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April 2011

Moratzkas' giving honors the past, ensures the future

Jim and Lynne Moratzka have built the framework of their lives around the church and its leaders. Lynne still hears the voice of her confirmation pastor giving her guidance, and both point to their former pastor, Vergil Anderson, as having "a vision and energy. He just set the church on fire with his actions."

Anderson gave terrific sermons that challenged your thinking, taught people about Luther's understanding of vocation and brought people of all ages together, they said. They're all traits the Moratzkas see being lived out in Luther Seminary students and graduates.

"I see that happening with the programs the seminary has developed to meet the needs of congregations," says Lynne.

Adds Jim, "We need leaders continuously. Consequently, we need to help out, financially as well as spiritually."

The Moratzkas have found multiple ways to support the seminary, including an endowed scholarship fund, charitable gift annuities and payroll deductions that support the Sustaining Fund and the Global Mission Institute.

While doing long-range planning for retirement, they established, at various points as they were able, several charitable gift annuities with varying maturity dates. By giving through CGAs, the Moratzkas receive a fixed amount of income each year.

For the Moratzkas, it is a win-win. Through each gift, they support two things they value greatly, the church and educating future leaders, in a manner that is doable for them and beneficial for the seminary. "Giving through CGAs helps create a consistent cash flow for both Luther Seminary and our family," Jim says.

"Financial support of Luther Seminary is the mortar that holds the foundation of the seminary together. A financially healthy and strong seminary ensures the continued opportunity for education of the church's leaders," he says.

Beyond their giving through CGAs, when they received an aggregate amount of money through a bequest, they chose to establish an endowed scholarship fund as a way to honor that gift. "People of modest means can do this," Lynne says. "We wanted to maximize that gift for the future. The endowed fund was the way to do that."

They've done it all, as Lynne says, "on the income of two teachers ... You do not require millions of dollars. It's available to anybody with the desire to make it happen."

Do you want to help raise up future church leaders?

Contact John Kilbride in the Office of Seminary Relations at 888-358-8437 or

For more information on planned giving options, visit

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