RALM History


Formed in 1985 as a coalitional mission strategy organization, RALM provides a central information site, community outreach coordination, and cooperative programming for adults, children and teens—programming that would be difficult for one church to do alone.


Since 1985 RALM has spearheaded and facilitated the construction of: a Robert Leathers’ designed playground (Project PLAYworks II) in southwest Rockford (1990); 15 Lutheran Habitat for Humanity homes since 2000; and Katie’s Cup coffeebar on

Seventh Street in Rockford (a neighborhood re-vitalization project with ZION Development Corporation).


Programs reaching out to adults in our area have included Divorce Recovery Workshops, Marriage Preparation Seminars, and a singles fellowship group (under our direction for 20 years).


Our Park Players summer non violent conflict resolution playground program has been

operating since 1994 and continues to be recognized by community, governmental, and

social service agencies as a respected and effective program benefiting hundreds of

community children and the teens who work with them each year. The program provides first job opportunities for hundreds of young teens and has impacted thousands of our community’s children as they work to understand conflict and avoid violence.


In 2000, RALM received the largest multi-media ELCA “Identity Project” advertising grant in the country. Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries has coordinated cooperative local newspaper advertising for our member churches since 2003, establishing a corporate witness in Rockford and surrounding areas. RALM also assists individual churches with advertising needs and communicates regularly with and among member churches.


RALM excels in bringing members of our churches and the community together for fun and fellowship. Through the years, RALM has organized Golf Scrambles, Trivia Nights Lutheran Laugh-ins, and more. The community has shared in events at a variety of venues like the Coronado Theater, the Rockford Art Museum, the Rockford Theater, and our churches, where RALM has presented programs featuring travel host, Rick Steves; musician Elizabeth von Trapp; inspirational speaker, Tony Campolo, a “Pigs and Prodigals” Art Show, and even two Church Basement Ladies productions, to name just a few.


A unique feature of our small partnership ministry is our proven ability to help other not for profit groups. Since 2000, RALM has partnered with the Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity chapter to build 15 “Lutheran” homes, while raising over $170,000 for construction costs. RALM has also assisted Lutheran Social Services of Illinois by coordinating fundraising concerts and has worked in partnership with ZION Development Corporation to develop and operate Katie’s Cup coffeebar, a re-vitalization project on Seventh Street in Rockford.

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