Marked for Ministry

Mr Ern Unger from Parkes in New South Wales headed the Stamps for Mission project for more than 60 years. He had many supporting volunteers and, for many decades, this ministry came under the umbrella of Lutheran youth. Youth groups spent many evenings cleaning and sorting stamps.

I knew the Unger family at Parkes. When I retired from teaching at St Peter’s Lutheran College in Brisbane, due to my wife Margaret’s ill health, we decided to stay with the Ungers on our way to Adelaide. Ern encouraged me to assist and ultimately take over responsibility for the Stamps for Mission program. I said I would think about it.

Some months later, I agreed on the condition that he would mentor me. The rest is history, as I accepted overall responsibility for the Stamps for Mission program in early 2003. The program has since become a fundraising arm of LCA International Mission.

Each year for the past 15 years, on average more than $12,000 has been raised. The total raised to date is more than $420,000. This is the result of hundreds of individuals and groups supporting this program. In fact, many of the youth of earlier generations are still actively involved, including several who are well into their 90s.

I encourage you as congregations, auxiliaries, groups and individuals to continue to collect stamps, process them and pass them down the line, so that they can be sold to raise funds for LCA International Mission projects.

Did you know?
Each dollar raised in Australia translates into up to 10 times as much in Asian projects
– Australian sheet commemorative stamps are worth much more than the peel and stick version of the same stamp
– Australian territory stamps (from Australian Antarctic Territory, Cocos and Keeling Islands, Christmas Island, or Norfolk Island) are more highly valued than Australian peel and stick stamps
– Sheet stamps are much easier to clean than peel and stick stamps
– Overseas stamps from all countries are welcome
– All philatelic items are welcome, including mint and used stamps, first day covers, special postmarks, and pre-stamped envelopes

What to do?
Buy only sheet stamps (or concession stamps)
– Collect stamps on envelopes, or torn off, from local businesses or organisations, including where you work or volunteer. Just ask permission first.
– Send off regular consignments to me at 24 Gameau Road, Paradise SA 5075, or to the LCA churchwide office at 197 Archer Street, North Adelaide SA 5006. Please include the name and address of the sender. The stamps can still be on paper if you aren’t able to clean them.

Thank you to each one of you who contributes to the work of LCA International Mission through the Stamps for Mission program. I praise and thank God for what can be done by such a lot of individuals working together.

This story was also published in the August 2018 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to donate used stamps or become a stamp receiver, you are invited to phone Peter Nitschke on (08) 8365 7717 or email For more information, go to