Mission Possible, the campaign to ensure the future of Luther Springs and Lutherock, is raising much-needed funds so that both camps can touch more lives in Christ’s name. But the truth is that the lives of campaign volunteers are also being touched and changed as they lead Mission Possible campaigns across Florida. Take Kent and Donna Richter for example. They served as volunteers to help launch the campaign in South Florida. Now they’ve taken on additional responsibilities as volunteers to make certain Mission Possible reaches its goal. They recently attended the Women of the ELCA Fall Gathering and now Kent is engaged with the campaign at St. Philip Lutheran Church, Mt. Dora. He will support the congregation’s efforts with a challenge gift offer and a temple talk as part of their January campaign.
Kent and his wife Donna are familiar faces to the voting members and visitors to the October Synod Assembly. The two presented campaign Co-Chair Pastor Jack Diehl with their $14,000 challenge gift to enable the Mission Possible campaign to reach the 90% of pledges needed to begin construction of the Atonement Chapel and Meeting Room at Luther Springs. The couple are naming gift donors to the campaign and continue to increase their giving with challenge gift offers. Why do they do this? Kent says, “You are supposed to do this. Jesus taught me through the Book of James that ‘every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above.’ We are told to be ‘doers of the word and not hearers only.’ We believe strongly that ‘Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (James 1,2)
Natives of South Bend, IN, Kent and Donna now make their home in Tavares, FL. Kent’s commitment to stewardship and theology is deeply rooted. He was, for 13 years, a member of the board of the Lutheran Laity Movement for Stewardship. “I led more seminars on stewardship and lifestyle than any other board member, traveling as a volunteer across PA, VA and FL.” His volunteer service also included 12 years’ service on the board of the Florida Center for Theological Studies. He is especially proud of the theological education the Center provided both local and international students.
It’s all part of the creed Kent says he lives by, so important that he reviews his list daily. He says, “I want to be fair and even-handed in judgement. I want to be compassionate and kind in my actions. I want always to be loyal to God and keep God’s law. I want to tithe my money and my time.” And they do. He sold his business at the age of 43 so they can devote time and effort to things that are important to them. One of them is Donna’s life-long battle with CTX (Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis), a lipid storage genetic disease. Donna’s debilitating disease doesn’t slow them down. “We count each day a blessing,” Kent says, and it shows in their spirit and actions.
Kent and Donna make themselves available to visit any congregation across the synod in 2018. They believe strongly in the vision and goals of Mission Possible and are happy to make presentations to congregational groups, councils, or worship. Contact Mission Possible campaign director, Pastor Jan Setzler, by phone at 864-942-2974 or email at email@example.com to schedule a time for Kent and Donna to visit your congregation.