Servant of Christ Awards
Each year, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota recognizes partnering churches in each of the six ELCA synods as the recipient of the LSS Servant of Christ Award. These congregations are leaders in social ministry and social justice in their community, have a connection to LSS services in their area, and faithfully provide financial support for the service ministry of LSS.
Churches are nominated by pastors, staff, church members or individuals in the community. Servant of Christ congregations are recognized at their respective Synod assemblies each spring.
Selection criteria includes:
- The strength, longevity, or richness of the relationship between the congregation and LSS.
- A powerful connection to a service offered by LSS.
- Providing extraordinary social ministry leadership in their community, whether or not as part of an LSS service.
- Financial stewardship to LSS, both through congregational pledging and gifts from individual donors.
“We are thankful for each of these extraordinary congregation’s leadership and service on behalf of our Minnesota neighbors,” said Pastor Kathryn Tiede, director of Church Partnerships and Philanthropy for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “We express deep gratitude for the generosity and kindness they continue to offer our community.”
Faith Lutheran Church
Eagle Bend, MN
Faith Lutheran Church in Eagle Bend is being recognized as our Servant of Christ award recipient for their longtime, faithful support, and critical partnership in LSS’ work in supporting older adults in this community. This congregation provided visionary community leadership in rebuilding their kitchen so that together with LSS’ Senior Nutrition Program, we can feed more people. With their commitment and hard work, Faith Lutheran Church asserted that Senior Nutrition is more than just a meal. To a growing number of older adults, it is their lifeline to good nutrition and valuable connections with others... all adding up to a healthier and more independent lifestyle.
Calvary Lutheran Church
Calvary Lutheran Church in Wilmar is being recognized as our Servant of Christ award recipient for their longtime, faithful support, and critical partnership in LSS’ work in the Wilmar area, including Financial Counseling, Guardianship, Respite Care, and Counseling. This remarkable congregation has supported LSS every year since we started recording gifts in our current donor database, in 1986. They’ve also been a part of this Synod’s work promoting financial wellness of Pastors and Congregations with LSS and the Lilly Grant implementation/leadership team.
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Minneapolis is being recognized as our Servant of Christ award recipient for their longtime, faithful partnership, and for critical investments made last year to support several new initiatives with at-risk youth. In North Minneapolis, their gifts provided an artist in residence for the SMASH out-of-school summer program. In South Minneapolis, Good Shepherd made it possible for LSS to partner with Circle of Discipline, a boxing program for the youth participating in the Empowering Student to Achieve Program.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brainerd is being recognized as our Servant of Christ award recipient for its longtime, faithful partnership, and now as a leader in our Neighbor to Neighbor work. Neighbor to Neighbor is a bridge to a fuller, more active life for older adults who want to live at home, stay healthy, and remain as independent as possible. Bethlehem is helping us to launch this program in congregations, creating a link to the community, and an opportunity for meaningful friendship and fellowship.
Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake
Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake has been partnering with Cherish All Children at LSS on the issue of child sexual exploitation and trafficking for the past several years. In this time, they have created their own Cherish All Children Team within their congregation, and gotten right to work to educate and engage in actions to protect children. Early in 2018, this team of dedicated volunteers partnered in hosting the Super Bowl Kick-off Event, at LSS, to support anti-trafficking efforts around the Super Bowl. Shortly after, they held a Human Trafficking Community Presentation and heard from Assistant Washington County Attorney, Imran Ali, and local law enforcement about trafficking in their community and efforts to stop it. In addition to this work, Faith Lutheran has also supported LSS Refugee Services by serving as a Refugee outfitter and providing supplies and home furnishings to new families that arrive in Minnesota. Since August of 2017, Faith has supported 5 families and is also helping to stock supplies in the transition house for families that arrive without their new home ready to move into.
Zumbro Lutheran Church
Zumbro Lutheran Church have been faithful supporters of LSS for many years. In 2017, the Schmidt Foundation gifted Lutheran Social Service with a generous donation in the hope of inspiring others to match it. It was the people of Zumbro Lutheran who stepped up and provided the first matching gift. These funds were vital in the opening of the new Financial Counseling office in Rochester, enabling LSS to provide this necessary service to many more of our neighbors.
Grace Lutheran Church
The people of Grace Lutheran Church in Waseca have generously supported Lutheran Social Service, in 2017, through their foundation, LSS received 4 extraordinary gifts. These gifts provided funds for urgent unexpected needs in their backyard and the greater community. Disaster relief, Camp Noah (LSS’ camp for children suffering trauma), and Senior Nutrition Services gratefully received these gifts. The unexpected outbreak of natural disasters, brought an unprecedented need for disaster relief. A loss of government funding left seniors unsure where they would get their next meal. It is through the generous gifts of Grace Lutheran Church that LSS was able to provide help to our most vulnerable neighbors in these dire situations.
Church Partnerships and Philanthropy
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