Members of the synod council and staff and representatives of congregations rejoiced with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) as they helped kick off construction of the Families Together Eastside Preschool on Oct. 26. The project has been largely funded by a million dollar contribution through the synod’s Planting Hope Campaign. Grace Lutheran on St. Paul’s East Side will house this life-changing resource for children and families once renovations are complete. The therapeutic preschool is expected to be operational in the fall of 2024.

In her remarks, Alexis Oberdorfer from LSS expressed appreciation to Bishop Patricia Lull for her commitment to the project as part of the synod’s capital campaign. She noted that the campaign’s fourth initiative, “Investing in a transformative project on the East Side of St. Paul,” was set without an understanding of what that project would be and with whom the synod would partner. “A transformative project that’s going to change lives?” Alexis asked. “Well, I think we nailed it!”


The Planting Hope Campaign

As Bishop Lull mentioned in her remarks at the construction kick-off, the LSS partnership on the East Side project is just one aspect of The Planting Hope Campaign. The other initiatives include:
• Invite others into life in Christ
• Renew the congregations of the synod
• Raise up the next generations of leaders
“Those are still under way,” the Bishop said. “The East Side project moved to the front of the line because the timing was right.”

This year we also inaugurated the paid summer internship program and invested campaign funds in congregational vitality. In 2024 we intend to continue funding those two projects, even as we raise funds to help young adults travel to our global partners in Tanzania and Guatemala, set aside funds to help pay down the seminary debt of our rostered ministers, and create a fund to enable congregations to experiment with new ways to invite others into life in Christ. Together, we will plant even more hope in the coming year!