Neighbor to All

It's typical to find members of St. John's Lutheran Church, Sterling at a Sunday morning worship service, a Gospels study, or a church council meeting. Their ministries, however, don't end there—they stretch far beyond the church's doors.

"It's in our DNA," said Pr. Mark Oehlert as he ticks off the many community organizations that meet at the church, including several LSSI programs. "It’s a generous church and an out-looking organization."

St. John's supports LSSI philanthropically, and encourages volunteer support and advocacy for clients and programs. The church has held appreciation dinners to honor LSSI staff. Youth groups from St. John's, St. Paul's Lutheran, and Immanuel Lutheran, annually collect money and go Christmas shopping for residents at Choices, LSSI's treatment program for teenagers at Nachusa Lutheran Home.

Whether in St. John's backyard or across Illinois, Pr. Oehlert said LSSI is important to residents of the state. "LSSI has Lutheran roots. Our bishops serve on the board," he said. "We're caretakers for the least of these, and it's too big of a job to do alone."

St. John's generosity and involvement shows what it means to be a follower of Christ, Pr. Oehlert added. "God gives us so much," he said. "To not share would be against Biblical teaching."