The Transition to Christian Life Resources, Inc.
1. This is a second renaming of the same organization, and not a new organization
At one time we were simply called "Lutherans for Life" but were often confused with the other Lutherans for Life group. We then formed a new national organization in 1983 and called ourselves WELS Lutherans for Life. The "WELS" was to distinguish us from the other Lutherans for Life group.
We have now renamed this same organization as Christian Life Resources, Incorporated. The reasons for doing so are much the same as the first renaming -- to clarify and distinguish who we are as well as more accurately indicate the scope of our work.
2. The new name does not indicate a departure with the WELS
Adopting the name WELS Lutherans for Life in 1983 did distinguish us from the other Lutherans for Life group and it did identify us with the WELS. The new name, however, also created new confusion. Many identified us as a WELS administered and funded agency. For that reason some thought their congregational mission offerings were the source of our support. Some within WELS administration expressed frustration that the name WELS Lutherans for Life was an assumption of a synodical affiliation and not just a theological affiliation. In other words, WELS officials also were getting kudos and/or criticism for WELS Lutherans for Life activities when they had no involvement with the work.
The new name, Christian Life Resources, Incorporated, clearly identifies us with issues of life within the context of the Christian faith. By not using the name of WELS in our corporate title we hope we will have addressed some of this confusion.
3. The new name does not indicate a departure from our rich Lutheran heritage
Having the name, "Lutheran," in our title created two reoccurring confusions over the years. Some have attended our presentations and supported our work thinking we were some group for lifelong Lutherans. Others have misunderstood our work as though it were only for the benefit of Lutherans.
From the very beginning our charter has been to use life issues as the forum to reach out with God's Word to those both within and outside the fellowship of the WELS.
We have, are and will continue to always adhere to the Lutheran faith as confessed by the WELS. As such those who work within our organization in a capacity of sharing God's Word must continue to be within our fellowship. We continue to look to the Southeastern Wisconsin District Presidium of the WELS for guidance in matters of doctrine and practice. In all of this, nothing has changed.
4. The new name more accurately reflects the full range of work we are doing
In the later 1970s and early 1980s WELS Lutherans for Life was known for its work on beginning of life issues -- especially on the abortion issue. That has broadened to include end-of-life issues, issues of chastity, child-rearing, caring for single mothers, specialized forms of family ministry and assistance in the management of medically oriented foreign ministry efforts. The name, Christian Life Resources, Incorporated, more accurately reflects this wider scope of activity and our role as a resource in these arenas.
5. WELS Lutherans for Life continues as our highest profile ministry
The name, WELS Lutherans for Life, continues to be in the forefront of our work. Under the old structure WELS Lutherans for Life was the name of the entire organization. Now, WELS Lutherans for Life is the name of our former "program division" which focuses on the particular medical and ethical issues of life and death. Most of our mailings will continue with the familiar name and logo of WELS Lutherans for Life. The most obvious difference, however, will be the added byline that WELS Lutherans for Life is a Division of Christian Life Resources, Incorporated.
Our chapters and branches will continue to be affiliates of WELS Lutherans for Life. The same policies remain in effect. Nothing really changes. As a division of Christian Life Resources, Incorporated, WELS Lutherans for Life will continue to be the name seen. The byline will distinguish us from an agency of the WELS while at the same time allowing WELS Lutherans for Life to continue its focus on the life and death issues of our time.
6. Life issues and more
As stated above, WELS Lutherans for Life is now Christian Life Resources, Incorporated.
We have also been approached to address many other causes which may or may not be in our future. Such causes have been sponsorship of a single ministry program, and peer support counseling and networking program -- just to name a few. With this new structure Christian Life Resources, Incorporated, can consider these expansions without diluting the work of our roots. CLR will continue and hold fast and focused to the cause of using life issues as opportunities to share God's Word.
When the issue of a new or changed organization was presented to the 1998 National Congress of WELS Lutherans for Life it was generally understood that the issues and the manner in which we have to address them has dramatically changed over the past 15-20 years. To meet these changes we have considered everything from dissolving the present organization and replacing it with a new one to spinning off a new organization. We sought professional consultative assistant, legal and fiscal counsel on the impact of all options. In the end we concluded that we have a winning formula in what we have and that the best answer is to tweak the name and the operational structure to fit what we have become and to better posture ourselves for the challenges of the future.
That is why Christian Life Resources, Incorporated, represents a simple renaming of the organization and a more tightly defined structure that we intend to help us maintain our focus on key issues and avoid the potential for dilution when new opportunities arise.
If you have any questions or desire clarification of what is contained here, please feel free to contact us.
Page Shortcut: http://www.christianliferesources.com?9635
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