"Lutheran Medical Center has no reason for being of its own;
it exists only to serve the needs of its neighbors"
The Office for Mission and Spiritual Care serves to strengthen the spiritual mission of Lutheran HealthCare (LHC). The office is responsible for LHC's social ministry relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), mission effectiveness, pastoral/spiritual care, volunteer services, and relationships with congregations and faith-based organizations.Rev. Donald A. Stiger, Senior Vice President for Mission and Spiritual Care
Mission and Spiritual Care is one of the standing committees of the Lutheran HealthCare Board of Trustees. The committee serves in a governance/advisory capacity relative to mission effectiveness, pastoral care, and ensuring that mission and spiritual care at LHC reflects the social ministry policies and practices of the ELCA.
"Social ministry organizations reach out to meet the health needs of the neighbor... A ministry of healing is integral to the life and ministry of the Church. It expresses our faith in the power of God to create and to save, as well as our commitment to care for our neighbor."
Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor, a social statement of the ELCA, was adopted at the Church's eighth biennial assembly on August 15, 2003. Through study, education and strategic implementation, Lutheran HealthCare has been very intentional in aligning its missional life and practices with the primary tenets of this social policy statement.The entire statement can be accessed through the ELCA's website at the following address: www.elca.org (enter "social statements" in the search box).
National attention has been focused on the growing effectiveness of faith-based efforts that are responding to pressing health and social problems. In its faith-based mission, Lutheran HealthCare serves a one-of-a-kind community of diverse faith groups throughout south Brooklyn. We continuously seek active partnering relationships with congregations and other faith-based/community organizations to advance health ministries and effectively address health disparities. This means partnering with congregations to respond to the entire continuum of community needs, including preventative care, promotion of whole-person health, and response when illness occurs. To this end, Lutheran has been instrumental in the formation of the "South Brooklyn Interfaith Coalition for Health and Wellness," a consortium of congregations and faith-based organizations committed to improving the health and well-being of the community by forging new health ministry partnerships and initiatives.
Lutheran HealthCare is an active, committed member of Lutheran Services New York Alliance (LSNYA), a consortium of local Lutheran agencies and judicatories affiliated with the ELCA and/or Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. LSNYA seeks to be a unified public face and voice of Lutheran social ministry services in the greater New York area and a vehicle for coordinating strategic planning and development of new ministries. One such project is "New York Alliance CPE," a multi-institutional/collaborative program of clinical pastoral education in which LHC is an active participant.
In keeping with its values-driven, faith-based mission, Lutheran remains committed to:
- Practicing those core values and ethical principles consistent with our shared mission with the ELCA: compassion, dignity, integrity and service
- Fostering the understanding in all staff that we are all moral agents, responsible for compassionately identifying ethical realities in health, healing and healthcare
- Employing a consistent framework for assessing and addressing ethical issues through a standing interdisciplinary ethics committee, clinical ethics consultations, and educational initiatives
- Engaging in a shared process of moral deliberation with those we serve regarding treatment goals and outcomes, respectful of the diversity of persons we serve