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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.