivent to someplace else.   Anyone have any recommendations?

LCEF

Here is a link if it is helpful:

http://www.lcef.org/investments/ministry.cfm

Harry Edmon

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #283 on: December 21, 2013, 02:32:29 PM »
We have other funds with LCEF, and they are a great institution.   The problem is their rate of return is very low for an endowment fund, where we want to use the proceeds to fund other ministries.   We would like to get a return that averages the rate of inflation plus 5%.
Harry Edmon, Ph.D., LCMS Layman

Dave Benke

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Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« Reply #284 on: December 21, 2013, 05:00:47 PM »
Thrivent at the national level responded to written and verbal dissatisfaction with the result that the local branch removed its request for funding.  Further, they will accept no further requests of that type.  This is the result that was desired by the communications sent.  Good.

Dave Benke