Thursday, March 17, 2016

LSA DN Winter Meeting Reflection

To be at the table and to be talked about at a table are two very different things. I attended the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network (LSA-DN) meeting in Carefree, Arizona last month. I have served in a number of leadership positions related to disability ministry for the ELCA. My experience there had proven to be some of the most inclusive environments I have ever encountered. When I accepted the invitation for this meeting, I expected to enter a group that had a long-standing history of representatives with disabilities, similar to my experience with the ELCA. Instead, I found a group of administrative leaders gathering regularly to talk about us without us.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Halfway There

This week marks my seventh full week of my Washington DC semester, and I find myself already having to think about scheduling my flight back home to Minnesota. To say my DC experience so far has been great would be an understatement. Seven weeks ago I had no idea that I would have the chance to meet so many kind people, navigate my way around DC and feel a part of the team at LSA.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

The first 60 days: Values, Vision & Mission

Not only was moving to a new city an exciting, yet an anxious milestone in my life, beginning a new journey with a faith-based organization was as well. Having recently worked on policy at the state and federal level at the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a National Urban Fellow, I quite frankly did not know what to expect when it came to working for a national, faith-based organization. Over the past 60 days, I have had the opportunity to learn about what grounds each of the social ministry organizations in the LSA network. I believe myself to be a man of faith, and like many, strive to develop a closer relationship with God and understand my purpose in life. In these first 60 days, the values, vision and mission of LSA have come to light for me. The values of LSA have resonated not only in the development of my own faith but I see and feel them in the work each of our members do across the country.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Do You Get When You Put 55 CEOs of Lutheran Social Ministry Organizations in the Same Room?

"If you’re not around the table, you’re on the table." These were words of wisdom imparted by Diakon’s President and CEO Mark Pile at the recent LSA 2016 CEO Academy, which was held in Carefree, Arizona, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. 55 leaders from within our national Lutheran social ministry network gathered for three days of networking, fellowship and learning around the issue of "Leading Through Innovation."

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Leading Poverty Researcher & Author Joins 2016 LSA Annual Conference

Widely recognized professor and author Dr. Kathryn Edin will be a keynote speaker at the 2016 LSA Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN in April. Dr. Edin will address the vital role that steady jobs, safe places to live, community ties and dignity play in lifting people out of poverty and addressing challenges facing the working poor.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What’s next for Tax Credits for Low-Wage Workers?

As a new LSA intern and a first-time visitor to Washington, D.C. I was excited to attend my first Capitol Hill forum on January 29. The forum, one of many that occur in our nation's capital weekly brought together prominent thought leaders and experts to discuss the future of tax credits for low-wage workers. The main topic of discussion was childless workers, low-income families, and improving education and opportunity for children living in low income families that might otherwise not have many opportunities.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Beginning of My Time with LSA

It is funny to think that a couple of weeks ago, I was at school in Moorhead, Minnesota anxiously awaiting the beginning of my adventure to Washington DC. Coming from a small town in the Midwest, DC seemed like an entirely different world, but luckily Mother Nature delivered an abundance of snow in my first week making me feel right at home! Although I was initially overwhelmed by the idea of starting a new semester here, as soon as I completed my orientation with Lutheran Services in America I instantly felt at ease.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Reflections on a Semester at LSA

I am not sure that it has hit me yet that this is my last week interning at Lutheran Services in America. Next Monday, I will not put on my badge; I will not get on the Metro. I will not get to walk past the Capitol Building, Library of Congress or the Supreme Court. It will no longer matter that I can give someone directions to the Dirksen Senate Office Building or tell them where the best food trucks are. My desk will belong to a different intern and I will be back in the Midwest finishing up my degree at Valparaiso University.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Take a Look Outdoors, Opportunities Await

As I come to the end of my first year working for Lutheran Services in America I continue to discover new and wonderful ways that LSA members are making a difference in the communities they serve. The uniqueness of each organization combined with a shared Lutheran heritage makes the LSA network both diverse and united in a common mission. I discovered the same dynamic holds true for the more than 100 organizations that belong to Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) when I attended their annual conference in early November. Lutheran Outdoor Ministries is a professional organization for camp and retreat center leaders. Camps and retreat centers encourage spiritual growth for the whole person through intentional Christian community.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Walking in Faith & Courage with All Our Neighbors

My father was a refugee. I don't think about that often, but I was jolted back to this realization when I attended the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee (LIRS) "Walk of Courage" event. Each year, this event honors people fleeing persecution for a better life, and the people who prayerfully and humbly work in communities around the United States to help them realize that better life.

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