Rasmouse, in his mission to clarify the benefits of Project Rasmus, asked the practical question, "How much did it cost?"
To answer that, let's start at the beginning. In 1619…oops, that's a little too far back. In 1998, DOS driven databases being used by National and Synod Offices had to be replaced. Computer hardware and software were being designed for a Windows environment and the National Office had to keep up. (If that's too much computer jargon, remember when you could no longer find a replacement bulb for your 16-mm movie projector or a needle for your record player. Along the way we've all had to part with some money to buy a VCR, tape and CD players…and now, there are DVDs.)
In 1999, National Church Council asked national staff to "prepare a plan to implement an integrated information system for synods, congregations and the National Church." (In other words, build a better mousetrap!) People of vision dreamt of building a flexible, growing system that would take the ELCIC well into the future. Project Rasmus was born.
In March 2000, $300,000 was authorized for "developing and implementing a church-wide information system" and in September, an additional $125,000 was allocated*. The cost of Rasmus to the church has so far been $425,000. We have more than 191,000 members in Canada. That means that each of us has contributed about $2.25 to this project. (Rasmouse can't even get a decent cheeseburger for that!)
*This money was a grant from Lutheran Investment Funds and Endowment (LIFE) equity balances. (Rasmouse hastens to point out to concerned employees that LIFE is in no way connected to the ELCIC Pension Fund.)
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toll-free 1.888.786.6707 ext. 153, or 204.984.9153