June 7, 2013

Why invest in MIF? Consider the competitive rates and church building mission

Typically, it is the job of parents to pass advice on to their children, but that does not mean that it cannot happen the other way around. That was the case for the Rev. Emil Evenson and his wife Judy when their son suggested they invest with the Mission Investment Fund.

At his suggestion, back in 2003 the couple decided to look into what MIF offered, and they were pleased with what they found. “MIF offered a special 18-month CD at 6.25 percent,” Evenson says. “We really thought it was terrific.”

Added to the competitive rates was the aspect of helping others. “We really liked that MIF invested in building churches,” says Judy Evenson. “That’s how the two churches Emil started were built.”

The Evensons know well the life of serving, not only in their church, but in their community. Pastor Evenson, now retired after 25 years as a Lutheran pastor and 10 additional years in specialized ministry, has also held such positions as grief counselor and coordinator at Dr. Kate Home and Hospice in Minocqua, Wisconsin. Judy Evenson, after serving as a teacher’s aide in special education for many years, was employed as the community liaison representative and helped raise funds to build a hospice house in Woodruff, Wisconsin.

The longer the Evensons invested with the Mission Investment Fund, the stronger their commitment to the organization became. When their initial investment came to term, they found that they were still able to get a good rate and re-invested with a sixyear MIF Term Investment.

The couple of 56 years doesn’t have any specific plans for when their current investment matures, but they are already enjoying their savings. “Because we’re retired, we’re generally very careful with our money,” says Evenson. “With the Mission Investment Fund, the interest is enough to travel and do other things; it’s very gratifying.”

In the near future, the Evensons may have the pleasure of experiencing firsthand the impact that Mission Investment Fund investors have on Lutheran ministry. After moving around for Pastor Evenson’s call, the two have returned to First Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “It’s my home congregation,” says Judy Evenson. “We were married there, Emil was ordained there and our first child was baptized there.”

The old church is starting to show its age. It is time to decide what the best move might be for the future, Evenson says. “We need to decide whether to fix it up or whether there are other ways that the money would be better used,” explains Evenson. “We would like to explore our situation in more depth–it’s very exciting.” MIF church building consultants are expert at helping congregations in these kinds of situations by focusing first on their mission–and developing building plans to help realize that mission.

Pastor Evenson and his wife are confident that if people take a close look at the Mission Investment Fund, they will be pleased with what they find.

If ELCA members are concerned that MIF investments are not FDIC-insured, Evenson says, they should examine MIF’s solid record of strengthand stability. The Mission Investment Fund has built up a significant amount of capital—much greater than what is required by state securities commissioners and greater than most other financial institutions maintain. This strong capital position—coupled with MIF’s prudent loan underwriting standards—helps assure the ability to offer security to investors, meet financial obligations and carry out the mission to help build the church by providing manageable ministry loans for capital projects.

“I would say look around at interest rates, and see the competitive rates MIF offers. Think about that,” Judy Evenson suggests, “but also think about the good work MIF does. MIF is building churches.”