Caring Ministry

Healthy Cooking – heaLthy Living

Healthy Cooking, and now, Healthy Living classes meet the second and fourth Tuesdays, from 6 – 7 p.m., in the Gathering Room.

Please remember to register! The classes are free but to have enough supplies we ask you to register for each class you plan to attend. Please stop by the church Information Desk, call 605-336-3734, or click the register button above. 

  • April 25 – Avera Health & Wellness will be leading a class on Balance and Flexibility, and Gwen Wawers will be making homemade granola energy bars. 
  • May 9 – Willie Bertsch  will do Pork Loin (low-fat, lean meat) and vegetables on the BBQ.

  • May 23 – Gwen Wawers will be making Spring Salad and talking about watching cholesterol.

Click here to visit the First Lutheran blog and then search Healthy Cooking for videos and recipes.

Visit Sanaa's blog.

The Big Squeeze!

Come on First Lutheran, help Jana help you become healthier. Will you assist her in getting a vast amount of participants for this year’s Big Squeeze Event? All you have to do is have your blood pressure read by Jana, our parish nurse, during the month of April!!

What is The Big Squeeze?
The mission of The Big Squeeze is to increase awareness of hypertension (high blood pressure) and the need for screenings throughout the Sioux Falls community. The Big Squeeze project also seeks to work with healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive education and tools to manage blood pressure when it is above the normal range.

By participating in a screening during the month of April, area residents have the opportunity to learn if their blood pressure is in a normal range and, if it is not, to take action and see their health care provider.  Participation does matter!  For instance did you know that in Sioux Falls during the past two years, they have caught a trend in the 20-40 category, of blood pressures that are above the national average??

Stop by the Trinity Room Sunday April 9 or April 23, from 9-11 a.m., or visit by Jana’s office during the work week to have your blood pressure taken!

Grieving with Grace

Grieving with Grace class is Saturday, May 6. Anyone grieving the loss of a loved one is encouraged to attend. Social time is 9:30 – 10 a.m. and class from 10 – 11 a.m. in the Gathering Room of First Lutheran. Led by Pastor Katherine Olson, this session will include video clips on topics relating to grief, comfort from Scripture, prayer, encouragement, and access to additional resources for support. The April gathering will explore the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of grief. Summer schedule TBA. Questions? Reach out to Pastor Katherine Olson at or 339-1983, ext. 214.

Facing Addiction Initiative

First Lutheran Church is a Community Facing Addiction. We have partnered with Face It TOGETHER because our congregation is committed to creating a culture of care and openness for those impacted by addiction. Other congregations across Sioux Falls are also joining us in this venture.  Visit the Facing Addiction webpage to learn more.

First Lutheran Church identifies itself as a Community Facing Addiction, together with other churches in our community. We believe that addiction recovery isn’t about making bad people good, it’s about getting sick people well, for addiction is a disease. And does not our faith teach us, “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom?” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
     Our partner organization, Face It TOGETHER, provides free, confidential recovery coaching in their office located on the southwest part of town, or by telephone. Face It TOGETHER’s recovery coaches provide individuals and family members with informal, personalized service over an extended period of time. They help clients overcome barriers to addiction wellness and develop skills and knowledge to manage their disease and stay well.  Coaches use their training and experience to provide structure, hold clients accountable to their goals, and act as advocates. What’s more, our congregation has twelve trained Recovery Advocates who can speak with you, confidentially in a peer-to-peer relationship, about the benefits of recovery and befriend you on your journey to wellness. 
     For more information, check out the displays available throughout the church, talk to Pastor Katherine Olson or Parish Nurse Jana Elkins at the church, or visit our webpage  To speak directly with a recovery coach at Face It TOGETHER, call 605-274-2262. 

Monthly blood pressure screenings

Stop by the Trinity Room on the second Sunday each month between 9 and 11 a.m. Blood pressure screenings are essential in maintaining good cardiovascular health.


In times of emergency, call the church office (Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at (605) 336-3734. For evening, weekend and holiday emergencies, a pastor is on call at (605) 323-7667. One of the pastors will be contacted immediately. 

Nursing Home and Homebound Visits

Visitation pastors make monthly visits to those who are homebound and to nursing home residents, providing Holy Communion and devotional time. Twice a year, the pastors conduct worship in nine local care centers. Contact the church at (605) 336-3734 if you become aware of a homebound member who is not receiving regular visitation.

Hospital Visitation

The pastoral care staff maintains regular contact with the hospitalized and the recuperating. Visits are made to Avera McKennan Hospital, Avera Behavioral Center, Avera Heart Hospital, Sanford Health Hospital, the VA Medical Center, and hospice locations each weekday and other times as necessary. If you know of a member or friend of First Lutheran who enters the hospital through emergency services, please inform the church office at (605) 336-3734.    

Name *


More than 100 people at First Lutheran Church participate in phone or email prayer chains. The prayer chain is for both those who wish to have a prayer or would like to pray for others. Call the church office at (605) 336-3734 or submit a request here.


Prayer shawls are given to those who need an extra measure of comfort, warmth and as an expression of God’s constant loving presence and care. Knitters pray as they knit each shawl. Contact the church office, (605) 336-3734, for more information.


Meals from the Heart encompasses a hands-on mission of cooking, fellowship and hospitality. Volunteers meet monthly to prepare nutritious meals at the church. The meals are portioned and frozen. Members of First Lutheran are invited to deliver them to anyone in need. The hospitality of a delivered meal symbolizes a message of Christ’s love and acceptance through the heart of caring service and our commonality of food.

Caring Ministry Staff

Katherine Olson, M. Div.
Associate Pastor
(605) 339-1983 ext. 214

Jana Elkins
Parish Nurse
(605) 339-1983 ext. 237

James E. Christopherson, M. Div.
Visitation Pastor

David Houck, B. Div.
Visitation Pastor
(605) 339-1983 ext. 234

Roger N. Noer, M. Div.
Visitation Pastor

Dennis W. Tranberg, M. Div.
Visitation Pastor