Love leads us to serve with a ministry focus
Through the power of the Holy Spirit and in response to God’s love as revealed in the Gospel, the mission of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey is to serve those who hurt, who are in need, or who have limited choices.
There are thousands of organizations in our country dedicated to helping people in various ways. Some, like Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSMNJ), include the word “ministry” or reference to a religious denomination in their name. The two words “Lutheran” and “Ministry” are significant in our name, because they describe why we serve rather than what we are or who we serve. Many organizations respond to needs. However, LSMNJ does so because we have been loved by God. Our mission is to focus on clearly responding to that love, which is reflected in many different ways.
Whether we are providing housing for those with limited resources, offering long-term support for residents impacted by natural disasters, providing one-to-one transitional support for those in need, or providing legal assistance to low-income immigrants through our immigration program—all efforts throughout LSMNJ stem from our mission as set forth in our Mission Statement. We act “in response to God’s love.” That focus translates into how we can best “help those who hurt, who are in need, or who have limited choices.”
Although helpful in identifying what we do as an organization, we have also learned that our name can sometimes cause confusion or misunderstanding. Some people think that LSMNJ is a church. Others ask if we only work with church members or serve only Lutherans. So, let me be clear: LSMNJ is here to serve all New Jersey residents regardless of religious affiliation or background.
This understanding of who we are and why we serve is part of the reason that we have wide support from a diversity of people, businesses, foundations, and agencies. Our work each day is a response to the love that God has already shown, and that response is what continues to direct LSMNJ into the future.