Today’s Front Line Hero: Lutheran Family Services of Virginia
June 11, 2020
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Family Services of Virginia (LFSVA), which is making efforts to ensure the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are shown well-deserved recognition for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic. LFSVA purchased hoodies for the DSPs, which include a logo that identifies them as heroes.Read More
America’s Silent Heroes
June 10, 2020
Lutheran Services in America summer intern, Joey Hess, shares a reflection on the Front Line Hero stories. Joey is inspired by the stories of Lutheran social ministry organizations' front line workers who selflessly serve their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.Read More
New Law Affords Greater Flexibility for Paycheck Protection Program Loan Recipients
June 10, 2020
President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) into law last week Friday. The act provides additional flexibility for recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans by: Extending the original eight-week period where entities needed to use the money to qualify for loan forgiveness to 24 weeks...Read More
Today’s Front Line Hero: Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan
June 10, 2020
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan, which recently released a powerful statement about the death of George Floyd and the ongoing struggle for racial equity. LSS of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan provides a wide array of holistic services, including programming for children and..Read More
Today’s Front Line Hero: Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois
June 09, 2020
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, which is speaking out against structural racism, and is dedicated to dismantling inequitable systems in society. LCFS of Illinois improves the wellbeing of people across Illinois through their children, youth, and families services. They offer programs such as..Read More
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.