2022 Assembly Virtual Mission Center

Welcome To Our Virtual Mission Center

Scroll down to learn more about our partner ministries, watch videos, and download materials. Visit as many virtual tables as you wish. And share this webpage with your congregations so they can learn more about the work we do together.

Virtual Tables: 

Bear Creek Camp    Gemma Services   KenCrest Services   Liberty Lutheran Services   Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services  Seafarers International House   Lutheran Settlement House   Thrivent  United Lutheran Seminary   

Bear Creek Camp

Bear Creek Camp is a ministry of the Southeastern and Northeastern Pennsylvania Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Located on nearly 3,000 acres in the beauty of the Pocono Mountains, outside of Wilkes-Barre, Bear Creek Camp offers year-round opportunities, including summer residential youth camp, nature day camp, environmental education programs, and weekend camp retreats, and outside group rentals.

Bear Creek Camp’s core purpose is to help individuals explore, celebrate and grow in God’screation. We cultivate a dynamic ministry of experiences and community through having fun, sharing faith, developing leaders, building character, promoting adventure, and embracing the inclusion of all.

Experiences at effective summer camps, like Bear Creek Camp, have been proven to strengthen the faith life of congregations. Individuals that experience camp value more highly the role of faith in their homes, the role of faith practices in their daily lives, and the role of being a part of a faith-based community as a congregation.

Bear Creek Camp relies on the support of our campers, families, alumni staff, and congregations through participation in summer camps and retreats and through financial contributions throughout the year.


Collin Grooms-Executive Director-


Nature Day Camp Brochure 2022

Summer Camp Brochure 2022

Summer Camp Bulletin Insert 2022

Summer Camp Poster 2022

Link to YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/BearCreekCamp


Gemma Services

Guided by the vision of a world in which children, youth, and families feel valued and have the tools to realize their highest potential, Gemma Services’ mission is to change lives by transforming hope into action for children, youth, and families facing emotional and behavioral challenges. With three locations in Greater Philadelphia, Gemma assists more than 3,000 youth and families each year through mental health child welfare, prevention, and education programs to help vulnerable members of our communities to heal from traumas, learn important skills, and reach for bright futures.

Gemma was formed in 2019 by the merger of two long-standing Philadelphia-area nonprofits: Silver Springs – Martin Luther School and theVillage. Both were founded in the 1800s as orphanages and evolved to meet growing needs in their communities. Uniting to become one organization, now known as Gemma Services, enabled each to continue its vital work while expanding its continuum of care. Gemma Services represents a combined 300+ years of service to vulnerable and at-risk youth and families in the Greater Philadelphia Region and surrounding counties.

Gemma’s programs include:

  • Residential Treatment Program in Plymouth Meeting for children ages 6-14 with complex mental health diagnoses,
  • Martin Luther School, a K-12th grade special education school in Plymouth Meeting for students struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges, and
  • Community Based Programs that include Foster Family Care, Host Home, Adoption and Permanency, Outpatient Behavioral Health, Intensive Behavioral Health, Applied Behavioral Analysis Services, Family-Based Mental Health Services, a Family Empowerment Center, and In-Home Prevention Services.

Individuals and congregations can support Gemma’s mission by volunteering, holding a collection for items needed by the youth and families we serve at Christmas or throughout the year, joining our Faith in Action Council, or making a financial contribution to support our programs. For more information, please contact Lynn Unipan, Chief Development Officer at  or (610) 825-4440 x3206 or visit our website at www.gemmaservices.org.     

Gemma Services Brochure

Link to YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiroDIv4l8UhEMpslQWy0bQ/videos   

KenCrest Services

Founded in 1905, KenCrest serves the Southeastern PA Region, Delaware and Connecticut, providing services for people of all ages. KenCrest’s mission is to support community development by exploring possibilities, mobilizing resources, and empowering dreams. We currently serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism, and their families, from newborns to senior adults, offering supports through a community-based model. KenCrest’s services and supports include early intervention; early learning programming; personal supports; community living, with specialties in medically complexed diagnoses; LifeSharing; nursing and clinical supports; community participation programs; and supported employment options. We also serve 7 Philadelphia neighborhoods with Early Learning Centers for children aged 0-5 in inclusive, community settings.  KenCrest serves over 12,500 individuals each year with a dedicated staff of over 2,300 employees. 

Organizational Contact: 
Barbara Kochard, Director of Development

610-825-9360 ext. 1129

KenCrest Brochure

KenCrest Ways to Give

Link to YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk1iMHCGRTqma_9rBXWm8UQ

Liberty Lutheran Services

Liberty Lutheran Information 2022

Link to YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLibertyFamily/videos

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services


For over 80 years, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has been a champion for refugees and migrants from around the globe.

Our legacy of compassionate service has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have found safety and hope in America’s communities.

Our history reflects American Lutherans’ deep immigrant roots and passionate commitment to welcoming newcomers, especially those who are most in need.

Through the Long Welcome, we help ensure that refugees and migrants are protected, embraced and empowered in a world of just and welcoming communities.

Learn more at https://lirs.org.

