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Our History

For close to a century, we’ve been helping people protect the ones they love and live generously while they’re at it. There have been changes over the years, but one common thread that connects our past to the present is our shared values.

A timeless dedication to serving

Throughout the years, our commitment to our members has remained unchanged: to protect their financial futures and give back to the Canadian communities we serve. As one of our core values, kindness has always been at the core of what we do. But now we’re on a mission to prove a life insurance organization can be kind, human even.

At Serenia Life, we support our 33,000 members by:

• Clearly explaining our products and how they protect people.
• Understanding their needs and giving one-to-one advice.
• Supporting and inspiring generosity.

These principles, anchored by our strong heritage and shared values of encouragement, giving back to the community, and showing kindness has allowed us to continue to grow.

It is these values that inspired our founders close to 100 years ago. And they continue to be the foundation for our organization today, as we embrace new technologies, enhance member benefits and make advances in financial services.

In the past 50 years, we’ve stood with our membership and together raised $5.5-million for the charities of their choice and made it possible to log almost 850,000 volunteer hours through member fundraising events. No matter how fast life changes, we will continue to adapt and look for new ways to bring meaningful benefits to our members and their causes.

But none of this would be possible without the support of all the Canadians and their families who share our vision and the hard-working Serenia Life employees who never stop coming up with new ways to serve.

Many of our employees have been with the organization for decades choosing to make this place a home and making it feel that way for others. They’ve helped us to adopt transformational technologies and reshape how we serve Canadians.

Looking back, it’s easy to see how our strong sense of community and caring attitude helped us to arrive at the privileged position we enjoy today – serving and supporting you, your family, and the community we share.

The early days

A century ago, Canada’s Lutheran community was thriving and forming deep ties. Neighbours often rallied to support one another in the case of financial hardship brought on by death or illness. But there was a gap between what the community could provide for itself and the security that could be created through access to more formal kinds of financial protection. Around this time, the Aid Association for Lutherans and the Lutheran Brotherhood began issuing life insurance policies to this underserved community in Canada.

Rather than operating as a traditional insurance company, the founders chose to establish a fraternal benefits organization. This meant that the organization was governed by members instead of distant shareholders, meaning profits could be reinvested or shared with members as needed. The wisdom of that decision echoes today. We remain a fraternal benefits organization that answers directly to our membership of families committed to a common set of values.

Growing with the community

The organization that had served its members well for five decades underwent its first major transformation in the early 1970s when the Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL) and the Lutheran Brotherhood (LB) came to the practical conclusion that Canada would be better served by a single organization. In an act of kindness and generosity that would provide future leadership with a tremendous leg up, they created a ”successor organization” that would be named Lutheran Life Insurance Society of Canada, an aggregate of both businesses.

Being careful planners, organizers of the amalgamation spent most of 1971 and 1972 recruiting board member and staff before announcing that they would transfer all member policies and rights ”free and clear” to the newly formed Lutheran Life, creating a bedrock of financial stability. The recently-retired CEO of the AAL assumed leadership of Lutheran Life and on January 2, 1973 it began operation with $26.4-million in Canadian assets and greater than $167-million of in-force life insurance.

Membership grew, thanks in part to loyal members who brought new family members into the organization and referred us to friends, colleagues and fellow congregants. By the early 1980s, member-owned assets surpassed the $100-million mark, further solidifying our status as an essential component in the fabric of community life.

In 1989, the society staff moved into the newly constructed head office located on Weber Street N. Waterloo, Ontario. It made sense for the society to establish a permanent home on the grounds where so many Lutheran immigrants had chosen to put down roots.

The last decades of the 1900s were a time of considerable growth. The society was expanding its range of insurance policies and seizing the opportunities created by new technologies. Member-owned assets had doubled to the more than $200-million and it was clear that a growing number of Canadians preferred to purchase insurance from an organization that shared their values, took care of its members and gave back to the community.

And so the decision was taken to rename the organization FaithLife Financial in 2008. It was a signal to Canadians that our doors were open to all who shared our vision of mutual benefits, paid for and shared by a common membership.

That spirit of change and innovation is thriving and fuelling more exciting changes today.

Expanding our vision

Innovation has allowed Serenia Life to expand on the number of financial insurance solutions it offers while creating meaningful and valuable membership benefits, such as:

All of these projects are made possible through our providing uncomplicated financial solutions, putting the well-being of members first, and coming up with new ways to inspire generosity.

As we look to the future, Serenia Life remains steadfast in our focus of serving our members. We’re adapting to changing technology and expanding our range of financial solutions.

Our organization is firmly entrenched in the lives of caring and compassionate Canadians across the country. Our membership is far more diverse and our numbers have grown considerably. But still, we wake up every day with the same mission as our founders – make it easy to get what you need and be of service to others.

Financial highlights

1920s – First policies issued in Canada
1965 – Combined membership approaches 800,000 across North America
1972 – The society is formed
1977 – The orphan benefit becomes the first of its kind
1984 – Member-owned assets pass the $100 million mark
1991 – Member-owned assets exceed $200 million
1998 – Insurance in force surpassed $1 billion
2005 – Renamed FaithLife Financial
2010 – Charitable impact of $2.8-million is an all-time high
2022 – Began operating as Serenia Life Financial

Today – $5.5-million donated to charities and almost 850,000 volunteer hours logged