Living for our Neighbors

Katie Scherr
Church Relations and Development Assistant
 Lutheran Family Services 
Rocky Mountains
As someone who was raised outside of the Lutheran Church, I’ve been amazed by the impact that Lutheran communities have had in my young adult life.  From attending Luther College, to participating in a service year with Urban Servant Corps, to interning with Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, to now creating church-to-community partnerships through Lutheran Family Services, God has presented me with incredible opportunities through the Church and the ELCA.

As we reflect on and celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation this year, I’ve had the opportunity to think deeply about the impacts that Christianity, Lutheranism, and the ELCA have had not only in my life, but in the world in which we live.  Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses and the Reformation they sparked brought turmoil, change, and hope to a religiously, politically, and socially diverse Europe. 

 In these last 500 years many things have changed, but our churches continue to live and serve in the midst of turmoil, change, and hope in a religiously, politically, and socially diverse world.  We continue to seek reform in the well-intentioned but broken systems of our society.  And we continue to live, as Luther suggested, “not for [ourselves], but in Christ and the neighbor.  [We] live in Christ through faith, and in [our] neighbor through love” (“Freedom of a Christian,” LW 31:371).

The Lutheran communities of my young adult life have challenged me to consider this kind of life more deeply, and have shed light on some of the neighbors I am called to live in through love.  This is exactly why I love my work with Lutheran Family Services, and why I believe it is so important.  We have the opportunity to meet our neighbors in times of great need; whether they are an infant in need of a loving family, a child in need of a safe home, an individual in need of the tools to build a new life, or an older adult in need of companionship and care planning, we at LFS can choose to live in love alongside these neighbors.  We can walk with them through times of turmoil, change, and hope, just as we know Christ would do.  I personally have the joy of meeting with churches and individuals who share the desire to live this kind of life, and connecting them with opportunities to compassionately live in love for their neighbors.