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.)
You can contact Rasmouse:
firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line "Rasmouse")
204.984.9185 (fax attn: Rasmouse)
toll-free 1.888.786.6707 ext. 153, or 204.984.9153