Tag Archives: Central Union Mission

God’s 10K (Update)

In my earlier post I told you about a local church that had ASKed others to pray and submit ideas about how they might allocate and distribute $10k. Spending the 10k wasn’t the real goal.  The goal of the church was to pray and have unity about what God wants them to do with these funds.  The church leadership will be meeting this weekend to review and discuss each merit of each submission.  

Following the church leadership’s review, a summation letter will be mailed to each church member asking each to SEEK truth/discernment.  Each member will then share their views and in late Sep. the church body will hold a “business meeting” to vote.  KNOCK – persistence in getting ‘er done.  Now its time to join KCC as they enter this new season of prayer.

Jesus declared God’s name to His followers so that the love of the Father that was in the Son (Jesus) might me in us (Jhn 17:26).  Imagine if churches partnered in declaring God’s truth, sharing His love, and caring for His people.  One expression of truth/love might be to take the 10K of one church and make it 20K or even 100K through a partnership with other churches. United in love!  There would be some serious worship, prayer, and fellowship taking place! 

Learning love, sharing love…making disciples!  Wow!


God’s $10K

Knollwood Community Church (KCC) exists to exalt God and reflect the glory of Christ by declaring His Truth, sharing His love, and caring for His people.  This church wants to invest up to $10k in someone who agrees in Spirit (“KCC Core Values“), can become a partner, and can help build capacity within God’s kingdom.   Now, before you go and send an email or get on the phone, take a deep breath; KCC is not soliciting proposals at this juncture:

Process:  Over the next few months (Jun/Jul), KCC is inviting the Body to pray/dialogue with God and with others … to ask, seek, and knock.  When you feel God has revealed an idea/suggestion, go ahead and share it as a comment to this blog post.  Later this summer (Aug), after reviewing and selecting some of the submitted ideas/suggestions, detailed proposals will be solicited.  After a vetting process (Sep), the KCC congregation will cast  a vote and make their decision.  If they are unable to discern God’s will, they might simply roll these funds over into the next budget cycle.   It’s all about seeking God’s will through prayer/dialogue, letting the Holy Spirit speak/guide, and ensuring that God receives all the glory.

Possibilities/Opportunities:  Should these funds be dispersed in increments so more will benefit?  Would it be better for one person to receive one lump sum gift?  Should these funds serve as “seed” money to help kick-start someone’s Godly vision?  Should an existing ministry use these funds to take that ministry to the next level?  Could a Godly couple suddenly be able to adopt that child that they’ve always wanted?  Could a church be planted?    Hmm…these are some of my thoughts – I wonder what ideas will come to your heart and mind?  The key is for the Body to have “eyes that see and ears that hear”.  

What is God saying to you?  Pray/dialogue and then post your comment.  I’m expecting some powerful, creative ideas!

Summer Camp Reflection: Past/Present

Growing up I always looked forward to attending summer church camp.   It had log cabins, a pool, horses, archery, etc.   The best part of camp were the counselors who worked hard at building relationships during the short camp period.   I always left camp feeling like I was loosing my best friend.

As fate would have it I was at camp the week America got to see the final episode of the TV show “The Fugitive”.   While I ate ice cream at the canteen everyone else was watching Dr. Kimble catch up with the one-armed man who had murdered his wife.   I’ve never seen that last episode, yet I know how it ended, and I know I can rent it on DVD (hint: great Birthday gift idea).   That night, that summer,  I let my anger get the better of me when I discovered that no one was going to let us watch TV.   My counselor spent several quality hours alone with me as we stumbled alone in the dark with our flashlights.    Somehow we ended up sitting on a log near the archery targets and I knew it was long past “lights out”.  That night he made sure I understood that Jesus was so much more important for my life than a missed TV show.  A Kodak moment I’ve never forgotten even though I can’t remember the counselors name.

The year of the “greased watermelon” is perhaps my favorite summer camp experience.  That year the counselors took a watermelon and smothered it in lard and then threw it in the pool.   The object was for each team to wrestle in the pool with each other and the greased watermelon and somehow at the same time manage to get the watermelon into the net at the end of the pool.  Boy was that fun; pure jungle warfare!  We had such a blast that the fact I was on the team that lost didn’t seem one bit important.  Later as we sat around the campfire each counselor stood up and shared a personal story.  Listening to each of them was mesmerizing and the message was simple.  They loved us and wanted us to realize that our lives at times might seem just like if we were wrestling with a greased watermelon.   They made it clear that the only solution (solvent) for our lives was Jesus; He could clean all that gook out of our lives.  Another Kodak moment I’ve never forgotten even though I don’t remember a single counselor’s name.

I’m a grandpa now.  It is the critical message that I remember from those happy days at summer camp.  Not once during all those happy memories did I ever think about the kids that never got to go to summer camp.  Now as summer draws close I think about the many kids who will not get to build Kodak moments and listen to stories and lessons told by passionate,  dedicated young men and women;  stories that impact lives and make a real difference. 

Each year many kids never get this wonderful experience.   We can help!   

Below I’ve listed just a few links that will take you to an opportunity where you can easily make a difference in the life of a child.  I’m familiar with each camp; each is sponsored by folks that love kids so much that they desperately wish they could give those kids who have so little just this one opportunity to hear about Jesus while helping them develop their own Kodak moments.  

