The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Single but whole

Not all singles want or need to be fixed up

Fifth wheel. Odd one out. Square peg. Talk with single Christians about their church experiences, and you might hear those terms.

Worshiping God and enjoying fellowship is a community experience. But for some single people, being a member of a church can be a distressing paradox. In the midst of this larger body of Christ that is often family-focused , singles might feel isolated if no effort is made to include them.

Are Lutheran churches ministering to singles? If not, how can they start? What makes an effective singles ministry?

Just like members of other demographic groups, not all singles are created equal. "In singles ministry everyone has different expectations," says Karen Roles. She is the former coordinator for Single Adult Ministry in Region 3 of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which covers North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. The SAM program was officially discontinued July 1 because funding was no longer available.

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All are welcome