Thrivent Restores Donations to Pro-Life Groups After Criticism Over Pro-Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 8, 2014   |   3:57PM   |   Washington, DC

Earlier this year, the Lutheran charity Thrivent found itself the subject of national criticism after it was found to be facilitating donations to pro-abortion groups. After articles exposing the funding caused a stir, Thrivent, in an attempt to be “neutral” on the abortion issue, yanked almost $900,000 in funding for pro-life groups and pregnancy centers.

thriventToday, Rev. Michael Schuermann, who is the Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sherman, Illinois and was the main researcher behind exposing Thrivents funding pro-abortion groups, says he’s learned that 70% of the donations yanked from the pro-life groups has been restored.

From his letter released today:

Dear Mr. Hewitt and Thrivent Board Members,

Imagine my pleasant surprise when today, while doing some research for a follow-up article on Thrivent’s neutrality policy, I discovered that a bit more than 70% of the pro-life organizations that Thrivent had kicked out of their charitable giving programs in the name of “neutrality” have been quietly reinstated.

Thanks be to God! Wonderful organizations that are serving men, women, and children in their time of need are again eligible for Thrivent Choice dollars as well as other Thrivent charitable giving programs. This is a great first step for Thrivent. I do wonder why you are being so quiet about it; nevertheless it is very good to see.



Now for the next step. The faithful organizations that provide education about life and bioethics issues should be reinstated. These organizations are doing faithful, Christian work. They are providing resources to men, women, and children – Christian or not – in times of great need. These organizations are:

These organizations are not political, but instead exist to provide the truth about life issues to Thrivent’s Lutheran Members. I can see no reason they should not also be reinstated, given that what they do is in many ways indistinguishable from the life-issues education I provide in my congregation, and as many other congregations are also providing on a regular and ongoing basis (all receiving Thrivent funds, by the way!) As Rev. Matthew Harrison stated, “the LCMS and every one of its entities and congregations are both pro-life and nonprofit, so we certainly hope that Thrivent will continue to support such pro-life, nonprofit organizations.”

There are a few other organizations that have yet to be reinstated. I hope it’s only a matter of time before they too can receive Thrivent funding. According to my information, they are:

  • CareNet Pregnancy Services of DuPage County, Downers Grove, IL
  • Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater, Chesapeake, VA
  • Harbor Lights Pregnancy and Information Center, East Tawas, MI
  • Pregnancy Assistance Center North, Conroe, TX
  • Pregnancy Care Center, Fresno, CA
  • Pregnancy Support Center, Canton, OH
  • Sanctity of Human Life Network, Fair Oaks, CA

The Triune God whom all Thrivent Members confess in the Apostles’ Creed is pro-life. Full stop. It is our privilege as God’s people to imitate Him in serving our neighbors in order to promote and protect life. I hope you will continue in this positive direction. This is my ongoing prayer. Thank you.

Rev. Michael Schuermann