LSS honors six Minnesota congregations with Servant of Christ Award

Friday, June 14, 2024

 Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) has recognized six Minnesota congregations with the 2024 Servant of Christ Award. The Servant of Christ Award honors congregations that are leaders in social ministry outreach or have contributed to addressing special needs in their community in extraordinary ways. The award is extended to one or more congregations in each of the six Minnesota synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.  

“LSS and faith communities across the state have pursued strategic collaborations that look to the future. We continue to listen to those we serve, share resources with our mission partners, and work alongside congregations to empower individuals and families with the support they need to change their own lives,” said Patrick Thueson, president of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “Congregations in every corner of our state have given generously of their time and resources to support more than 25 LSS lines of service working on behalf of our neighbors in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties.”

This year, LSS is honored to present the 2024 Servant of Christ Award to the following congregations:

  • Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Redwood Falls in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod.

    For 30 consecutive years of partnership with LSS, members of Gloria Dei countless ways to support their neighbors and have been a valuable partner to LSS Meals. Members regularly deliver meals to those who are homebound and serve meals at the Redwood Area Community Center. The congregation also started a backpack food program with the local school district. They also provide support to area veterans at Eagle’s Nest Healing Center and support Lutheran World Relief’s clean water initiatives.

  • St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Red Wing in the Southeastern Minnesota Synod.

     St. Paul’s is an active participant of broader community efforts occurring in Red Wing. Last year, they hosted Red Wing’s
     traveling homeless shelter for two weeks. The congregation supplied meals and spent time in relationship with those staying in
     their church building. The impact of St. Paul’s social ministries is also felt beyond Minnesota. The congregation extends its
     outreach by regularly providing handmade quilts and various supply kits to Lutheran World Relief and volunteering at Feed My
     Starving Children. 

  • Calvary Lutheran Church of Park Rapids in the Northwestern Minnesota Synod.

    Calvary’s newest outreach effort, Hardhat Ministry, provides support to community members who are struggling to address property or home maintenance issues. Calvary’s social ministries also extend beyond the borders of Minnesota. Since 1994, Calvary has been a mission partner to San Lucas Lutheran Church in Eagle Pass, Texas and in 2019 become a mission partner to San Pedro Lutheran Church in Puerto Rico.

  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Brainerd in the Northeastern Minnesota Synod.

     Bethlehem Lutheran Church has teamed up with LSS to provide dedicated support to many of its services in the community
     including Youth Services, Neighbor to Neighbor, Camp Knutson, and Disability Services. Bethlehem is also a valued partner to
     other local organizations, including Bridges of Hope, Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center and Breath of Life Adult Day Center.

  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of New Prague in the Minneapolis Area Synod.

    Holy Trinity’s commitment to their neighbors in New Prague is also notable. Together with the local Rotary, they helped establish Peace Garden, which provided over 500 pounds of produce to the local food shelf last year. The congregation has also facilitated community conversations around racial equity and social justice initiatives. In addition, Holy Trinity graciously opens its building to community groups in need of meeting or event space.

  • All Saints Lutheran Church of Eagan in the Saint Paul Area Synod.

     All Saints active social ministries seamlessly blend learning, serving and giving. In 2023, All Saints also hosted a synod-wide    
     education event about the dangers of Christian Nationalism, opened their building free of charge to a youth mentoring
     program, and provided needed resources to neighbors through partnerships with Open Door Food Pantry and LSS’ Camp
     Noah, a program that supports children recovering from communities impacted by a disaster.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota began in 1865 when a Lutheran pastor and his congregation opened an orphanage for children near Red Wing in southeastern Minnesota. Today, with 2,500 employees and nearly 10,000 volunteers, Lutheran Social Service helps one in 65 Minnesotans through services that inspire hope, change lives and build community. Statewide, the organization seeks to foster safe and supportive homes for children, restore health and wellness in families, empower people with identified needs to live the lives they imagine, and promote health, independence and quality of life for older adults. For comprehensive information about the work of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, visit