Link to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LutheranImmigrationandRefugeeService

Seafarers International House


For the past 149 years, Seafarers International House is the Lutheran response to the urgent needs of vulnerable seafarers and immigrants.  Seafarers International House offers pastoral/spiritual care, hospitality, social assistance, and advocacy to a multi-national and multi-faith community in five ports along the Eastern Seaboard (Baltimore, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia), and in New York City.

During the second year of COVID pandemic in 2021, SIH served a total of 18,523 people. This included boarding 1,477 vessels to assist 15,232 mariners bringing essentials onboard. Because of COVID related travel restrictions the 5 port chaplains transported only 791 seafarers to malls, medical facilities, and immunization sites. They helped vaccine 202 crew members against COVID-19 and distributed 2,162 Christmas-at-Sea satchels, bags filled with warm clothing and holiday greetings from contributors.

SIH also provided 1,333 lodging nights (at rented space at a different mid-town hotel) assisting 101 seafarers and 31 immigrants. The immigrant population hailed from from Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, a country in the Middle East, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Korea, and Slovakia. With the disruptions caused by the pandemic, seafarers and immigrants continue to need Seafarers International House’s services, while the organization lost a major income stream, the guesthouse operations, and now relies on contributions and rental income to care for the often-unseen members of our society.

In the Port of Philadelphia, SIH Port Chaplain Bill Rex and Ivan Kavoleff visit seafarers, who because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions are not allowed ashore. If permitted, they bring seafarers to COVID-19 vaccination sites. Together they provide a lifeline to crew members on containerships, often providing essentials including medication to these often-invisible essential workers. 

Seafarers International House – PortCall Summer Fall FINAL 2021

Seafarers International House – Annual Report 2021 Final

Lutheran Settlement House

For 120 years, people have relied on Lutheran Settlement House in times of crisis. From families experiencing homelessness, to women and children who have experienced domestic violence, to seniors striving to maintain their independence, to families unsure of where they will find their next meal, Lutheran Settlement House has been here to care for our community. The nearly 6,000 women, men, children, and families we serve each year find safety, hope, and healing at LSH. Through our comprehensive services and our many partnerships, we help to break cycles of abuse, poverty, and neglect so that people can live the lives they choose for themselves.

Volunteers help make our work possible and help make a difference in people’s lives. We welcome individual and group volunteers in both our headquarters in Fishtown, and in our family shelter in north Philadelphia. From preparing groceries to give out in our pantry, to supporting children in our shelter, to organizing donation drives for important items like school and baby supplies, we look forward to planning a meaningful experience for you and your congregation.

If you live in Philadelphia and are seeking our service, please call 215-426-8610. If you are interested in supporting our work through a gift or volunteering, please contact Erica Zaveloff, Director of Development and Communications at 215-426-8610, ext. 1218, or . Visit our website for more information about our work: www.lutheransettlement.org.  


Link to YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMZEOJM1VShxRaQs5hRt_Gw


Helping churches, members and communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania Thrive with Purpose! We thrive when we make the most of all God has given us. Thrivent is committed to helping those we serve – individuals, churches, nonprofits, small businesses – make informed financial decisions based on Christian values. We believe money is a tool, not a goal.  We’re honored to offer churches unique resources to help you manage ongoing operations as you carry out your mission and strengthen our communities.

We’re excited to report:

  • Thrivent directed $291,955 in Choice Dollars to more than 450 churches and nonprofits in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod district in 2021.
  • Thrivent Action Teams continue to support church missions and outreach by engaging congregation members in service, educational and fundraising volunteer projects. In 2021, 5,200 Thrivent Action Teams were lead in our Mid-Atlantic Region with more than $5.4 million in funds raised and Thrivent contributing $1.3 million in project expense funding. More than 70% of our Thrivent Action Teams are associated with a church partner.
  • Churches in the SEPA Synod district are invited to join us in our Faith Builds partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties. Join us in raising prayers, walls, and donations as we build a duplex home for a hard-working family on Cowpath Road in Hatfield in 2022. To learn more, visit: https://habitatmontdelco.org/thrivent/.
  • Financial education workshops and webinars help strengthen congregations through values-based teaching on topics ranging from budgeting, saving, goal setting, and teaching our youth money concepts – to more advanced topics such as college saving, retirement planning, and legacy and charitable giving strategies. More than 40+ offerings are available at no cost to congregations. A new offering, Money Canvas, provides free online coaching to help individuals build healthier budgeting, saving, and spending habits. Learn more here: Money Canvas
  • Our Thrivent Member Network Mid-Atlantic provides additional opportunities for fellowship, inspiration, education, and generosity. Highlights include monthly webinars geared toward church leaders, faith testimonies from athletes such as Tim Tebow and other public figures, as well as inspirational concerts from Christian recording artists such as Amy Grant, Matthew West & Mandisa. Visit: com/Mid-Atlantic for a complete listing of upcoming events. No products are sold at these events.
  • Thrivent has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for ten years in a row! We’re proud of our 100+-year history of strength and stability, and we’re committed to continuing to provide practical financial guidance, investments, insurance, banking, church financing, endowment, and charitable giving solutions.

