On October 31 we will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Five hundred years ago Martin Luther set out to reform the Roman Catholic Church. But his focus wasn’t just on the church; Luther also created a new approach to service which laid the foundation for the work we do today.
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, which was essentially 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 not about giving charity to the poor, but about helping people avoid poverty in the first place. Today we call this work Lutheran social ministry.
In 1997 Lutheran social ministry organizations united – along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod – to form Lutheran Services in America. It is now one of the country’s largest nonprofit organizations serving all – regardless of faith, race, ethnicity or background.
LFS is a proud member of Lutheran Services in America serving over 34,000 people in Colorado, New Mexico and the Rocky Mountain Region.