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    Make Malaria History

    Fighting malaria… with frozen yogurt!

    Posted on March 22, 2013 by jessicanipp

    tutti fruttiThat’s right: frozen yogurt. And pizza. And burritos! 

    The members of First Lutheran Church of Minot, North Dakota, have gotten their whole community involved in their efforts to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

    In February, Tutti Frutti generously agreed to host a Malaria Day, donating 10% of their proceeds to First Lutheran Church to be given to the ELCA Malaria Campaign. The weather didn’t cooperate, though: the temperature was -10 degrees, and the roads were icy.  But those hardy North Dakotans showed up in droves and ate frozen yogurt like champs, anyway.

    Since the Tutti Frutti Malaria night was such a success, First Lutheran looked to other businesses in the community to help them in their efforts.  And so Pizza Ranch got involved, through their Community Impact program.  And then Qdoba took their turn.  Check out First Lutheran Church’s Facebook page to see more of their creative and fun ministries (and to answer the question: What do mustaches have to do with malaria?).

    pizza ranch

    Pizza Ranch helped First Lutheran Church in Minot, ND raise funds for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.


    Good food, great cause: Qdoba partnered with First Lutheran Church to support the ELCA Malaria Campaign, too.

    Do you have any generous businesses in your community who might host an ELCA Malaria Campaign benefit?

    Bravo, Bishops!

    Posted on March 19, 2013 by jessicanipp

    The ELCA Malaria Campaign is a campaign of the whole church– and bishops have been our cheerleaders-in-chief, encouraging the people of their synods to be generous and to educate one another.

    I’d like to lift up just a few of those bishops here:

    • mitreThere’s Bishop James Mauney of the Virginia Synod, who last week encouraged his synod to celebrate World Malaria Day on April 28th, and who picked Duke in his synod’s Nets 4 Nets challenge.
    • Then there’s Bishop Greg Pile of the Allegheny Synod, who just challenged his congregations to DOUBLE their ELCA Malaria Campaign fundraising total by Synod Assembly this spring– raising an additional $25,000 between now and then!
    • And Bishop Steve Ullestad of the Northeastern Iowa Synod (a 2011 Pilot Synod), who at the beginning of their campaign asked his rosted leaders and Synod Assembly voting members to make personal commitments before encouraging their congregations to join in. So far NE Iowa has raised nearly $300,000.
    • And last but not least, Bishop Liz Eaton of NE Ohio (also a 2011 Pilot Synod), who at the 2011 Churchwide Assembly reminded us that “in tough times, it is important to turn outward and not in on ourselves. The ELCA Malaria Campaign reminds us we are part of something greater than ourselves, and we are neither helpless nor poor.”  The NE Ohio synod just reached their synod fundraising goal of $250,000.

    We’d love to hear how YOUR bishop or synod office has encouraged you to educate yourself and to give generously to the ELCA Malaria Campaign!


    Check out the latest ELCA News Service release!

