Dear Friend in Christ,
I pray all is well.
As you are aware, the news has been dominated by worries over the banking system in light of the collapse of Silicon Valley and Signature banks.
What’s our position on the situation? Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) is not concerned about possible financial repercussions.
How can that be? Simple. We are not a bank but a religious nonprofit organization and, therefore, are not exposed to some of the same pressures these publicly traded banks have been exposed to. As a nonprofit organization, LCEF is required to mark to market all investments and record unrealized gains and losses on the statement of activities. Banks are not required to mark to market all investments, only those labeled as available for sale and therefore do not disclose the full impact of market conditions on all investments.
Deposits are secure, and we have operated without interruption for 40 years and endured many events and obstacles. We are prepared for moments like this.
For example, we are healthy and strong on several key financial fronts, such as:
- As of February 28, 2023, our liquidity (cash and investments divided by outstanding notes) remains strong at 32%. We also have a $100 million line of credit to assist with liquidity if needed.
- The capital-to-asset ratio, a measure of financial strength or the financial cushion to absorb losses, is also strong at 11%.
- Our loan portfolio is strong, with a 90-day delinquency rate below 1% of the total portfolio.
- Finally, we do not lend to those outside The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Please be assured that LCEF remains an organization that carries out its fiduciary responsibilities with care and diligence. Our financial strength statement outlines this commitment to our investors.
Let me close by saying this.
Over the decades, we’ve weathered our fair share of economic challenges and public health scares: Recessions, stock market crashes, the swine flu and COVID-19. Through it all, we have not lost a single dollar of our investors’ money.
Our organization’s leaders and workforce get credit for accomplishing such a task. However, it is the Lord who has truly blessed us. To Him alone belongs all the glory.
Finally, take heart. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
The Lord is gracious and in control of all things. He has given us more than enough to sustain us. He is good and does all things well.
May the Lord bring you joy and peace today and in the days to come. If you have any questions, please call our office at 800-843-5233, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
God bless you, and we will talk soon.
President and CEO
Lutheran Church Extension Fund