Lutheran Social Services of Northern California
by Kathye Hamm
October 31st marked the 500th anniversary of the reformation, out of which the Lutheran social ministry grew. Today, there are more than 300 Lutheran social service organizations across the country, touching the lives of one in 40 Americans each year. LSS of Northern California is your social ministry, serving more than 3,500 formerly homeless adults, former foster youth and families every day. We provide stable housing and compassionate guidance that assists in their journey to self-sufficiency and becoming engaged, productive members of their communities.
Luther set out to reform the Roman Catholic Church in 1517, but his focus wasn’t just on the church. He also created a new approach to service. At the time, the Pope and certain bishops insisted that believers needed to make gifts or purchase special dispensations – indulgences – to secure their salvation. Luther argued that because we are saved by grace, in gratitude, we are free to serve others. Together with the Wittenberg Council he established the Common Chest, the first social services agency in Europe. The Chest provided funds to assist orphans, women and children, paid for education and vocational training and provided medical services.
The idea was that service was about giving a helping hand-up, not just about giving charity to the poor. Today we call this work Lutheran social ministry. LSS of Northern California’s call is to end homelessness by addressing the underlying causes, which includes experience in foster care, poverty, chronic illness, mental health issues, unemployment, substance use disorder and disasters.
We extend our appreciation for your support or our neighbors affected by the October wildfires! We appreciate your continued prayers and donations this holiday season.
San Francisco 415.581.0891
Concord 925.825.1060 (main offices)
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