I’d love to hear about your own summer camp experiences.  Help those who help kids this summer – send a kid to camp.  Drop me a line if you can help.

•  Central Union Mission/Fellowship of Christian Athletes :  This year Central Union Mission is partnering with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (DC) to send inner-city children to camp.  Join them on June 7 for their 2010 Golf Tournament.  The funds raised from this tournament will provide scholarships to send inner-city children and youth to either Central Union Mission’s Camp Bennett or Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) sports/leadership camp this summer. Click on the above link for detailed information or contact Don Woodall (703) 250-1096 or Deborah Chambers (202) 745-7118 xt 227.

•  South East White House & Southeast DC Partners:   A 6-week safe, structured environment is provided for the children of the Randle Highlands community (SE DC).  Consistent activities and outings as well as two hours of classroom instruction each day help the children improve learning skills while having fun and experiencing new things.  Contact (202) 575-0214.

859 House (No Link):  Serving the NE DC community of Carver Terrace, summer camp is offered during July.  Consistent fun activities allow the children to have fun and experiencing new things.  One special need is for funds and/or buses that can make a dream reality.  859 would like to spend one day each week during July to take neighborhood kids out of their neighborhood to places like Kings Dominion, Luray Caverns, VA Beach etc.  Transportation is needed for each week for 100 kids.  Contact:  carvertw1@yahoo.com

Camp Dynamite:  This 2 week camp is offered by DC Christian Ministries/American Missionary Fellowship and is primarily for urban youth but senior citizens are also given an opportunity to join in.  It offers all the things associated with camp and includes Bible stories and getting opportunities to know who Jesus is.  Contact:  (202) 277-2601 


Christmas Mail

This year Rev. Rick Warren (Saddleback Church) saved every Christmas catalog that hit his mailbox.  He reported that he had received 116 catalogs and the entire pile of catalogs weighed over 40 lbs.   His single “tweet” on the subject was “What a waste”.  Around Dec. 3rd I began saving every email and snail mail that requested funds.  As the pile quickly grew, the subtle thoughts I had as I opened each letter and email formed the basis for my irritation with Christmas mail.   

I know that fund-raising is an art and there are professionals who give expert advice about the best approach (language, tone) and the best marketing tools (letter, email, brochure, etc.) to use.  Fundraising has become very competitive because available financial resources are dwindling.  Every request for support that I received appealed to my sense of “Christmas Spirit”.  Most suggested that it was critical for me to give an “end of year” gift so I would receive a tax benefit.  Both  reasons seemed trite and neither motivated me to give.  I felt a small sense of manipulation and that became an irritant. 

The biggest irritant was reading mail from organizations that only contact me at Christmas.  I know it’s not cost efficient to send out multiple mass mailings except during special holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I also know that fundraising via email, though inexpensive, doesn’t really produce huge results.  I had to show a little grace on this point but it still irritated me.

What caught my eye in a positive way were the organizations that published catalogs that provided listings of specific items I might wish to give.  (Examples:  Central Union Mission, World Vision, aone:eight)   These catalogs reminded me that there is always need and I should give throughout the year.  These catalogs made it easier to give out of love and obedience to Jesus (the reason for the season) because they seemed to promote relationship over cause.

Taking the time to develop an intimate relationship with an agency or organization is critical and it is key to responsible giving of time, experience/skill, and money.  Such intimacy provides a better understanding of what is already available and what is truly needed (2 Corin. 8: 11-14).  Such intimacy results in giving cheerfully from the heart and not out of a sense of guilt or compulsion (2 Corin. 9:7).   

I’m not wealthy so I can only imagine what a wealthy philanthropist must think when Christmas mail arrives.  I think I would be troubled just by the deluge of requests.  I’d wonder why there is so little collaboration among the various individuals, agencies, and organizations who nobly claim to care and own the solutions that will fix the many issues, problems, and needs that face our community.  I’d wonder how they can afford to continue working independently without sharing “best practices”, knowledge bases, and resources.  I couldn’t help but wonder how many sources request funds for the same cause? (Example: How many agencies and organizations make the same claim that the funds you provide care for the “at risk children” in South East DC?)  I’d want to give each a small financial gift of encouragement but because no one solution stood out I’d probably end up not giving anything to anyone.   While I’m thankful that I’m not a wealthy philanthropist faced with such dire decisions; the mere fact that I’m not able to help so many deserving causes became one of my irritants.    

The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington annually publishes a free, on-line, Emergency Directory  that lists clinical social workers, counselors, psychologists, shelter workers, clergy and all those whose job it is to help people find emergency food, health care, and temporary shelter for their families.  It lists hotline and social services phone numbers and sometimes e-mail addresses.  A super example of collaboration without competition. 

How does one collect the proper information needed to publish an on-line catalog that continuously captures  input from those who’s significant ongoing efforts are trying to meet the needs of our community?  Would such an initiative form an initial basis for unselfish collaboration and facilitate the sharing of best practices, knowledge, and resources?  Would such an initiative provide a free, one stop online source that would empower those who wish to give financially as well as those who wish to volunteer their time and expertise?  

The DC metro area already has the beginnings of such an effort; the Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy.  There are also many free, on-line sites that help promote volunteerism. 

 How do we merge stated needs with available gifts and passion to create possibility that would sustain real change?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful?