Lutheran Charities to Close on December 31, Bids Farewell to Member Organizations

November 14, 2017

Dear friends,

This year, we recognize the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, acknowledging the history from which we come and celebrating a legacy of reforming vision grounded in hope for the future. It is in this spirit that I come to you now as the current chair of the Lutheran Charities Board of Directors – grateful for the work of those before us, and excited for a future guided by the grace that makes all things new.

Lutheran Charities was established four decades ago as a support network for the region’s Lutheran social ministry organizations, in the spirit of Martin Luther’s community chest in Wittenberg that served his neighbors in need. Because of your loyal support, each of these Lutheran ministries – Diakon, KenCrest, the Liberty Lutheran family of services, Lutheran Settlement House, and Silver Springs Martin Luther School – has grown and flourished. With the support of Lutheran Charities, these organizations have become increasingly independent and self-sustaining with their own fundraising teams, each equipped to specifically support the organizations’ individual missions.

In this time of reflection, many of us are considering how we can reform our own lives and communities to best serve each other. Lutheran Charities has also engaged in this process of self-examination, and with celebration for all that we have accomplished, we are embracing a new generation of Lutheran social ministry for our region. As of December 31, 2017, Lutheran Charities will bid a fond farewell to its member organizations, dissolving to allow each organization to pursue its mission with the dedication of its own staff. As ever, we remain one family in faith, devoted to serving each other and those among us, interdependent members of the body of Christ.

We give thanks to those that have allowed us to grow to this point: most recently, Jennifer Ollikainen and Barbara Stechert. Their time, energy, and determination to fulfill our philanthropic mission have been extraordinary; without them, we would not be in this position to celebrate our shared successes.

We especially give thanks to our faithful donors who generously support Lutheran social ministry through Lutheran Charities. We encourage you to continue your stewardship of Diakon, KenCrest, the Liberty Lutheran family of services, Lutheran Settlement House, and Silver Springs Martin Luther School, by contributing directly to the organizations or designating them as the beneficiaries of congregational or synodical giving. Your ongoing support is crucial to the continued impact of these social ministries in our communities.

If you currently are giving through United Way, Merck, Thrivent or similar vehicles, please re-direct your giving to one of our organizations at the next opportunity. Rest assured that all gifts to Lutheran Charities will be distributed to the five social ministry organizations.

If you have any questions about this transition, please contact me at 215-407-7400 or past board chair, Jennifer Ollikainen at 215-859-3779 or pastorollikainen@gmail.com.

We wish each member organization Godspeed as they continue to serve our communities, each an expression of our call to serve one another. Please keep the enclosed information sheet for future reference. We encourage you to choose one of the charities to offer your support. Please rest assured that your name and information will not be sold or given to companies providing lists of donors. We honor your privacy.

Most sincerely,

Marian Baldini
Chair, Lutheran Charities Board of Trustees