Many partners. One mission.

Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey works with Lutheran congregations, individuals, and groups to extend God’s love by reaching out across New Jersey in a multitude of supportive ways. We are blessed to have the faithful support of more than 200 Lutheran congregations located across the state of New Jersey, and we are grateful to them for helping us extend our mission.

Most Lutheran churches in New Jersey are part of one of two national Lutheran Church bodies:

  • The New Jersey Synod* of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) ⎯ The 1987 merger of three Lutheran Church bodiesthe American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churchesformed the ELCA.
  • The New Jersey District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)  Based in St. Louis, MO, LCMS was founded in 1847.

Partnering with churches

LSMNJ values the ministry we share with our New Jersey congregations in responding to the homeless, those that are food insecure or impacted by disaster, and those from infants to seniors who need our help. When we partner with congregations, we not only extend our reachbut also learn new ways to connect with and touch our communities. Thank you for helping us to further our mission.

For pastors and church office staff

For your convenience, we have placed valuable resources here to share with your congregation. Download documents and to find out more about who we are and the classes we offer contact Beth Gebhart at 609-699-4133 or bgebhart@lsmnj.org.

Essentials (Print/Download)

General LSMNJ Information (can be used as church bulletin insert)

For food pantry coordinators

Are you interested is starting a food ministry? We offer a grant for these purposes to Lutheran congregations that meet our specified criteria. Learn more about Lutherans Feeding Friends! Contact Beth Gebhart at 609-699-4133 or bgebhart@lsmnj.org.

Click to view congregations that have already made use of a Lutherans Feeding Friends grant.

Lutheran Learning

LSMNJ offers a series of workshops and classes entitled Lutheran Learning. These educational programs are intended for your pastor, church leaders, and congregational members to enhance your ministry and broaden your understanding of current topics, such as preparedness. LSMNJ will bring these free, ready-made programs to your church. All you need to do is choose a topic, select a date, and share the details with your congregation and community or invite select church leaders to attend. Download the Lutheran Learning flyer for a list of workshop topics or visit the Lutheran Learning page.

In addition to Lutheran Learning workshops, LSMNJ also offers the following complimentary programs:

Adult Forum: Content focuses on the work of LSMNJ in general or particular programs of interest to the group.
Social Ministry Committees: We are available to assist congregations in developing and enhancing their commitment and connection to their communities.
Worship: We offer Temple Talks and guest/supply preachers.

For more information, please contact Beth Gebhart at 609-699-4133 or bgebhart@lsmnj.org.

Service project opportunities

Throughout the year, Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSMNJ) organizes various ”drives” to collect donations, such as small gifts, to brighten special occasions for children and other LSMNJ program participants.

Collections to Give

Each year, contributions from individuals, community groups, and congregations permit LSMNJ to distribute back-to-school supplies and holiday toys to appreciative children. Gifts of food and personal care items also bring a smile to adult recipients. If needed, LSMNJ provides bags to fill with donations.

Continuous Collections

  • Blessing Bags for seniors and those in need
  • Activity Bags for seniors

Annual Drives

Back-to-School Backpack 

Many of our families cannot afford the added expense of school supplies.  Generous donations of assembled backpacks filled enable hundreds of children in our programs to get a jump-start on succeeding in school.

Christmas

Toys for children are collected as well as hygiene kits, non-perishable grocery items, and money or gift cards to purchase turkeys and gift items for our residents. Calendarsespecially those with larger numbers for seniorshats, scarves, gloves and other donated items can help lift spirits during the holiday season.

Easter Baskets

Annually, with your help, we deliver more than 350 unique Easter baskets filled with combinations of activities, books, games, stuffed animals, candy, and treats, as well as Easter-themed messages to children of all ages. If your church group or organization would like to assemble and donate Easter baskets, please contact us.

Thanksgiving

Fourth Sunday in September – Sunday two weeks preceding Thanksgiving

We collect canned vegetables, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and other non-perishable food items to ensure a holiday fest on the tables of program participants.  Gift cards to area food stores are also welcome.

For more information about these and other giving opportunities and to coordinate your donations, please contact Beth Gebhart at 609-699-4133 or bgebhart@lsmnj.org.

We’re part of Lutheran Services of America.

Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey is part of Lutheran Services in America (LSA), a network of more than 300 Lutheran health and human service organizations that serve in thousands of communities across the U.S. and the Caribbean. LSA is one of the largest not-for-profit human-service networks in the country, annually serving approximately one in every 50 persons in the United States. Collectively, the member organizations of LSA have aggregated annual revenues that total nearly $21 billion, as of July 2013.

LSA builds on a century-and-a-half of Lutheran social ministry efforts to serve the neighbor. Today, new ministries and organizations develop continually as needs are identified. Staff members and volunteers in LSA organizations treat acute and chronic illnesses of body and mind, provide care for the whole person in need, transform lives and strengthen and empower individuals and families to care for themselves, for one another, and for their communities.

These member organizations are not alone in caring for those in need. They often partner with local Lutheran congregations active at the grass-roots level in providing food, shelter, education, mentoring, and a wide range of other services in their home communities.

* “Synod” is a geographic and jurisdictional region within a national church structure and comes from the Greek words that mean “walking together.”