The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


May 18, 2006

A letter from LSS of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan

Occasionally, The Lutheran receives letters that require they be published in full. However, given the space limitations of the magazine, it’s impossible to cut the letter and still be faithful to its message.

Here is one such letter. It is from Pastor David N. Larson, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Inc. It is addressed to the editor as well as Debra Illingworth Greene, who wrote the article that prompted the following letter by Larson:

I’m writing to thank you for the reasonably balanced article, “Social service agency responds to audit” in the April 2006 issue (page 50) of The Lutheran. While the word audit may strike fear and trembling into some people, it’s a welcomed and regular part of doing business and ministry at Lutheran Social Services in Wisconsin. Very simply, the intent of any audit is to help you do what you’re already doing well even better.

As your readers are aware, the church’s mission drives us into the most difficult times and area’s of people’s lives. We do so in response to the call of Jesus Christ. When people are at their worst, the church must be at its best. Through our social ministry organizations (SMOs) ELCA congregations through good stewardship of dollars and time truly live out our response to the gospel. The SMOs of Lutheran Services in America (LSA), for example, touch the lives of one out of every 50 Americans each year. It is in that difficult arena of hurt and struggle that the church strives and succeeds in its outreach of help.

The only additional information I wish was included in the original article is how important ELCA congregations are to the 5,000 persons specifically in the child welfare system in Milwaukee County. Over the past two years, Lutheran Social Services, with the help of countless volunteers from the church, have distributed over $600,000 in new, brand name clothing to foster children and their families. This makes a real difference in their lives. And, this effort is above and beyond what is in our contract with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

In sum, Lutheran Social Services continues to be good stewards of all that we are entrusted with and are committed to helping people improve the quality of their lives. The mission of the church is alive and well and working through the ministry of LSS of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan and in partnership with all the Lutheran Services in America social ministry organizations.

Thank you for this opportunity to share with you.

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