Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

2 March 2010

Funding the "faithy" folk

Very interesting editorial/article in yesterday's Brantford Expositor called "Faith Funding must rely on welcoming all". Youth for Christ in Winnipeg is building an 11.5 million dollar "Center for Excellence" (Indoor skatepark, drop-in centre, job skills and training centre, a counseling centre, a performing arts studio, a fitness centre and much much more) that has various levels and spectrums of government fighting about idea of funding faith.

The federal Conservatives first said yes to a 3.2 million dollar investment. After much controversy and infighting, the municipal government is also in for 3.2 million dollars... but the provincial NDP government (who is normally the sugar daddy of finances) said no because of the faith aspect attached to the project. In all fairness, they aren't alone in their "concerns". The writer of this editorial reminds us:

A promise to extend funding for faith-based schools sank the Ontario Progressive Conservatives' campaign in the last election.

In Winnipeg, the discussion on the youth centre has turned toxic. Winnipeg Centre MP Pat Martin, a New Democrat, has decried the project as an attempt to convert "vulnerable, impressionable kids" to Christianity.

One aboriginal group has equated the idea with residential schools.

Strong words directed to people who are willing to take shots in order to sow time, money, love and truth into a community. But frankly, they are not unfamiliar sentiments that are commonly "stuck" on we faithy folk who try to step into the public arena. On Winnipeg's YFC website this is how they've responded to the controversy they've stirred up in the name of serving their community with excellence.

No doubt, some people will want nothing to do with YFC or the proposed facility because YFC is upfront and clear about its desire to see young people consider faith in Jesus Christ. That is OK. Even if they choose NOT to collaborate in this specific project, YFC hopes to stir up everyone’s commitment to young people.

This is important. We live in a great city with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Regardless of one’s view on this specific project, YFC is advocating a vision that has the power to unite us - to see young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

YFC desires to build on this shared vision by encouraging each sector, organization, and person to contribute towards the health and well being of youth within its sphere of influence. There are ways for each of us to contribute, tapping into our unique strengths, and drawing upon our distinct values and traditions.

YFC’s unique contribution is its Christian identity. Its greatest strength lies in its large volunteer base, drawn from a variety of Christian denominations, who serve as positive role models and who wish to give back to the city in which they live.

We will not compromise our Christian identity, message and values. To do so, would weaken the very strength we bring to the table.

In the same way that other agencies, faith groups and secular institutions can and ought to bring their identity, message and values to the challenge of raising healthy, caring and responsible youth, so can we. In fact, we must.

Because, at the end of the day, it is much more than a facility. It’s about helping teenagers!

Excellently put. And thankfully, there are an increasing number of people who are willing to partner with faith-based organizations who are willing to sacrifice and work to bring positive change... because in the end as the editorial writer puts it:

Many people of faith see helping others as a calling. They do so with programs and facilities such as the one proposed by Youth for Christ. They provide food, clothing and counselling to people who do not have access to government programs. They make our society better.

But religious groups -- of any faith -- must establish a track record of inclusiveness and effective program management if they want government funding. If they can, tapping their energies is no sin.

I actually think the writer is correct in saying that Christians need to earn the right to have influence. What faithy-folk who "get it" know that others may not... is the order of operations. Our generosity and kindness is to be extended to ALL... just because it's right. Someone's acceptance of Christ or not makes no difference in how they should be cared for. It IS part of our calling to help people.

But yes. It's done "in Jesus name". Openly and unabashedly. And sharing the why behind our actions is just as much our calling.

What do you think about funding the faithy folk?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TAHNKS FOR YOUR SHARING~~~VERY NICE ........................................

Related Blogs

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...