My father was a refugee. I don't think about that often, but I was jolted back to this realization when I attended the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee (LIRS) "Walk of Courage" event. Each year, this event honors people fleeing persecution for a better life, and the people who prayerfully and humbly work in communities around the United States to help them realize that better life.
What makes the LSA network so unique? In the words of LSA President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker, "we grow and we do." It is in the "doing together" that our network of Lutheran social ministry organizations achieves true impact. It is in the doing that we combine our collective strength to achieve better outcomes for the people we serve.
Being part of this broader faith community called Lutheran means that our work in social ministry has longstanding connections with the Church. LSA is aligned with two national Lutheran Church bodies, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). This affiliation takes shape through our bylaws, our Board of Directors and our members, who are affiliated with or recognized by one or both Church bodies. Our members are very closely connected with their Synods, Districts and congregations in their communities.
The hum of the lively conversation and the energy of mission and purpose could be felt throughout the LSA member reception at the LeadingAge conference. Over 100 people from over 26 member organizations in our network joined their peers at the reception we hosted Nov. 1 in Boston for our LSA family. We enjoyed lively conversations, connections and networking.
Were you aware that Lutherans are the largest faith- based group serving seniors? Over 20% of the senior residential living units in the top 100 nonprofit providers is a member of LSA. Of our network of 300 Lutheran social ministry organizations, about 200 of them provide services to seniors. These services help seniors live a fuller, more abundant life through a continuum of services that range from in-home services to senior housing, rehabilitation, respite care and senior centers.