In his sermon Bishop Hanson expressed gratitude for the work of Lutheran social ministries and for the work of Mosaic. Using the metaphor of a sentence, Hanson described Timmons as the predicate and Mosaic as the subject of the sentence.
"Mosaic is the subject of the sentence and now Linda is the predicate, the verb who is going to activate the subject," he said, and added that ultimately God is always the subject and the verb while we are the object of his love.
Read more about this in Promise (Mosaic's magazine).
Schumann noted that Mosaic is an important part of LSA, which encompasses more than 300 Lutheran social service ministries. She said the Lutheran ministries model themselves after God's grace, noting that there is no such thing as an undeserving person.
"It is not what they're worth but whose they are" that defines people, Schumann said.
The Bishop repeated the message of the importance of the Church being involved in social ministry and laboring "together with God to bring forth a world of justice and peace."
Also attending the convocation were the Rev. David deFreese, Bishop of the Nebraska Synod of the ELCA, and the Rev. Kevin Kanouse, Bishop of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod of the ELCA and a member of the Mosaic Board of Directors.
Read more about this in Promise (Mosaic's magazine).
"Following the July, 2003 consolidation as Mosaic, system-wide changes helped Mosaic engender a culture of quality through increased employee engagement, data-driven decision making, and technological innovations.
Mosaic partnered with The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) to link all program locations under one certification as a network. Mosaic now communicates expectations about quality to all its agencies, and these expectations are monitored and measured, forming the basis for continuous quality improvement. Mosaic achieved the first-ever Network Certification in Basic Assurances from CQL in October, 2006.
Mosaic also partnered with The Gallup Organization using their Gallup's Q12 survey, to elicit feedback from all employees regarding each unit's strengths and opportunities, and involves all employees in the planning process. Since the first survey in 2005, Mosaic's retention rate, length of employment and employee engagement scores have increased considerably.
A focus on data-informed decision making led to the creation of Mosaic's proprietary Integrated Quality Data Management (IQDM™) system. Bringing together information from finance, human resources and operations in a common format, and measuring progress on Basic Assurances® and Personal Outcome Measures®, IQDM allows Mosaic to analyze services by person, region, or model, or to measure it against any demographic variable.
Another technology initiative secures client and employee data through centralized data storage in Mosaic's Ready Access project. Using open-source technologies, the move increases data security, maximizes financial efficiencies and allows employees access from any terminal with an internet connection. Organizational transformation through these and other initiatives is the dynamic that is defining Mosaic today."
Carefully they pick up the boxes of groceries and place them in the back of the van, just as they have done on and off for more than five years. When the van is full, they depart to the various homes scattered throughout the city to make their deliveries. Often, these men stop at up to ten different delivery locations in one morning.
Volunteering has become an important part of the lives of these four men from Mosaic's Francis House in Des Moines, Iowa. For the past five years, Nich, Gerrard, Bill and Steve have made a commitment to serve others by volunteering for a supplemental food distribution program run by Polk County. On an average of twice a week, the men of Francis House pick up canned goods at a central distribution area and deliver them to senior citizens throughout Des Moines.
"There is a lot of work involved on the part of the guys," said Zoyla Olguin, a direct support manager at Mosaic. "The cases of food are quite heavy." In additional to the physical work, the job requires knowledge of the streets and avenues of Des Moines. "The routes change all the time," said Olguin, "and each route can have up to ten different homes. Route maps have to be made up each time. This requires time and patience in route planning."
Every week these men, along with their staff, pick up boxes of groceries at the Polk County Supplemental Food Program distribution center and deliver them to people who are unable to come to the distribution center for the food. The four men have become regulars at the distribution center and the staff members look forward to having them come. The people on their delivery routes also look forward to their visits. The men of Francis House not only deliver food but deliver companionship as well since many of the people receiving the food deliveries do not have contact with anyone else during the day.
"These guys have shown up every week and do just what they need to do. Last year (2005) they put in over 696 volunteer hours," said Lynn Simmons, program specialist for the food program.
This dedication did not go unnoticed. The four men were honored at the 2006 Volunteer Recognition Event "Inspire by Example" hosted by the United Way of Central Iowa. Dressed in their finest, the four men sat among many of Des Moines' most dedicated volunteers. It was an honor for them to be recognized. All the men thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony where people were celebrated for their accomplishments and dedication to others.
"It was a fabulous night and an opportunity for Nich and the guys to be celebrated for their volunteerism," said the Rev. Pamela Parker. "I think it sends a clear message to those of us who don't have some of the challenges the men of the Francis House have, that it is important to share our time with our community."
Although they have logged hundreds of miles picking up boxes of food and delivering them throughout the city, it's not the number of miles that is important, but the number of people that are helped week after week by these men. They live out Mosaic's mission of partnership to bring God's gift of wholeness of life to all people as an example of of how helping others helps us as well.
"This is a significant achievement. We are leading the way in showing the world what quality looks like," said Linda Timmons, President and Chief Operating Officer. "The CQL team was impressed with our commitment to making great things happen for people."
CQL Basic Assurances address ten factors that focus on rights, health, safety and security that are fundamental to delivery of quality supports and services to people with disabilities. This assessment of Mosaic's supports and services evaluated both systems and the effectiveness of agency and national practices to support the assurance areas.
The CQL reviewers and Mosaic certified staff completed an assessment of the CQL Basic Assurances during on-site visits to a representative sample (14) of Mosaic agencies. At Mosaic's request, CQL also conducted interviews using Personal Outcomes Measures with several people at each agency. Information and feedback from these interviews will be used to help in Mosaic's continued commitment to person-centered supports and services.
In its report to Mosaic, CQL reviewers wrote, "Mosaic national office and agency staff demonstrated a high degree of dedication, openness and willingness to share information and ideas. Mosaic's commitment to being a learning organization was evident in all interactions. … The organization clearly acknowledges and appreciates the stringent criteria involved in Basic Assurances and is committed to enhancing the current system to address such quality person-centered criteria."
In addition to the assessment and interviews, each of the agencies selected as part of the network certification on-site component was asked to give an opening presentation about their agency's successes, strengths and challenges.
"Our united efforts throughout the network certification process showed that Mosaic is a family living its mission and values. We come from the common bond of these mission and values. We know what we need to do and we work hard to ensure that people live fulfilled lives. The network certification process validated that," said Bette Ann Mobley, Director of Organizational Excellence in Performance Services.