Every couple of years, Lutheran organizations in northwest Ohio that practice social ministry come together to sign an agreement, a covenant that they will work together. It focuses their attention that this is church work as well as social service assistance for people with mental and physical disabilities, for the elderly, and for others. It states in print that they’re doing what Christians are taught to do, and they’re partners in their ministry. And it shows that the Missouri and Evangelical branches of the Lutheran Church cross boundaries on social issues.
Earlier this week, the heads of four Lutheran social service agencies — Paul Oehrtman, executive director of Filling Memorial Home in Napoleon; David Roberts, president and chief executive officer of Lutheran Homes Society in Toledo; the Rev. Donald Wukotich, executive director and CEO of Luther Home of Mercy in Williston, and Nancy Yunker, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio in Toledo — sat at a table at the Lutheran Homes Society, 2021 McCord Rd., and put their signatures on the three-page document.
They were joined by the Rev. Terry Cripe, president of the Ohio District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Rev. Marcus Lohrmann, bishop of the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, both of whom also signed.
The organizations make this agreement every two years to assure that these are practices they live by and the papers are not just a covenant filed away.