The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (known as the ELCA) is a national faith-based network of over 10,300 churches with 4.5 million members that strive to create meaningful changes in communities and around the world. Mission Investment Fund (MIF), the financial arm of the ELCA, provides financial service to ELCA members, churches and ministries through various investments and loans. Since it’s start in 1915, it has provided over $1 billion in loans to it’s churches and congregations.
In 2008, the country was facing some tough financial times. MIF wanted the focus of their annual report to be the individual stories of members who were helped with funds from MIF loans or investments. From soldiers in Washington returning from war who were provided needed counseling in churches to a congregation in Colorado that built a geothermally heated church that has saved resources as well as helped the environment.
After reading many stories just like these, we noticed a reoccurring theme: big changes can come from small beginnings. Using the parable of the mustard seed found in the New Testament of the Bible, we built a simple narrative that evolves through the report. I created hand-drawn illustrations that show the mustard seed starting small, growing and maturing into a healthy plant. By tying in stories from ELCA chruches and ministries alongside a famous parable, the annual report told the experiences of members and benefits that they enjoyed and were able to provide to others through investments and loans from the Mission Investment Fund.
Credits: CD: David Yang, TDH Advertising; Copywriter: Amy Markley, TDH Advertising; Account: Andrea Sieb, TDH Advertising ; Project Manager: Carrie Seanor, TDH Advertising