At our convention this past December, the South Dakota District of the LCMS voted to extend and expand its partnership with Lutheran Family Service (LFS), an LCMS organization based in Iowa that offers unplanned pregnancy support, marriage counseling, mental health counseling, adoption services, church worker wellness, and youth and elderly outreach. Lutheran Family Services also offers several congregational outreach programs designed to equip people with what they need to successfully manage life challenges before they become a crisis.
You’ve hopefully heard of Lutheran Family Service by now and the good work they are doing in Iowa and hopefully soon in South Dakota. You may remember Pastor Mick Wolfram who came to Zion last year as a guest preacher to talk about LFS and how our congregation can be part of supporting this important work.
As your pastor, I can tell you that I see the need for a quality Lutheran Christian counseling option in our state all the time. We have counseling services, but because the world’s values are increasingly misaligned from Scripture’s it is hard to recommend a secular counselor. Following the wisdom of the world, the Christian family or individual in crisis is likely to get advice that directly contradicts their Christian faith and practice. While some Christian options exist around us, there too we often see a misalignment of values and teaching.
Lutheran Family Service is a faithful Lutheran option through and through. They began as a Lutheran adoption agency in Iowa and over the years expanded their services to the variety of support and counseling services they now offer today. Thanks be to God; it appears that there is now the means and opportunity to expand those services to other states.
Our district voted to enter a partnership with LFS for the next three years, with the goal to begin providing those services to our state. To do that, the district needs our support. They have set a goal of raising $75,000 each year for the next three years. Because we have not budgeted to support this ministry, we will be asking the congregation for its support. By the time you read this, our voting members will have already decided what that support will look like. Most likely, we will be collecting door offerings for an initial gift to be made to help support the beginning of this ministry in our state. Please be on the lookout for ways you can support this vital ministry.
If you’d like to learn more about LFS and the services they offer, check out their website at lutheranfamilyservice.org.
Finally, I’d like to offer a word of encouragement and thanksgiving for all of you. As you may recall, our district collected funds for a special offering for new mission congregations in South Dakota for the recent convention. Zion’s voters elected to collect door offerings and match the offerings with a gift from our general funds. We raised $2,702 for a total offering of $5,404! That is amazing! I am very proud of our congregation for stepping forward to support the preaching of God’s Word to our neighbors. I have no doubt that you will continue to provide for the support of the ministry in our community and beyond. Thank you!