Episode 169 | Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area – With Afghans

Episode 169 | Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area – With Afghans

OneHeartDC launched “With Afghans” –an initiative that empowers local churches and individuals to help newly arriving Afghan refugees. Lutheran Social Services has been serving refugees in the National Capital Area for over 100 years. They are a partner of OneHeartDC in this effort. On this episode of the show they provided an update on the situation and a look at the road ahead.

Podcast Guests

Kristyn Peck

Kristyn Peck joined the Lutheran Social Services team in November 2020 as its Chief Executive Officer. Kristyn’s expertise is in child welfare administration and reform, immigration and refugee policy, and human services administration. Prior to joining LSSNCA, she served as the founding CEO of West Michigan Partnership for Children, a nonprofit piloting an innovative performance-based child welfare model, where she was the recipient of the 2020 Michigan Federation of Children and Families Advocate of the Year Award. Kristyn has also served as the Associate Director of Children’s Services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops where she oversaw national family reunification and foster care programs for unaccompanied children, served as Chair of the Vulnerable Minors Working Group of Refugee Council USA, testified to Congress on the protection needs for unaccompanied children, and represented USCCB as a subject matter expert on unaccompanied children at UNHCR’s Annual Consultation meetings in Geneva.


Rev. Mary Amendolia Gardner

Rev. Mary Amendolia Gardner is an ordained Anglican Priest and works with OneHeartDC as the Director of “With Afghans.” Mary is also a Spiritual Director with Coracle and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Curating Community Through the Arts. She trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, England and earned an MA in Christian Spirituality at Heythrop College, University of London, with a focus on the visual arts and spiritual transformation.  She previously served in Outreach at The Falls Church Anglican, including work assisting refugees and asylum seekers and has spent over 25 years involved in global missions work.