ELCA Malaria Campaign

Make Malaria History

The Promise is Given to You

Posted on December 18, 2012 by jessicanipp

“Sing Joy”     by Peter Mayer

These days of winter have come to bury you
No sign of spring and no promise to carry you
No flowers blooming in your windowsill
And the beat of your heart is too still
And the beat of your heart is too still

Chorus: Oh—sing joy, joy, joy in the morning
Sing joy, joy in the afternoon
Sing joy, joy, joy for the child is born this night
The promise is given to you 

Come gather together, you children who wander
Looking for dreams that the whole world has squandered
You’ve lost them, you’ve sold them for pockets of gold
And you long to come in from the cold
Yes you long to come in from the cold. 
Oh, sing joy…

Lying in the cradle, no warrior, no king of the land
Only a child would bring peace in the palm of his hand
Singing joy, joy, joy   Oh, sing joy…

Through trials and darkness, fear and temptation
You look for deliverance and some revelation
With no songs of spring you wait for the call
Could there be nothing at all
Could there be nothing at all   Oh, sing joy…

 Reprinted with permission , www.petermayer.com

This Christmas, we celebrate again the extravagant promise of God, delivered to us so many years ago, in the form of a tiny baby. And what a phenomenal promise it is— the promise of forgiveness and mercy, of love and hope and belonging.

When we’re lonely and cold, this promise is still with us.  When we’re hungry and sick, the promise is still for us.  And when we doubt and despair, the promise is still in us.  It’s a promise bigger than all of us, a promise that strengthens us.  And so we can turn to one another in hope and in love, and walk hand in hand. Through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, we walk hand in hand with our sisters and brothers in Africa… and we make promises to one another.

As the ELCA, we’ve promised to raise money—$15  million by 2015.  And we’re well on our way.  Just a few weeks ago we passed the $5 million milestone!  Our Lutheran sisters and brothers in Africa have made promises, too.  They’ve promised to use the ELCA Malaria Campaign funding to educate their communities, and to provide malaria treatment and prevention, to keep families healthy. 

This malaria work is changing lives. In the Diplata congregation in Zambia, change is coming from the leaders.  The village headman attended a Lutheran-led training workshop in Zambezi.  A village elder now reports, “It is very encouraging to see our headman calling for malaria sensitization meetings at his home… He is also involved in the teaching and he tells us that he doesn’t want to see anyone in his village die of malaria because it’s a disease that is treatable and preventable.”  Lives being changed, health being restored—for that, we sing joy!

In the depths of night, the promise comes to us. In the morning, in the afternoon, we sing joy, for a child is born.  The promise is given to you.

God’s blessings to you as you celebrate the promise this Christmas,

Jessica and Allison (ELCA Malaria Campaign staff)


Dirndls Against Malaria?

Posted on December 6, 2012 by jessicanipp

Many thanks to Marlen Livezey of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Glenside, PA for sharing this article!  St. Paul’s has set a $25,000 fundraising goal for the ELCA Malaria Campaign, and they are already making great progress toward that goal.

So how did the people of St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Glenside PA  raise $1,175 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign in two weeks?  Here is how.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Glenside, PA is raising money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign in a way that honors their German heritage– by challenging their intern pastor to wear a dirndl!

What do you do with a Vicar who wears a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey under her alb in Philadelphia Eagles territory?  You tease her.  You tell her to wear an Eagles jersey to the CROP walk. 

What do you do when she “forgets?”  And, further, she doesn’t wear appropriate German attire for the Oktoberfest celebration either?  You tease her. You tell her that to make amends she has to wear a dirndl  (a traditional costume worn by women in Germany).  She is a good sport, so she agrees, but says, “Not for nothing.”  She demands that $750 be raised for the project to end malaria in Africa by December 31.  “Do that, and I’ll wear whatever you want,” she challenges, smugly assured that she is off the hook.

One member of the congregation, photographer Peter Kurilla, went to the council meeting with his camera in hand.  He told her that an influential member of the congregation requested a full length photo of her.  When she asked why, he said it was on a “need to know basis, and you don’t need to know.”

Then Marlen Livezey, another member of St. Paul’s put that photo on a poster– “Let’s dress our Vicar in a dirndl to help to raise $$$ to end malaria in Africa.”  During announcements after each service, she told the congregation about the ELCA’s campaign to raise $15 million for mosquito nets and medicine.  She told them that a child dies of malaria every 60 seconds.  As she spoke, the organist played a chime every 60 seconds to mark the loss of yet another child.

Working with Marlen Livezey, Kathleen Breuer fashioned a cloth dirndl to dress the vicar on the poster.  The next Sunday, Livezey brought back the poster showing the Vicar, Ashley Rossi, more than half dressed because of last week’s contributions.  By the end of the second service, people had contributed enough to add the vest and hat.  In total, $1,175. 

Now the Malaria Team at St,. Paul’s, known as SWAT,  is abuzz with plans to keep the momentum going to reach St. Paul’s goal of $25,000.  And yes, at one of those events, Vicar Ashley Rossi will be wearing a dirndl…a real one.

Keep up the good work, people of St. Paul’s Glenside!

Gift of Life Ornaments

Posted on December 5, 2012 by allisonbeebe

Children at All Saints Lutheran Church of Minnetonka, MN are making ornaments to share for donations made during The Giving Market, an alternative gift fair.  Market shoppers might receive the Gift of Life Ornament for a $10 donation that could purchase a long-lasting insecticide-treated net to protect our sisters and brothers in Africa from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. If you’re looking for a last minute craft activity for your children, families, or adult groups, try the Gift of Life Ornament.

For detailed instructions on how to create your own ornament, please click here to open the PDF file. The instructions contain templates for the box, mosquitos that you can print off yourself and printable gift tags. Many thanks to Mary Simonson Clark of the Minneapolis Area Synod for providing these instructions and pictures!