Together in Community

“God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:24-26

Have you noticed that whenever you see the word “Luthercare,” it is always accompanied by the phrase, “Together in Community?” It seems to me that St. Paul understood, perhaps as well as anyone, what it means to live in community. In his first letter to the church in Corinth, he encouraged them to see that all people are an essential part of one body. He taught those early believers that it was their responsibility to care for all parts of the body, to rejoice together when one is honored and to suffer together when one suffers.

For almost four years now, I have had the blessed opportunity of witnessing how that works in the life of this part of the body which we call Luthercare! I remember writing, when I first became part of the Luthercare team, how impressed I was with all the ways in which Luthercare is at work in the life of the community around us. Providing the best possible care for seniors at Luther Acres, Spang Crest and St. John’s Herr Estate, and for our children in our four Early Learning Centers, is a given. We work hard to do all that we can to provide these services and are continually trying to find ways to make what we do even better. But there is so much more than just that!

Luthercare is “together in community” with so many incredible partners around us. We have a strong partnership with Ephrata Area Social Services and continue to do what we can to strengthen that partnership. Luthercare recently upgraded its wheelchair van at Luther Acres and, instead of trading in the van taken out of service, it was decided to donate that van to Ephrata Area Social Services as they prepare to expand the work they do in the community by providing transportation for the Northern Lancaster Community Hub.

Luthercare continues to partner with congregations in Denver and Lancaster in providing childcare services and has formed a new partnership with Community Bible Church in Marietta to offer this important outreach in the community there. You can read more about this exciting new beginning on pages 2-3 in this newsletter.

Luthercare continues to be a leader in key collaborative efforts with the United Way in Lancaster and Lebanon through initiatives like SAIL (Systems Aligned in Learning), Better Together Lebanon County and Plant the Seed of Learning, and Carl McAloose, Luthercare President and CEO, always encourages our leadership team to share our time and talents with other organizations whose mission is to make our community a better place for all people.

I had the joy of traveling to Puerto Rico this summer to plan a fall disaster response trip with my incredible crew of volunteers and, upon returning, have been responding to the needs of those affected by flooding here at home through my role as Coordinator of the Lower Susquehanna Synod Lutheran Disaster Response Network. I continue to remain incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way, and I thank you for the support you provide to make it all happen.

Luthercare truly is “together in community” in so many ways, and I’m quite sure that I have left many other examples off this list. As we continue to do all that we are called to do as part of the body to which St. Paul refers, I will rejoice each time God gives me the chance to do it with you.

Thank you for all that you do and for the incredible ways you support our work together through Luthercare!

Peace be with you,

Rev. Glenn Beard, Jr., Director of Church Relations & Pastoral Care