Zion Lutheran Church, Aberdeen

Zion Lutheran Church, Aberdeen

Zion Lutheran Church, Aberdeen

Pictured: Rev. Erin Heidelberger representing Zion Lutheran Church, Aberdeen

Each year, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota recognizes a distinguished congregational partner in honor of outstanding service and support to LSS.

LSS is honoring Zion Lutheran Church of Aberdeen as the 2016 LSS Distinguished Congregational Partner of the Year.

Zion Lutheran has been involved with Lutheran Social Services since well before 1985. Marcia Sylvester, who has been the lead pastor at Zion Lutheran Church for several years, as well as being on the LSS Board of Directors from 2005-2014, continues to be a strong advocate for LSS. Marcia and Zion Lutheran continue to advocate for LSS to meet the needs of our various services and for the Aberdeen community.

Zion Lutheran also served as the location for the LSS Northeast Benefit Dinners for several years. Marcia and Zion Lutheran have been kind in allowing their church to be a Disaster Evacuation Site should anything occur for New Beginnings Center during a disaster. Marcia has been willing to share and advocate about our various services such as counseling services, the Center for Financial Resources, kinship services, disaster response services and the Center for New Americans.

Marcia has taken the lead in coordinating the New Americans Task Force in the Aberdeen area since March 2016. The church council at Zion Lutheran has supported this process. This task force was formed due to the increasing changes in Aberdeen that involve people coming to work, live and make Aberdeen their home. The goal and mission of this task force, developed by various stakeholders in the community, is to discover how the Aberdeen area can become more welcoming and hospitable as it assists persons of different cultures in the Aberdeen area to integrate into the communities. Marcia graciously accepted the responsibility of coordinating this group and has maintained a position of leadership. Marcia continues to do the Lord’s work by being a helper of the community and continuing to extend that helping hand to a neighbor in need. I believe the work Marcia and Zion Lutheran Church is a perfect example of what LSS stands for in our mission--Inspired by God’s love, we care for, support and strengthen, individuals, families and communities.

Each year, employees, volunteers, organizations, community and corporate partners and many others support LSS in a variety of ways—building a strong foundation and tradition of serving those in need. The results of their actions cannot possibly be calculated numerically. Yet their efforts are vital in helping individuals, families and communities find inner strength during difficult and challenging times. LSS is grateful for all who have given in one way or another.

Lutheran Social Services is a private non-profit social service agency. Last year, 52,001 lives were touched through a variety of services offered through LSS statewide. Core services offered by LSS include adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, kinship services, childcare & education, disaster response, mental health counseling, Fatherhood & Re-entry Services, Center for Financial Resources, residential services for children & youth, alternatives to detention, independent living services for young adults, mentoring, Better Together and Center for New Americans. LSS serves people of all ages, races, faiths and economic levels with professional, confidential and affordable services. LSS services are licensed by the State of South Dakota and accredited by the Council on Accreditation. LSS is a United Way agency.

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