Lutheran Community

Friday, September 18, 2015

Washington Hosts the Pontiff – Preparations for Pope Francis’s Historic Visit to DC

The Washington, D.C. area has been preparing for the arrival next week of Pope Francis, leader of the global Roman Catholic Church. During this historic visit, the Pope will be welcomed by the President at the White House, will hold a special mass at Catholic University and will address a joint meeting of Congress, in addition to visiting local congregations and volunteers and a stop at an organization affiliated with Catholic Charities USA that feeds the poor and homeless in the city.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Welcome Abbie Blake! Valparaiso University Intern Joins LSA for Fall Term

LSA is pleased to welcome Abigail Blake, a senior at Valparaiso University majoring in International Economics & Cultural Affairs, to Lutheran Services in America (LSA). Abbie is spending the fall 2015 semester at the Lutheran Services in America office in Washington, D.C. working with Member Engagement, the team responsible for serving and connecting our membership.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Before a Disaster Strikes – Preparing Communities to be Ready and Resilient

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.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Member Helping Member – Clearinghouse of Donated Goods Serves Other Nonprofits in a Big Way

As a new staff member at Lutheran Services in America, my favorite part of the job, hands-down, is to meet our members. I don’t think there's a better way to understand an organization and how it operates than to visit in person. Recently, Alesia Frerichs, VP of Member Engagement, and I took a trip to Baltimore to visit the Kathryn's Kloset ministry of Diakon. Diakon, a member of LSA, is a social ministry organization that provides a range of senior services and programs and services for children, youth and families. They serve communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and annually touch the lives of 50,000-60,000 people.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Self-advocate Reflections on the ADA 25th Anniversary

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.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Power of Mission and Impact at the ELCA Youth Gathering

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to represent LSA at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Youth Gathering in Detroit, Michigan. The gathering brought together close to 30,000 youth, adults and volunteers from across the world to serve, reflect and raise awareness on issues like water, poverty, homelessness, hunger, disabilities, among others. I don’t think I have ever been in an event of this magnitude. From main gatherings at Ford Field Center to experiencing part of the Proclaim Community and Proclaim Justice activities, inspiration and impact radiated from every corner of the gathering.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Full Inclusion of All People – Reflections on the ADA 25th Anniversary

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.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Marvelous Minneapolis, Minnesota

I'm a fan of alliteration as well as a fan of exploring new cities. In early July, I had the opportunity to visit Minneapolis for a couple of days with my colleague Alesia Frerichs, the Vice President of Member Engagement for our network. Our trip was in anticipation of next year's LSA Annual Conference, and we had the fortune to meet with some of our members and partners as we prepare for a great event.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Opportunity Requires Freedom – A Reflection on Why We Celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act

Sometimes I think of KenCrest as a large classroom spread across three states. Like all the agencies of Lutheran Services in America, many thousands of dedicated staff and the people we (LSA) support in vibrant and enthusiastic relationship are confronted each day with opportunities to bring their unique talents and abilities to life. No fixed roles: sometimes teachers, sometime students moving together, all building toward positive goals. A boisterous community lab-setting, full of experimentation with no graduation day in sight.

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