Help Disaster Survivors on the Road to Recovery

Pennsylvania is getting hotter and wetter. The second half of 2023 was dominated by storms and flooding rains that left more than 500 eastern Pennsylvania families in need of help. With your assistance, we are helping people connect with resources, but there is much more work to be done. Families affected by flooding from storms [...]

Where Can We Help?

Lutheran Congregational Services (LCS) provides individual counseling, support groups, and a Facebook group for those who are grieving. Most typically, those support groups take place in the Lehigh Valley and are well attended! In an effort to expand these services, last year LCS scheduled a support group outside of that area. When no one registered [...]

How Some Prepare for Christmas with the Advent Devotional

During Advent, Christians prepare their hearts and spirits by contemplating the meaning and celebration of Christmas. They wonder at the significance of Christ’s birth in the world and what it means in their own lives. The Reverend Michelle Wildridge, Chaplain at Paul’s Run, provides copies of the Lutheran Congregational Services' Advent Devotional to residents. During [...]

Summer Storms 2023

Summer storms are causing deep heartache and trauma around the world. Here at Lutheran Congregational Services, our hearts and prayers go out especially to families in Hawaii who are still facing terrible uncertainties about the fate of loved ones. The Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is working [...]

A Model for Recovery and Resilience

Community and the relationships that connect them become crucial catalysts to the work of Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA (LDR-EPa). Such was the case when Tropical Storm Isaias devastated the community of Eastwick, a neighborhood in southwest Philadelphia, in August of 2020. Flooding and high winds damaged many homes. Roofs were blown off. People [...]

Building Equity in Long-Term Recovery

When disaster strikes, Julia Menzo, Director of Community Outreach, must decide when and how to respond so that resources are utilized fairly, especially for those with the greatest barriers to recovery. She consults her local partners in disaster relief work to answer those questions and more. Recovery looks different for each individual, family, and community. [...]

Preparing Hearts for Advent

Lutheran Congregational Services’ Advent Devotional book is filled with stories and reflections from volunteers based on the biblical texts of the Advent season. We asked a few to share their experience. Every few years, I'm asked to write a page for the Advent Devotional for Lutheran Congregational Services. I participate as a way to support [...]

Being There & Journeys Through Grief

Grief is perhaps one of the most misunderstood and most dreaded feelings. It indicates a loss of something or someone important in our lives. Lutheran Congregational Services’ grief counselor, Sylvia Havlish, helps people navigate their grief. In addition to one-on-one counseling, Sylvia leads a six-week program called Journeys Through Grief. If you know someone who [...]

Training for Lay Eucharistic Ministry in Eastern Pennsylvania

“If the people are unable to come to the church, then the church needs to go out to the people. This is the ministry that the Lay Eucharistic Ministers fulfill,” according to Pastor Bradley Gow of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Riegelsville, Pa. “A Pastor cannot serve everyone in the Congregation alone and perform the [...]

Why Volunteer with Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA

Barb loves to learn new skills as a volunteer. Her existing skills, particularly painting, come in handy, too. A member of the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Emmaus, PA, Barb volunteered several days this past May along with others from her congregation. Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA (LDR-EPa) has led a long-term [...]