Thanksgiving traditionally kicks off the holiday season of buying and giving. It starts with a day for giving thanks, followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday for getting deals on holiday shopping. From now on, we ask that you consider the following day #GivingTuesday! It’s a new day for giving back. On Tuesday, December 3, Liberty Lutheran and our Family of Services are joining other organizations, charities, community centers, businesses, families, students and others from across the world for this new philanthropic movement that is being called #GivingTuesday.
Lutheran Congregational Services (LCS,) a member of the Liberty Lutheran Family of Services, is proud to participate in the annual Christmas Ingathering every December by providing support to congregations with coordinating, collecting and distributing products and gifts to those in need. This year, we’re asking for your help in that effort.
As many as 100 volunteers serve as the engine behind Lutheran Congregational Services’ S.O.S. Warehouse ministry. This week LCS, a service of Liberty Lutheran, hosted a “thank you” luncheon for volunteers as a way to express appreciation for their help with the program over the last three years.
“It continues on with the help of all of you, your time, volunteering, sweat and hard work,” LCS Executive Director, The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ollikainen, said to the small group of volunteers gathered at Borderline Restaurant in Bethlehem.
We are excited to announce that on Friday, November 22, Liberty’s Lutheran Refugee Services in Central PA will be participating in the Extraordinary Give, Lancaster County’s Largest Day of Giving. On this day, every dollar you donate will be matched by a percentage of the $250,000 available from the Lancaster County Community Foundation! In other words, each donation received will increase our share of this bonus, which in turn will help support additional refugees in the Lancaster community.
By: Karen Read, MSN, RN, Nurse Educator, Senior Living
If you live in, work at or visit any of our Liberty Lutheran Senior Communities, (Artman, Paul’s Run Retirement Community, The Village at Penn State, and Mary J. Drexel) chances are you have heard or read about “culture change” and may be wondering what it is. In long term living, culture change is a transformational organizational shift from the institutional medical model of care to a “person centered” model that emphasizes individual choice and recognizes that each individual is unique and must be celebrated. At Liberty Lutheran Senior Communities we call our culture change journey the “Liberty Way”.
-By Samantha Wascow, Supervisor, LCFS In Home Protective Services
Who helps to protect children from sexual abuse and provides therapeutic intervention to support those victims and their caretakers? That’s the job of caseworkers in the In Home Protective Services (IHPS) program. The hardworking and dedicated staff often fly under the radar so to speak, unrecognized for the valuable support they provide to families in need.
For the modern family, holidays are often the only occasions when multiple generations come together to spend significant time with each other. And even if we don’t recognize it, the grounding we feel in our emotional lives probably grew, in part, out of observing and preserving traditions with our families. Whether it’s digging into a special dish that Grandma always made or listening to Uncle Harry’s bad jokes again, there’s something about experiencing these rituals together each year that help connect family members to each other for life. The annual Thanksgiving celebration is an excellent opportunity for aging loved ones to tell family stories, explain their traditions and teach the old ways to a new generation. Plus, for senior adults, remembering can be a life-affirming experience.
By Jennifer Ollikainen, Executive Director, Lutheran Congregational Services
After serving as Director of Ministries for 2 ½ years in the Philadelphia area with Lutheran Congregational Services, I am thrilled to accept the call as Executive Director effective October 1. I give thanks for Pastor Dennis Ritter’s leadership as Executive Director over the past 9 years and pray God’s blessings be upon him in the next chapter of his ministry.
This organization has a rich history of flexibility and service in response to the needs of our congregations and communities. Together, we will continue to follow God’s call to serve people in need with our ongoing programs and ministries along with new initiatives in cooperative service. I say “we” because our strength is in our community of supporters, congregations, volunteers, program instructors and staff. Together, we multiply our ability to serve and reach out to people in devastating or life-changing situations. Together, we make a tangible difference in the lives of those we are called to serve. Together, we can grow into new possibilities.
In the coming months, I look forward to listening and dreaming with you about what comes next for our shared social ministry. How can we use our collective gifts and resources to make a real difference in the world? I, along with our staff, am available to visit your congregation or organization for worship, supply preaching and presiding, adult forum or committee meeting. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to talking with you soon
Lutheran Congregational Services is a service of Liberty Lutheran, a social ministry organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Liberty Lutheran annually provides vital resources to more than 61,000 individuals from the earliest stages of life to the advanced stages of aging, through its family of services in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Liberty Lutheran has been honored with a Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) national Well Workplace Gold Award. Liberty Lutheran is one of only two organizations in Pennsylvania to receive a WELCOA Well Workplace Gold Award. Additionally, Liberty Lutheran is among 49 organizations, of more than 3200 WELCOA member organizations of all sizes nationwide, to be recognized by the Council for its workplace wellness program.