The ELM Board comes to you with hard news today. We regret to inform our community that due to our current financial situation, we have had to take immediate measures to ensure the continuation of our organization.
Giving has significantly reduced from 2021 to 2023. ELM also saw a significant decline in donations after ELM’s call to anti-racist commitments following the actions of former Bishop Megan Rohrer towards Proclaim members, including board members and staff. The Board also takes accountability that donor connectivity with ELM decreased in the vacancy of an Executive Director since December 2021.
The measures we are taking to ensure the continuation of ELM include suspending the positions of Operations Coordinator and the Associate Director of Development & Communications at this time. The Board is in the process of issuing separation agreements with ELM staff members Sharei Green (she/her) and Deacon Lewis Eggleston (he/him), whose staff roles will end this month.
We understand these measures have taken place at an unfortunate time while we honor Juneteenth and Pride Month. We regret the timing of this action, but found it necessary as the fiscal caretakers of the organization.
We are grateful for the ministry of Sharei and Lewis and we lift up the years of service and the impact that each had on ELM. While Sharei and Lewis are no longer staff members at ELM, Sharei and Lewis will remain members of the Proclaim community.
You might wonder how we plan to fill those gaps in the meantime. The ELM board will continue to work tirelessly in support of ELM’s ministry and programs. The ELM board will continue to support the work of ELM’s Program Director, Olivia LaFlamme-Washington (they/them) and all LGTQ2IAS+ Lutheran ministry leaders and queer Lutheran movements.
In the short-term, members of the Board of Directors are taking on all essential tasks in communications, development, and operations. The Board of Directors will be outlining additional volunteer roles to support the ongoing work of ELM and seeking faithful partners in those roles.
ELM, in its predecessor organizations, began as a completely volunteer-led movement, and then operated for several years with a smaller staff. We have a rich history of faithful volunteers contributing to this critical ministry. The visioning work that began with the conversations with Rozella and Chris through the LOVE report, and will continue with the Proclaim gathering, is just the beginning of what we trust will renew ELM through this season of ministry.
Financial support will be critical to sustaining and strengthening ELM for the future. The Board of Directors is reaching out to current and historic donors but also seeks to mobilize new donors and resources with interest in this powerful mission and work. We seek partnership in increasing financial investment in ELM’s ministry through all avenues. Please reach out to the ELM Board with any ideas on people and places to seek financial support.
Any specific questions at this time can be directed to email@example.com.
Clyde Walter and Mycah McNett, ELM Board Co-Chairs,
in cooperation with the entire ELM Board of Directors