    Posted on March 15, 2013 by jessicanipp

    March 15, 2013

    ELCA members journey to southern Africa for malaria campaign
         CHICAGO (ELCA) — Embarking on a “journey of listening and learning,” a group of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) members will travel March 16-25 to southern Africa to visit Lutheran companion churches working to help contain the deadly disease of malaria.
          “This is not just about going on a trip but entering into a long term relationship that will change all of us,” said the Rev. Philip Knutson, an ELCA regional representative in southern Africa. “What people need most, and that is true for guests and hosts, is for us to listen to each other and learn how to walk together. It is good to know that by God’s grace we will be walking together for some time learning what it means to participate in God’s mission of transformation, reconciliation and mutual empowerment for the sake of the life of the world.”
         Although malaria is preventable and treatable, each year more than 200 million people in sub-Saharan Africa become infected with the disease and more than 600,000 people die, many of these children under the age of 5.
         ELCA members have committed to raise $15 million by 2015 to help Lutheran churches in Africa in their efforts to prevent and treat malaria and to educate communities about the disease.  To date ELCA congregations have raised $6.5 million to help bring an end to malaria-related deaths. The ELCA has partnered with 11 churches across Africa through its ELCA Malaria Campaign.
         “The accompaniment of our global companions through the malaria campaign provides an unparalleled opportunity for ELCA members to connect with our brothers and sisters who live the health challenges of malaria on a daily basis in the countries in which they live,” said Dr. Carl Stecker, ELCA director for diakonia and a participant on the trip.” We are part of something larger that neither the ELCA nor our global companion churches could do without the other. Without this partnership it would be unlikely that ELCA members would know the extent to which malaria affects our global companions.”
         Rolled out by the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the campaign provides mosquito nets, insecticides, medication, health care, education and more.
         “I think it’s pretty amazing when you think about raising $15 million over five years,” said Christina Jackson-Skelton, ELCA executive director for mission advancement. “This campaign is supported by the whole churchwide organization. It’s supported by 65 synods and almost 10,000 congregations and by our 4 million members, because of the commitment this church has had around hunger and diseases of poverty, reaching people in a different part of the world and changing lives and being changed in the process. And not just changing their lives today, but together creating solutions so that all might live the life God had intended for them.” Jackson-Skelton is joining the journey with other churchwide colleagues.
         “Synod malaria coordinators, and the synod malaria teams that they lead, have been absolutely crucial to the fundraising success of the ELCA Malaria Campaign so far. We are thrilled that the synods of the ELCA have taken ownership of the campaign, created synod fundraising goals and even, in a few cases, met those goals already. This really is a campaign of the whole ELCA, led by passionate volunteers and committed congregations,” said Jessica Nipp Hacker, ELCA Malaria Campaign coordinator.
         Contributions of any size do make a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable, according to Nipp Hacker. In response to the campaign, ELCA congregations have taken part in a wide range of fundraising projects, all of which have an impact.
         ELCA members Mary Wennes, co-chair for the Malaria and Hunger Task Force of the ELCA Southwest California Synod, and Pam Galster are leading the fundraising efforts at Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and will accompany the group to southern Africa.
         Ascension has raised $175,000 to support the ELCA Malaria Campaign. A portion of these funds, matched by the Zimbabwe government, helped bring electricity to a rural clinic in Burure, Zimbabwe.  Wennes and Galster will have the opportunity to take part in the opening celebration of the clinic while on their visit to Zimbabwe.
         Wennes said she’s thrilled to visit southern Africa. “More of God’s people will be able to experience hope, healing and freedom from malaria because of ‘God’s work. Our hands.’  We are proud and grateful to be a part of the ELCA Malaria Campaign,” she said.
          “We’re hoping that the participants on the trip will come to a deeper understanding of how our relationships abroad work, — our relationships with other Lutheran churches, — and also come to a deeper understanding of the problem of malaria in Africa and the impact that preventive and treatment programs can make,” said Nipp Hacker, who is also a trip participant. “And then we’re hoping that there will be a ripple effect that when the participants come back they’ll be so excited they’ll want to work not only in their congregations but also potentially in their regions, their synods to increase the excitement around the malaria campaign.”
          Gus Gustafson, the chief transformation officer at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa, and his son, Grant, a high school junior, are also on the trip and will visit programs in Malawi. Their church’s Lenten offerings have been designated for the malaria campaign, which so far total $181,000. The trip provides the occasion for father and son to witness faith in action and bring back their stories to their congregation.
         “We’re excited for the trip because it is a unique opportunity to be a part of the effort to eradicate one of the world’s deadliest diseases. We love experiencing different cultures, and this experience will allow us to do that while serving others and growing in our faith,” said Grant Gustafson.
         “From this juncture within our life-long journey, may we learn to better listen to each other, to better walk together, and to seek to understand, rather than judge,” said Dr. Rebecca Duerst, ELCA program director for health care, another trip participant.
         “What we can do today is have an impact and I think that’s where the church should be — caring for people and helping to make a difference in their lives while seeding work that will be sustainable over time,” said Jackson-Skelton.
         For more information about the ELCA Malaria Campaign, visit
    – – –
    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

    For information contact:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877 or
    Living Lutheran:


    Easter Idea!

    Posted on March 14, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Brenda Wagner of the NW Minnesota synod writes: "Here's an idea for Easter. Each year our congregation members are able to donate an Easter lily to decorate the sanctuary in honor of or in memory of a loved one. This year we added bed nets to the form! So far, more people have donated bed nets than Easter lilies!"

    Brenda Wagner of the NE Minnesota synod writes: “Here’s an idea for Easter. Each year our congregation members are able to donate an Easter lily to decorate the sanctuary in honor of or in memory of a loved one. This year we added bed nets to the form! So far, more people have donated bed nets than Easter lilies!”

    March Madness to Help Fight Malaria!

    Posted on March 11, 2013 by jessicanipp

    Check out this awesome March Madness project from the Virginia Synod malaria team! Basketball fans from all over the ELCA can participate.

    Nets 4 Nets!  NCAA Tournament Challenge

    tournament challengeIt is March Madness.  For basketball fans this phrase means basketball frenzy.  It means college basketball.  It means tournament time.  It means wall to wall basketball.  AND for both basketball fans and for many people who could care less about basketball it means filling out a bracket of predictions for the Final Four and an NCAA basketball national champion.

    It is time for March Madness and it is time to put an end to malaria.  In an effort to answer God’s call to care more and in conjunction with the ELCA Malaria Campaign, Lutherans of the Virginia Synod are invited to fill out a NCAA Tournament Bracket and provide mosquito nets for people threatened by this deadly yet preventable disease.

    Here is what you do:

     1.  Go to to the Fantasy and Games Tournament Challenge page and register.  You will have to set up a user name and password – it’s free.

    2.  About a week from now when they are ready to accept selections, but BEFORE Noon on March 21 you will have to submit your selections for the tournament.  This can be done on the ESPN website using the username and password you registered.

    3.  Once you have made selections you have the option of entering those picks into a “group”.  Go to the “My Groups” tab on the tournament challenge page and search for Nets4Nets.  That’s our group name: Nets4Nets.  This will be an open group without a password.

    4.  Finally, we are asking each person submitting a bracket to either make a $10 donation to the Malaria Campaign online ( or make that gift through your congregation to the Virginia Synod.  For those donating online please make your donation in the “Nets 4 Nets” block on our donation page.  Each entry equals one mosquito net!

    Once the basketball tournament begins we plan to open lines of communication for commentary, words of encouragement, or even a bit of bragging.  A world with Malaria is madness – so let March Madness and Nets for Nets begin!

    If you have questions please email Rev. David Derrick at  or Matt Wertman at

    Thanks for playing and thanks for helping put an end to malaria!

    The Mosquito Song Takes Flight

    Posted on March 8, 2013 by allisonbeebe

    A few weeks ago, we featured a video of The Mosquito Song, developed by Pastor Pete Warmanen of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Medford, WI. That little mosquito song has really taken flight! Recently, St. Barnabas Lutheran Church of Plymouth, MN had a special emphasis on malaria.

    As a part of the festivities, the children of St. Barnabas sang “The Mosquito Song” during Sunday worship, accompanied and led by Pastor Wayne Peterson. Check out their adorable musical rendition below:

    Each month, St. Barnabas receives a “Gift of Love” offering for a ministry outside its congregation; the ELCA Malaria Campaign was the January offering recipient. The emphasis was coordinated by Abram Sanderson as a part of his National Honor Society Senior Leadership Project. In addition to the song, St. Barnabas hosted a SleepUnder – where the congregation was encouraged to come to church and sleep under nets. (More on that to come in an upcoming post!)

    For your convenience, here are the lyrics to the song. Consider singing The Mosquito Song at your next ELCA Malaria Campaign event!

    To the tune of “I am a C”

    I am an M

    I am an M-O

    I am an M-O-S-Q-U-I-T-O ouch!

    And I go buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz

    And I go bite, bite, bite, bite, bite

    And I spread M-A-L-A-R-I-A

    All day and every night.

    But there’s an E


    E-L-C-A Malaria Campaign today

    Raising fifteen million dollars to

    Prevent, treat and contain

    It’s the E-L-C-A M-A-L-A-R-I-A Campaign!

    Thanks to Mary Simonson Clark for providing the content for this story, Abram Sanderson for coordinating the events at St. Barnabas, and Pastor Wayne Peterson for his musical leadership.  

    Why I Support the ELCA Malaria Campaign: A Testimony

    Posted on March 7, 2013 by jessicanipp

    Many thanks to Brandee Marckmann for sharing this article with us.  It was originally published in her congregation’s newsletter. An anonymous donor in Brandee’s congregation (St. Mark’s in San Francisco, CA) has made a $25,000 matching challenge to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.  Brandee is leading the malaria team at St. Mark’s, and encouraging her congregation and others to respond generously to this challenge.

    As members of the ELCA, many of us are blessed with access to state-of-the-art medical treatment for our children when they have health issues.

    As members of the ELCA, many of us are blessed with access to state-of-the-art medical treatment for our children when they have health issues.

    The day our son husband Henry was born, my husband Bill and I nearly experienced every parent’s nightmare.  A nurse discovered him pulseless nearly an hour after he was born.  “Code blue!” she shouted as she wheeled him out of our hospital room.

    No, no, no! This isn’t happening! I thought.

    Henry was resuscitated by CPR.  However, he did not regain consciousness when he started breathing.  Our newborn was in a coma.  We feared the worst.

    To hours after the incident occurred, we learned that Henry had regained consciousness and had yanked out his own breathing tube!  We were lucky.  Very lucky.  Today, Henry is thriving.

    A year ago I saw a brochure at St. Mark’s about the ELCA’s $15 million campaign to contain malaria.  The statistics I read were heartbreaking: malaria kills 655,000 people each year, and most are children under five.  That’s a child every 60 seconds.  I shook my head, thinking, it’s not fair that my baby had access to state-of-the-art medical treatment while other babies die of a disease that is preventable and treatable.

    The ELCA is joining hands with eleven church bodies in Africa to become part of an historic global movement to say, “enough is enough!” and eliminate malaria. The campaign is saving lives.  Recently, at an ELCA-sponsored medical center, a toddler with malaria received a life-saving blood transfusion and treatment to kill the remaining parasites in his blood.

    That’s just one of many success stories.  Grassroots strategies of the campaign include:

    • Training community volunteers in malaria treatment and prevention methods
    • Insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets to prevent the spread of the disease
    • Water treatment projects to control the environments where mosquitos breed
    • Providing medicine to treat malaria and preventative medication to protect pregnant women and their babies


    None of God's children should have to suffer from a preventable and treatable disease!
    None of God’s children should have to suffer from a preventable and treatable disease!

    After learning that there was a $25,000 challenge grant for the campaign from a member of St. Mark’s with a $1-for-$1 match, my husband and I made a financial commitment to the campaign.  We are championing the campaign out of gratitude for Henry’s life and because we think that none of God’s children should have to suffer from a disease that is preventable and treatable.

    We can all make a real difference by giving of our treasure to this campaign.  A gift of $250 is enough to purchase anti-malarial medication to protect 125 pregnant women and their babies form malaria.  $100 trains a village health team to work with the community to help people learn how to prevent and diagnose the disease.  Even a $10 gift purchases a bed net to protect families from mosquitoes while they sleep.

    Members of the Sierra Pacific Synod, please join me in taking advantage of the dollar-for-dollar match of the $25,000 challenge grant! We can’t pass up this opportunity to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world in the fight against malaria.

    Amen! Thank you, Brandee! (Members of the Sierra Pacific Synod: if you or your congregation would like to participate in this matching challenge, contact Jessica at for instructions.)