In 2014, Back Bay Mission welcomed the first two Shari Prestemon Social Justice interns. Over the summer, they did a several journal entries that were posted on the Mission’s website. I also conducted interviews with them after the internship finished. The stories that they told formed the basis for this appeal.
But when offering his compliments and criticisms – and, let’s face it, they’re mostly criticisms – he does not offer them as rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Moreover, when he offers his vision for charitable activity, he does not anchor it in that gospel. Rather, he offers a vision of charity rooted in the ideology of capitalism.
But I have watched our misadventures in the Middle East. I wrote my capstone paper for my M.Div on the Iraq War. I spent a fair amount of 20013 researching and writing about the First and Second Busch Doctrines, American Imperialism, the Coalition Provisional Authority, the Iraq Interim Governing Council, the idea of ihtilal, Bremer walls, and other concepts surrounding the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I know that America does not know – and quite possibly no one knows – how to bring peace and stability to Iraq and Syria.
But here’s the thing about this world. It doesn’t work unless everyone gets involved.
I know how easy it is to hear the call to get involved and get nervous. I know how easy it is because I do it. There is so much need in the world, what difference can I possibly make?
And it’s true: no one person can take on all of the need in the world. But everyone can.
Theology is a discipline that a lot of people dismiss out of hand. Those who think of religion as a problem that needs to be solved see it as a pseudo-discipline with no useful application other than rationalizing the delusions of the faithful. Others use the word ‘theology’ as a dismissive piece of rhetoric meaning something like ‘dogma’ or ‘fantasy’. As you can imagine, I disagree with assessments like those. I want to take some time here to explain what I think theology is and what kind of applications – both religious and secular – it has.
So this Labor Day, I hope that everyone enjoys their cook-outs and parades and time with their families and friends. I also hope that we will all take a minute to remember those who fought and died for this day off and all of the benefits and protections we have as workers. Finally, I hope that we will all take a minute to think about what we will do to make sure that we and others continue to enjoy those benefits and protections.
The natural question is how you make the transition from mere fundraising to development. Part of the answer is understanding the difference between annual giving, major giving, and planned giving, and how people relate to an organization through different kinds of giving.