Update on Lutheran Social Service Agencies in the DelMarVa Area
During the 1960’s there was a “Lutheran Building” at 360 Park Avenue South in New York City. Operating out of that location were Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service (LIRS), and Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR). (LDR is supported mainly by the ELCA.) Also in the same building were the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Metropolitan New York Synod-Lutheran Church in America (The LCA no longer exists, having been absorbed by the ELCA).
In recent years when real estate and rents became so expensive, they all moved out. LWR. and LIRS moved to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at 700 Light Street, Lutheran Disaster Response to Chicago, the Atlantic District to Concordia University campus in Bronxville-New York, and Metro N.Y. Synod to Riverside Church’s office building overlooking the Hudson River.
Lutheran Community Services, a Delaware social service agency on Baynard Blvd. in Wilmington, is funded by both ELCA and LC-MS Synods in addition to support from local Lutheran parishes. Very recently they have opened a new food pantry at Faith Lutheran in Bear, DE.
Martin Luther Foundation (MLF) is another Delaware corporation that sponsors two Luther Towers independent living apartments for senior citizens. MLF also has other facilities located in Dover and in Milford.
Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland is another social service agency in South Baltimore, a LC-MS only operation which provides chaplaincy services to hospitals and prisons as well as 10 or more thrift stores in various locations providing clothing, furniture, small appliances and non-perishable food to low-income people. The nearest one is in Havre de Grace.
Augsburg Lutheran Home & Village in Northwest Baltimore, started by LC-MS congregations in the area, has expanded its residential care for both ambulatory and non-ambulatory persons in modern facilities supported by both ELCA and LC-MS members. It includes a full-time nursing staff, doctors on-call, regular meals and daily chapel worship.
Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries is a recent fledgling attempt by LC-MS parishes on both sides of the Delaware River to provide ministry and social services to needy people not being served by other agencies in “the city of brotherly love.”
Orphan Grain Train is a transport business by LC-MS Lutherans in Nebraska who pick up food, clothing, etc. for shipment both overseas and domestically. The items are sorted at a distribution warehouse in Wilmington. This operation is spearheaded regionally by Christ Memorial Lutheran Church in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Carl H. Kruelle
(Slightly modified by Pastor Rickert)