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Church Partnerships

  • Servant of Christ logo

    Servant of Christ Awards

    Honoring congregations for social service ministry


    Each year, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota recognizes partnering churches in each of the six ELCA synods as the recipient of the LSS Servant of Christ Award. These congregations are leaders in social ministry and social justice in their community, have a connection to LSS services in their area, and faithfully provide financial support for the service ministry of Lutheran Social Service.

    Churches are nominated by pastors, staff, church members or individuals in the community. Servant of Christ congregations are recognized at their respective Synod assemblies each spring.

    Selection criteria includes:

    • The strength, longevity, or richness of the relationship between the congregation and LSS.
    • A powerful connection to a service offered by LSS
    • Providing extraordinary social ministry leadership in their community, whether or not as part of an LSS service.
    • Financial stewardship to LSS, both through congregational pledging and gifts from individual donors.

    Nominate a Congregation

  • 2016 Servant of Christ Award Recipients

    “We are thankful for each of these extraordinary congregation’s leadership and service on behalf of our Minnesota neighbors,” said Pastor Kathryn Tiede, director of Church Partnerships and Philanthropy for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “We express deep gratitude for the generosity and kindness they continue to offer our community.”

    Christ Church Lutheran
    Minneapolis, MN

    Christ Church Lutheran prepares community meals for LSS of MN Safe House, an emergency shelter for youth experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. Care and concern for their neighbors goes further as church members collect clothes and toys for children and families. Christ Church Lutheran’s pastors show great energy and appreciation for children, continuing to teach the church’s youngest members the value of volunteering time and giving resources to people in need.  Pastor Kristine Carlson took special interest in LSS adoption services, delivering a sermon about the importance of helping children around the world find loving homes and forever families.

    Immanuel Lutheran
    St.Paul, MN

    Immanuel Lutheran has been a strong supporter of the wellbeing of youth experiencing homelessness.  This year, funds raised from their annual flea market went to LSS’ Safe House emergency shelter and Rezek House transitional housing for youth in the Metro area. Parishioners of Immanuel Lutheran also consistently volunteer their time preparing and delivering meals for youth staying at Safe House.  

    First Lutheran

    Bemidji, MN

    First Lutheran gives consistent financial support to Lutheran Social Service of the Bemidji Area. First Lutheran Church also provides space in their fellowship hall for LSS of MN staff meetings and trainings, assuring access to necessary equipment. In this way, First Lutheran has helped LSS of MN extend resources to better serve neighbors in the community.

    Living Waters Lutheran

    Lino Lakes, MN

    Living Waters Lutheran has been a strong partner in ensuring people with disabilities have opportunities to contribute to their communities. The congregation engages in several service projects at local homes for adults with disabilities, including planting a flower garden in the spring and yardwork in the fall. Representatives from Living Waters also attend LSS Metro Homeless Youth events, rallying in support of youth experiencing homelessness.

    Our Savior's Lutheran
    Rochester, MN

    Our Savior’s Lutheran has given generous financial gifts each month to support families served through LSS of MN.   For many years, Our Savior’s Lutheran has worked side-by-side with LSS Ways to Give and Adopt-A-Family programs to purchase Christmas gifts for young families. Our Savior’s Lutheran has also been instrumental in providing furniture and other household goods to families transitioning to stable housing.  

    St. Cloud Conference Pastors
    St. Cloud, MN

    Pastors of the St. Cloud Area Conference have been piloting the “My Neighbor is Muslim” small-group study in their congregations this year. “My Neighbor is Muslim” is a 7-week study and discussion guide designed to provide an introduction to Islam, promote cultural understanding and encourage interfaith dialogue. Minnesota is seeing some changing demographics due to an increase in recent arrivals of Muslim immigrants and refugees. By courageously using this resource, St. Cloud Area pastors are helping build positive relationships between people who come from different faith traditions. 
    Waters of Life Lutheran
    Duluth, MN

    Waters of Life Lutheran has contributed generous financial gifts to the Center for Changing Lives in Duluth. In greater Duluth, LSS of MN helps over 600 young people every year, providing them with the resources they need to launch into a productive, healthy and independent life. LSS of MN will break ground on the Center for Changing Lives in Duluth this May. Housed within its walls will be a Teen Health Center, transitional as well as supportive housing units, and LSS services that will allow continuity of care and access to a trusted adult. 

    Zion Lutheran

    Pelican Rapids, MN

    Zion Lutheran has consistently provided financial support to LSS of MN services in Fergus Falls with monthly contributions from their Benevolence and Ministry Fund. The generous donations are designated equally to support LSS of MN guardianship services, services for people with disabilities, and counseling for children and families.