January 15, 2021

Lutheran Social Services of
North Dakota to Close
From the Bishops
Dear Lutheran siblings of North Dakota,

As Bishops of our Eastern and Western North Dakota Synods, it grieves us to share with you the difficult news of the closure of a key Lutheran partner in ministry. Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, after 101 years of important ministry, has reached the end of its life as a faith-based service organization in our midst.

Lutheran Social Services has extended caring ministries that have often grown from congregational input and support. They have provided healing, help, and hope across the state, especially among vulnerable populations such as children, families, seniors, and New Americans.

We cannot at this time fully imagine the loss that this closure represents. Important ministries and services will be discontinued. Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota will no longer be able to live out their faith-based mission to offer healing, help, and hope. For all of this, we express deep lament and sadness.

At this time, we hold those directly impacted in prayer – especially LSSND clients and staff. We look to all of us as Lutherans across North Dakota to consider what this means for our call to love our neighbor. We ask God to lead us in extending the love of Christ in our communities in new ways that will now be even more needed.

As people of faith, Jesus Christ is ever our comforter and our hope. The empty tomb proclaims that death will not have the final say. As we experience this collective loss, we give thanks for the 101 years of impact of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota in so many lives and we invite you to join us in prayer:
Dear God, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus agonized in prayer about the difficult path that lay before him and asked you to “take this cup from me.” We, too, as the community of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, wish for different circumstances, times that could have spared us from needing to make this decision. Our hearts are heavy. Be with us as we travel this path, guide those who accompany us, and give us peace. With watchful hope, we lean on your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.  

(adapted from “All Creation Sings”, pg. 54, Augsburg Fortress Publishers.)
Bishop Craig Schweitzer
Western North Dakota Synod
Bishop Tessa Moon Leiseth
Eastern North Dakota Synod
Western North Dakota Synod - ELCA | 701-223-5312| [email protected]| wndsynod.org