Linda Kaelke served as Director of Christian Education for several of our churches in the NC Synod. Upon her death, she left our synod with an endowment from her life insurance. This gift to our church has been providing funds for many years. Linda was instrumental in the establishment of LYNC (Lutheran Youth in NC) which is now known as LYO (Lutheran Youth Organization). She served as the first advisor to that organization. Thanks to Linda’s generosity, many youth groups have benefitted from these funds, used primarily to help fund mission trips.
Guidelines for use of Kaelke funds
- No allocations will be made for more than a one year period. Groups may apply annually for mission trips.
- Requests for funds for ongoing operating expenses will not be considered.
- The Ministry team will determine the amount of monies to be reserved for emergency and/or unanticipated needs, with unused money allowed to accumulate from year to year.
- All requests will be submitted by April 1.
- Grants for the ELCA Youth Gathering are not accepted.
- An end-of-year report will be made to the Ministry team by September 1.
- Failure to submit the report may disqualify your group from the next cycle funds.
This summer, thanks in large part to the generous assistance from the Kaelke Fund, we took an educational trip to Washington, DC with 14 our our middle and high schoolers and six adults. While there, we had an opportunity to learn about issues of poverty, homelessness, lack of affordable health care, and other injustices.
We partnered with the Steinbruck Center at Luther Place Memorial Church to learn about the differences between Charity and Justice, and then put our learning to practical purposes by meeting people experiencing homelessness and engaging them in conversation and relationship. We also met with the ELCA Advocacy office and learned about how they speak for us on behalf of the marginalized, and how we can be advocates in our own schools, churches, and neighborhoods.
We also took advantage of the unique opportunities Washington offers and visited various museums to help us explore our world and nation’s histories, and think more deeply about what it means to live as people of God. It was truly the trip of a lifetime, and we’re already seeing fruit being borne from this formational experience together. Thank you for helping us make it happen!
-Pastor Jesse Canniff-Kuhn
On June 23rd-June 29th three cars full of 3 adults and 10 energetic teenagers traveled to Wilmington, NC.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the staff of the organization Vigilant Hope. Vigilant Hope is an urban ministry working with the community of Wilmington on a daily basis year round. We were thrilled to learn we would also spend the week with Harrisburg United Methodist, Carmel Presbyterian, and Stelle Creek Presbyterian. Also Charlotte churches. All together we made 36!
During our week stay we started each morning with a REAL trumpet call played by one of the talented interns, and morning devotional written by the wife and chef of Vigilant Hope’s Director. We broke up into three groups and did various jobs throughout Wilmington. We worked in a food pantry, we laid mulch and pressure washed an elementary school, painted a new church, worked in an urban garden, made repairs to Vigilant Hopes home church, and spent time with the community at the community meals. Vigilant Hope hosts four community meals a week along with providing showers with their traveling shower trailer.
We ended each day with worship. The most powerful moment for me was the worship we had on Kure Beach Wednesday evening. We were surrounded by our new community , the sun was setting , with the ocean in front of us. Jeremy (Director of Vigilant Hope) lead us in song with his guitar ,and you could just feel the Holy Spirit in this place. We took turns telling each other where we saw God in each other. It was so humbling and touched my soul.
I am proud of the youth and the adults who took the time out of their summer and work to help form relationships, and be the hands and feet of Jesus. We made real connections and memories with our friends in Wilmington, and new connections in ministry with our brothers and sisters in Charlotte. The summer is ALMOST over, but our mission still continues here in Charlotte!