For more information, visit: https://www.thrivent.com/  or contact:   

Carolyn Schnizler Wilt

Thrivent Engagement Leader, Greater Philadelphia area


Money Canvas by Thrivent 

Empowering Communities to Thrive

How To Apply for Action Teams & Choice Dollars

United Lutheran Seminary

United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) is one of seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). ULS is comprised of two physical campuses, Philadelphia, and Gettysburg, and
distributed online learning. ULS is a Reconciling in Christ seminary. The ULS Community is a welcoming and diverse learning community equipping people to proclaim the living Gospel for a changing church and world. The seminary offers six graduate degree programs, with flexible learning options, and lifelong learning programs that equip rostered and lay leaders to serve with deep faith and excellence—in congregations, social ministry agencies, campus ministries, military settings, and global missions.

The Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin was appointed president of United Lutheran Seminary and Ministerium of Pennsylvania Chair and Professor of Reformation Studies on August 1, 2020. Prior to this appointment, he was fourth bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

United Lutheran Seminary is blessed to be able to offer financial support, in the form of scholarship awards, to all students who are enrolled in degree seeking programs. First level professional degrees include the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and the Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership (MAML). Academic first level degrees are the Master of Arts in Public Leadership (MAPL) and the Master of Arts (MA). Second level theology degrees include the Master of Sacred Theology (STM) and the Doctor of Ministry (DMIN). In the fall of 2021, United Lutheran Seminary has a total of 356 enrolled students. In addition to the general curricular offerings, there are other learning opportunities that directly and indirectly support the pedagogical tasks of unifying, learning, and serving. The Urban Theological Institute enables engagement with African American theology, preaching, and church history throughout the curriculum. The Town and Country Church Institute offers students the possibility of honing ministry to meet the needs of rural and small-town churches in a time of profound change. The annual Asian Theological Summer Institute enables mentorship of Asian and Asian-American doctoral students.

Contributions to the seminary provide hope for the future of our church. Your gift empowers seminary education for our future faith leaders. These leaders will take what they have learned at ULS and apply it to where God calls them in their future ministry contexts, continuing what God has started during their time at the seminary. A variety of giving options are available. Contact us at to learn more or give online at uls.edu/give.

United Lutheran Seminary is a place of rich history and excellent theological education. Explore a brief history of the two predecessor bodies.* Contact us today at to learn more or explore how we can help you live out your call as a servant of God and neighbor. *History Two storied institutions. One united heritage.

United Lutheran Seminary, formed in 2017 (the year marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation), joined two historic Lutheran institutions into one. These two seminaries – Gettysburg founded in 1826 and Philadelphia founded in 1864 – share a common history in a robust and religiously diverse region of the nation. Pennsylvania sits astride the pathways of the story of American freedom: the forging of the nation in Philadelphia and the new birth of freedom in Gettysburg. The seminary’s 1826 founding in Gettysburg prepared students for pioneer efforts in the field of mission, education, and parish ministry. During the civil war, tensions within the small Gettysburg faculty over the language for study – German or American English – together with disputes over the direction of study, towards assimilation into American evangelical reform, or towards a greater emphasis on Lutheran distinctives, especially the Lutheran Confessions, led to the separate founding of the Philadelphia seminary in 1864. Church historians also speculate that the 1863 battle of Gettysburg, which decimated the seminary campus,
contributed to the schism.

Throughout their histories, both seminaries continued to innovate to prepare students for ministry in the expanding country. Students in Gettysburg sponsored the Rev. Dr. Daniel Alexander Payne as the first African American to be enrolled in a Lutheran seminary in 1835. A missionary zeal included a witness against slavery, and for other moral reforms, like Sabbath observance. Philadelphia’s dynamic urban setting fostered innovation in the development of Lutheran institutions to minister to the poor, particularly the female diaconate. The Philadelphia seminary’s strong tradition of scholarship in theology and liturgy led the Lutheran churches in America to forming a Common Service Book, the first step in the gradual path towards a united Lutheranism in the United States.

Leaders from both seminaries began to work together in the 20th century to prod and push other Lutherans towards wider fellowship and to strengthen the witness of Lutherans in the wake of two
world wars. Rev. Dr. Abdel Ross Wentz, President of Gettysburg’s seminary, drafted the constitutions of both the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches. He brought the first woman professor at a Lutheran seminary, Dr. Bertha Paulssen, to Gettysburg (1945) where she introduced the social sciences to the curriculum. Dr. O. Fredrick Nolde, who served as professor of Christian Education and Dean of the Graduate School at the Philadelphia seminary, was influential in the language used in the United Nations Charter and especially the freedom of religion sections in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Rev. Dr. Franklin Clark Fry, Philadelphia’s alumnus whose master of parliamentary procedure vaulted him to the presidency of the United Lutheran Church, The Lutheran World Federation, and the World Council of Churches, was even on the cover of TIME, as “Mr. Protestant.” United Lutheran Seminary now can claim as its joint heritage other notable graduates, including the Rev. Elizabeth Platz (1965), the first woman to be ordained by an American Lutheran body

United Lutheran Seminary Information Flyer

Conscience and Community promo 

Link to YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/c/UnitedLutheranSeminary