EDMONTON – The Lutheran Historical Institute (LHI) is facing serious financial difficulties resulting from the loss of a major source of funding. The Alberta-British Columbia (ABC) District announced to the agency earlier this year that it would be unable to continue providing its normal annual contribution—effectively reducing LHI’s annual revenue by 25 percent.
While LHI is a separate organization, it serves the ABC District as a designated agency, acting as the official archive for District records. It also serves as an archive for Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC), Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS), and Concordia University of Edmonton. These four stakeholders have historically contributed the vast majority of LHI’s budget revenue, with LCC providing $15,000 and the seminary, university, and District each providing $20,000. Due to the ongoing financial crisis in the ABC District, however, the District advised LHI it would be unable to support the agency in 2015.
“The situation is very serious,” said Rev. Dr. John A. Maxfield, Chairman of LHI’s Board of Governors. “LHI already operates on a very lean budget, employing just one full-time employee—our archivist Dr. Grant W. Grams. A $20,000 reduction in annual revenue jeopardizes our ability to continue operations in any meaningful way.”
At the request of LHI, LCC provided its 2015 funding commitments in a lump sum earlier this year to help stabilize funding for the archive. However, due to the increased financial pressures Synod is itself facing as a result of the District being unable to pass on congregational remittances, LCC was unable to provide additional funding to LHI to make up the shortfall it is facing.
“The situation also highlights the need for our church body to renew its discussion of the future of our church body’s archives,” Dr. Maxfield commented. “Discussions regarding the status of LHI—whether it should continue to function as an agency of the ABC District or whether it is time for it to become an official agency of LCC instead—are all the more pressing at this time.”
LHI provides annual memberships to individuals and congregations, which helps to offset operating costs. It has also recently encouraged congregations and individuals to consider making an annual voluntary contribution to LHI (by donating the funds to your local congregation but designating the amount for LHI). For more information on how you or your congregation may be able to support LHI, please contact LHI’s Executive Director Dr. Grams at email@example.com or (780) 474-8156.
Visit LHI’s website at www.lccarchives.com.