Blog

6 MAY 2017

Syringe Exchange: One Pastor’s Experience

Harm reduction is a practical strategy to promote safety among persons who use drugs. Needle exchange is a good example of the approach. Congregations in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston offer needle exchange services. People who inject drugs often share needles, raising the risk of infection with Hepatitis C or HIV. Providing […]

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28 APRIL 2017

Donating Goods: 4 Creative Ideas

With over 3 million members, Dosomething.org is one of the largest online organizations for young persons aged 13-25. Their purpose: “to make the world suck less” through promoting social action. Here are some creative ideas for young people or “old people” (meaning over the age of 25) that each involve donating something to people who […]

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Young mission volunteers building a house
22 APRIL 2017

Before Serving Others, Raise Your Awareness

I hate it when volunteers come down here,” a neighbor told Robert Lupton, author of the book, Toxic Charity.   Virgil, who lived in an economically challenged neighborhood of Atlanta, had just observed a fourteen-passenger van filled with young volunteers on a mission trip.  This church group been coming every weekend for two months and had […]

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8 APRIL 2017

Best Practices for Short-Term Mission Trips

“First do no harm” is a rule that applies not only to medical practice but to short-term mission trips. Given the obvious challenges involved in shuttling a group of volunteers to a distant community with an unfamiliar culture, it cannot be stressed enough that mistakes can happen, with perhaps long-lasting consequences for mission participants or […]

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31 MARCH 2017

Where To Go on Mission Trips?

When initiating a short-term mission trip overseas, the most important decision may be the first: where should we go? Here are two possibilities: Take advantage of a personal connection.  This may be someone who knows the community because they have been there, either as a tourist, as part of a mission trip, or because of […]

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25 MARCH 2017

Five Toxic Approaches To Using Volunteers

We all know the importance of volunteers for the success of any community project. Yet inappropriate attitudes and behaviors can spell the failure of any volunteer effort. Marlene Wilson, a specialist in volunteer training, offers these toxic gems[1]: Program director does all the work for the team.  The problem could be a lazy team, but […]

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10 MARCH 2017

Saving Energy: 5 Starting Points for Congregations

Where climate change is concerned, congregations can make a difference. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that if 300,00 houses of worship cut their energy use by 10%, they could: Save 200% for other uses Make available 5.4 kilowatt hours electricity without additional cost or pollution Prevent 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to […]

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Video: Black Churches Are Going Green

This video calls the Black church to see the connection between climate change and social justice.  “Climate change is disproportionately effecting black communities.  Black children have higher rates of asthma.  Typically, you have a lot of food deserts.  You have individuals who don’t have access to healthy food,” says Tyson Lord Gray, an Environmental Ethics […]

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