What does it mean to be part of a larger faith community called Lutheran? And what does Lutheran Services in America — a network of 300 Lutheran social ministry organizations — have to do with it? For Lutheran social ministry, being part of a broader faith community means that we are connected.
The LSA Disability Network (LSA-DN) is a nationwide association of Lutheran social ministry organizations, faith-based organizations and Lutheran professionals who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To date, LSA-DN includes 25 member organizations that provide support to more than 150,000 individuals, in 32 states and the Virgin Islands.
Have you ever experienced a disaster? Not the kind where you burn the turkey on Thanksgiving Day or even the time you sent a fundraising letter with all incorrect names. No, I mean a true disaster, such as a hurricane, fire, tornado, flood, earthquake or even a man-made disaster such as a factory explosion. Thankfully I have not and hopefully you haven't either, but the reality is there are disasters large and small, declared and undeclared, each and every year throughout the U.S. Whether they affect one person or thousands of families all disasters leave a path of destruction and heartache in their wake.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to ensure equality for individuals' with disabilities. I personally have a mild cognitive disability called Cerebral Palsy. While this affects my fine motor skills as well as my mobility/walking abilities, my disability does not stop me from accomplishing my daily tasks. Over the years, the ADA has helped me overcome issues dealing with employment, transportation, and self-advocacy. However, there are challenges that the ADA has not addressed.
Earlier this month, Bill Nolan from KenCrest Centers reflected on the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the people our network serves and the work of disability ministry. Today, we are honored to share a reflection from Linda Timmons, the President and CEO of Mosaic, an organization based in Omaha, Nebraska that provides a life of possibilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, supporting and empowering them in pursuit of their goals. Mosaic, a member of LSA, is an active member of the LSA Disability Network (LSA-DN). This post originally appeared on the Mosaic website on July 23, 2015.
Imagine the energy, collective wisdom and ideas that came together when 17 LSA senior services providers met in Washington DC on July 17 to envision how wellness and care could be redefined to improve the lives of older Americans. As the largest faith-based non-profit group serving older adults in the United States, representing close to 200 Lutheran social ministry organizations that offer senior care, the LSA network has provided a broad range of care and support for seniors from all walks of life in all types of communities for decades.
What happens when you bring 12 Lutheran Social Ministry organizations together in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation? The first week in June in Sacramento, I was blessed to observe that what you get is a lot of ideas, support and information exchange that leads to organizational changes and transformation.