by: Rev. Dr. David deFreese, Vice President of Church Relations and International Programming, Mosaic


“Embracing God’s call, Mosaic relentlessly pursues opportunities that empower people.”

Mosaic’s mission statement encapsulates the ministry of this serving arm of the Church.

Born out of the Church, Mosaic’s two legacy organizations–Bethphage Mission, founded in 1913, and Martin Luther Homes, founded in 1925–came together in 2003 with the purpose of greater impact for those who are often excluded and marginalized by society.

Lifting up the values of belonging, connection, faithfulness, and grit, Mosaic is relentless in our pursuit of opportunities that enrich the lives of people with diverse needs. Entering our second century, we are reinventing whole-person health care with our person-centered approach. Mosaic is mission-driven and values-led.

Our purpose may sound easy–“to love and serve”–but it is a conscientious and consistent effort to help those who have often not been heard have a say in their own lives. Mosaic listens to the wants and needs of the people we support and custom builds programs to make those things a reality.  We tune in to what truly matters to people and honor individual choice. Our person-centered planning approach brings together family members, trusted friends, professionals, funders and, most importantly, the person served to figure out which combination of services will be the right fit.

Mosaic provides services in 13 states for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental and behavioral health needs, autism and other diverse needs wherever they are in their personal journey. Our direct support professionals and in-house team of board-certified behavior analysts find inventive ways to empower people to live the life they choose. Mosaic partners with families, schools, and other providers to collaboratively build support plans that promote positive outcomes. Mosaic also helps aging adults maintain independence through programs in Arizona and Wisconsin, and our Mosaic International outreach currently partners with the Northern Diocese of Tanzania, where we’ve created the “Building a Caring Community” program to serve children with disabilities and their families.

Providing a wide range of truly personalized home- and community-based services, we enable people to push past real and perceived barriers to achieve their goals. Three objectives direct our efforts in serving more than 4,800 people: that each person supported by Mosaic 1) lives in a caring community, 2) experiences meaningful days and 3) is given a voice.

Believing that no church body is whole unless everyone is welcome and included, we seek to bring Mosaic’s mission to life every day by working with churches and pastors to help all people meet their spiritual needs and desires. While faith communities and leaders often are called upon to help others, Mosaic asks, “How can we help you, the Church?” Endeavoring to create inclusive churches, we offer support in a variety of ways:

 Rejoicing Spirits celebrates and values every person’s talents and gifts, offering people of all abilities an opportunity to lead and serve in their faith community. This ministry provides congregations a model of worship that has a hallmark rule of “no shushing.” People with disabilities can be themselves and this has enabled many families to worship together.

Seminary partnerships provide educational courses to help faith leaders-in-training create welcoming, affirming places for people of all abilities and their families. This is done through hands-on immersion experiences and seminars exploring theological and pastoral insights of disability.

Behavioral education and curriculum adaptation are gifts Mosaic offers to the Church. Expertise around mental and behavioral health and autism is used to enhance congregational programs as well as adapt educational curriculums so people with disabilities can continue to explore their spirituality.

Socialization and friendships are fostered between congregants and people served by Mosaic in an effort to inspire meaningful connections for all involved.

Disability awareness and social justice efforts awaken others to the realities of living with disabilities and the attitudinal barriers that can confine people from living a full life. We offer many educational and inspirational opportunities for people to gain a deeper perspective of living in community. Advocacy in giving a voice and helping families navigate a harsh society are important to Mosaic’s ministry.

The priority of Mosaic, a ministry of the Church and an affiliate of the ELCA, has been and continues to be, meeting the needs and desires of the people Mosaic supports.