Welcome to Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries!
Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries (ALSM) is a faith-based not-for-profit organization that touches the lives of more than 2,000 people each year in eight West Central Pennsylvania counties: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset.
Our programs span the generations, providing opportunities for the young, elderly and in-between to grow and learn from each other. ALSM offers childcare, children’s programs, adult day services, counseling, in-home care and a variety of senior living options to meet the needs of our community members and our residents.
We invite you to contact us to learn more about ALSM and how we can touch your life (or your loved one’s) with our services and programs.
ALSM is a partner ministry of the Allegheny Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
A Thanksgiving Message from ALSM's President & CEO
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
--- Theodore Baker, 1894
Many of us will recognize this hymn from our Thanksgiving festivities. It is popularly associated with Thanksgiving Day, to my mind the most family-oriented of all holidays, and is often sung at family meals and at religious services on that day.
You may be interested in knowing the hymn is a patriotic hymn of Dutch origin written in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius to celebrate the Dutch victory over Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout. The Spanish were thought to be “wicked,” especially since the Spanish king would not allow Dutch Protestants to “gather together.” The hymn was originally set to a Dutch folk tune. In 1894, Theodore Baker wrote the words we know today, preserving much of the original meaning. This hymn was sung at the opening of the funeral mass for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
According to Michael Hawn, professor of sacred music at the Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, “by World War I, we started to see ourselves in this hymn,” and the popularity increased during World War II, when “the wicked oppressing” came to be Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
While this brief background is interesting (and may spark some minor conversation around the dinner table), to us it remains a hymn of praise and thanksgiving for all of which we are grateful….family, friends, those in our care, and other loved ones. We have so much that we often do not realize how blessed we really are because of the opportunity to “gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.”
May you and your respective families and friends “gather together” to enjoy a very blessed and fulfilling Thanksgiving Day filled with delicious food and lots of love from those around you.
In His Service,