by Melanie Ave
It is what connects the LCMS to three independent Lutheran organizations — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Lutheran Services in America and Lutheran World Relief.
The LCMS has a special partnership with all three organizations and provides annual grants to each one, allowing the LCMS to extend its reach and to walk together in bearing mercy.
The Rev. John A. Fale, associate executive director of LCMS Mercy Operations, said the LCMS and the three organizations complement one another’s strengths and weaknesses. The organizations have unique capacities that go beyond the realm of the LCMS.
“You come to the table in a relationship that states, ‘We can’t do the work of mercy without you.’” — Rev. John A. Fale, executive director of LCMS Mercy Operations
The LCMS, Fale said, values its collaborative relationships with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Lutheran Services in America and Lutheran World Relief.
“Mercy is at the heart of what they do,” he said. “That’s really the connection. Our proclamation accompanies the mercy component that they bring.”
Here’s a bit of information each organization, its annual LCMS funding and what each chief executive has to say about working with the LCMS:
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) $140,000
Founded in 1939 and based in Baltimore, LIRS is the second-largest refugee resettlement agency in the United States. It is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating for refugees, asylum-seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for providing services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States.
Learn more: www.lirs.org
“From the visionary leadership of board members who are LCMS to the hospitality shown by local congregations, the LCMS is an integral part of our mission as Lutherans to welcome the stranger in Christ’s name. Together the LCMS and LIRS have brought a Christ-centered perspective to ministry with new Americans, created new programs and resources, engaged congregations in life-changing mercy work and influenced systemic change.” — Linda Hartke, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
Lutheran Services in America (LSA) $140,000
Based in Washington, D.C., Lutheran Services in America is a nationwide network of more than 300 Lutheran health and human services organizations. LSA members serve a broad range of people – children, youth and families, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, the homeless and those recovering from disasters – and provide a spectrum of services.
Learn more: www.lutheranservices.org
“Because of our deep and abiding relationship with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Lutheran Services in America is a thriving network of Lutheran social ministry organizations that touches one in every 50 Americans with God’s love and mercy each year. Together we extend God’s mercy here in the United States serving homeless youth, vulnerable seniors, the unemployed, those displaced by natural disaster, the chemically addicted, the medically fragile, and many others in communities across the country. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a guiding force, a partner in faith and a critical ally as we expand the reach of God’s love and mercy to His most vulnerable.” — Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America
Lutheran World Relief (LWR) $630,418
Lutheran World Relief in Baltimore works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of U.S. Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate and emergency support.
Learn more: www.lwr.org
“LWR deeply values our partnership with the LCMS. Working together in the ministry of mercy, we are able to help so many of our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. It is thanks, in part, to this partnership that LWR was able to reach 7.8 million people in 35 countries in 2013 and deliver $14.3 million worth of quilts and kits to more than 841,000 people. The Lutheran Malaria Initiative is a wonderful example of cooperation.” — Daniel Speckhard, president and CEO, Lutheran World Relief