The Catalyst

Senior Services News
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Don't Miss Our Annual Meeting

Annual Membership Meeting & Award Ceremony

Date: March 24, 2021
Time: 3:00–3:45 p.m. EDT

Lutheran Services in America will hold its Annual Membership Meeting and a NEW awards ceremony on March 24 at 3 p.m. EDT. Member CEOs will cast votes for two member CEOs for the Lutheran Services in America Board of Directors and approve the FY 2022 budget and dues schedule. 

Winners of the first Lutheran Services in America annual awards will be announced at the Annual Membership Meeting:

  • The Innovator Award recognizes a member organization that is pioneering new solutions, technology or business practices to solve complex issues. This member is forward-thinking and extending beyond its own mission to strengthen the Lutheran social ministry network across the country. Ultimately, their breakthrough solutions are designed to lift up the nation’s most vulnerable people and help ensure that all Americans can live abundant lives.
  • The Micah Award recognizes a member organization that is leading the way in its work in addressing justice, mercy and equity. This member’s leadership in race equity, inclusion and diversity is truly inspirational and best exemplifies the spirit of Micah 6:8, “Act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Register here to attend.


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgivable Loans

The application period for PPP forgivable loans expires March 31. Two types of loans are currently available: “First Draw” loans for entities with fewer than 500 employees who have not already received funding, and “Second Draw” loans for entities that have already received and spent an initial PPP loan, have no more than 300 employees, and can demonstrate a 25% reduction in gross receipts. Note, there is a temporary period until March 10 where only entities with fewer than 20 employees are eligible to apply but once that exclusivity period ends, entities with over 20 employees will again be able to submit PPP applications until March 31. 

We also anticipate that if the American Rescue Plan COVID relief bill becomes law, on or before March 14, a third type will become available for nonprofits with 500 or more employees across multiple locations, but with no more than 500 employees at a single one of those locations. Additional funding is being made available exclusively for this category but we expect the application period to end March 31. For additional information, please check our website and contact your lender.

Upcoming Strength & Service Series Webinar


COVID-19 and Poverty in the U.S.

Date: March 25, 2021 Time: 1:00 -2:00 p.m. EDT

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to vast income disparities that exist in our country. Health and human service organizations across the U.S. are seeing increased demand for services as they care for vulnerable populations reeling from the spread of the virus and economic crisis. Please join us for this presentation from The University of Notre Dame Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), who will share results from their groundbreaking study assessing the impact of COVID-19 on poverty in the U.S. and how they can support your programs to address poverty at the local level. Register here.

Understanding the Impact of Systemic Racism on Black Families

Date: April 16th, 2021Time: 1:00 -2:00 p.m. EDT

We know children thrive when they are raised in loving, stable families. Yet throughout American history there have been many forces that have actively destabilized black and brown families.  Slavery, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, and poverty are some of the many examples of policies and practices that have actively separated children from their families. Please join us for this captivating, original presentation by Dr. Harry Singleton, theologian, author, and one of the most passionate and informed voices on race and religion in America as he elevates the historical and cyclical impact that systemic racism has on children, families, and communities of color, and the considerations we as faith-based organizations must make if we are to disrupt its cycle. Register here.



Funding Opportunities

CMS Updates


Advocacy Update

The American Rescue Act, signed into law on March 11, moves into the implementation phase

While this latest COVID relief legislative packagedoes not fully address our key priorities,it does include a number of provisions that will impact our member network. Significantly, the law expands eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to organizations with 500 or more employees across multiple locations, but with no more than 500 employees at a single one of those locations. Currently, applications must be submitted to lenders by March 31.  However, there is a bill pending in the Senate following passage in the House which would extend that deadline to May 31.  Join us in urging Senators to support the PPP Extension Act (H.R. 1799/S. 723).

Click here to send a message to your lawmakers using our advocacy tool.  We provide suggested language to which you can also add a personal note. 

The law also includes an expansion to 75% of the subsidy for costs incurred by employers who provide unemployment benefits on a reimbursable basis, as well an extension of the expiration date through September 6, 2021, and an increased 10% FMAP during the emergency period for home and community-based services for states that implement one or more activities to enhance, expand or strengthen these services.  We are currently seeking guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services on how this dedicated funding is going to be dispersed to ensure that it goes to providers.  The law does not include the phased increase to the minimum wage originally contained in the bill. More details on the law are available on our website. Meanwhile, the Senate last week confirmed Xavier Becerra to be the next Health and Human Services Secretary. 


The purpose of this digest is to provide current news and resources to Lutheran Senior Services organizations. The Catalyst is disseminated every other week and includes relevant reports, educational opportunities, policy updates and other announcements. To add colleagues to the distribution list or to unsubscribe from the Catalyst, send an email to