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CDC Updates COVID Guidance and a Look Ahead at the 118th Congress

By: Sarah Dobson

December 19, 2022

The CDC published an updated set of guidance for COVID-19 that rolls back some of the previously more stringent recommendations and requirements. Meanwhile, we anticipate forward movement on bills related to important issues for our network from the incoming Congress.

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Reflections: In gratitude for all that you do

November 21, 2022

By: Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO, Lutheran Services in America

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Charlotte shares her reflections that she launched at the start of the pandemic to connect with our remarkable member CEOs during a dark and uncertain time.

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Offering Choice and Affordability of Benefits is an Art and a Science

November 16, 2022

By: Portico Benefit Services

A comprehensive benefits package remains one of the greatest tools for attracting and retaining quality employees. Offering a mix of health plan coverage options can help you more effectively meet the needs of employees, and it doesn’t have to cost more.

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Extravagance of Grace

October 31, 2022

By: Charlotte Haberaecker

October 31 is the 505th anniversary of the Reformation when Martin Luther shared his theological insight that God’s gift of grace in Jesus Christ frees us from being focused on ourselves and opens us to care for others. The foundation of our work is that all people have dignity and worth and that they are valued by God.

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Celebrate. Recognize. Inspire.

October 19, 2022

By: Charlotte Haberaecker

The Leadership Awards are your opportunity to celebrate, inspire and recognize your own organization as well as your peer Lutheran social ministry organizations throughout the country. Submit your nominations by December 6!

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Reflections: In gratitude for all that you do

As leaders of organizations centered and rooted in faith, we draw strength from each other as we persist in our mission to bring hope and healing to people.

I began a weekly CEO Update at the start of the pandemic because I thought it was important to stay in touch and communicate through a dark and uncertain time. As one of the largest nonprofit health and human services networks that cares for one in 50 people in America, we were hit especially hard by the pandemic.

While some CEO Updates were about important advocacy issues or programs, others were more reflective. I always received feedback from member CEOs on the reflections—notes like “I really needed that today” which kept me going.

One of my board members suggested that I compile the reflections together. As I look back, it’s clear that where we thought we’d be along the way changed—often—and mostly in ways that brought more challenges and hardships to Lutheran social ministry.

What was also clear was the extraordinary leadership, creativity and perseverance that you and leaders throughout the network demonstrated—examples of true leadership to adapt to never-before-seen situations and lead your teams with grace and courage. Lutheran social ministry stood up when we were most needed and you and your teams are the Front Line Heroes that we lift up for your life-saving work.

These Reflections are dedicated to you—for your remarkable leadership and our extraordinary journey together.

 

 

Extravagance of Grace

Today is the 505th anniversary of the Reformation when Martin Luther shared his theological insight that God’s gift of grace in Jesus Christ frees us from being focused on ourselves and opens us to care for others. Or as CEO Summit Theologian-in-Residence Pastor Mark Huber once put it, “it means it’s not about us.”

How is this relevant or reflected in Lutheran social ministry organizations today?

The foundation of our work is that all people have dignity and worth—not because of anything they do or don’t do but simply because they are—and that they are valued by God. As Lutheran social ministry, we create the space where people experience God’s grace through our care and compassion. It’s the why behind our work and reflected in how we do our work, in relationship with our neighbor, no matter who are neighbor is, where they’re from, or what they do.

So why does this matter?

God’s grace is extravagant and is revealed in the beauty and light we let into people’s lives, to remove the barriers that hold them back from achieving their potential and to empower them to realize their dreams. It’s why we persevere despite having to continually pivot and be stretched and stressed. It’s our calling, our vocation.

In the midst of our challenges and an uncertain future, may we remember that our presence matters, that our work brings more light and beauty into people’s lives, and that we do not do this work alone.