The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Search Results

Why we need government to attack poverty, too

with one comment

In recessions, when more people need help, most donors have less to give.

Many not-for-profits simply collapse.  Those that remain often move away from long-term indepence-developing programs, crowded by the increase in immediate needs.

Richard Florida, the economic geographer who writes of places, people, and prosperity, described the situation like this:

clipped from www.creativeclass.com
Richard Florida, an American urban studies the...

Image via Wikipedia

I spent this weekend with a friend who’s a retired corporate CEO, has a personal foundation that
supports local and international projects, and is very savvy in business, finance, and nonprofits. He said he’s heard that as many as half of U.S. nonprofits (charities) will go out of business during the current downturn […]

  • Many foundations, having seen their endowments dive with the stock market, are cutting back on large grants. In addition, they’re moving from longer-range capacity-building grants to meeting people’s immediate needs (as one foundation director put it, from philanthropy to charity).
  • Arts organizations are seeing their donations and audiences shrinking. Seasons are being cut back, shows canceled. Some of the weaker players are seeking mergers or takeovers by larger organizations.
  • Safety net organizations like free clinics and food banks are flooded with not only the poor but the formerly middle class.
  • Capital building campaigns are dead in the water.
  • blog it

    I’m no economist, but I see no means to sustain an attack on poverty without resources that are more stable and more broadly shared than voluntary contributions alone could ever be.

    Do you?


    Tags: , , , , , , , Monte Asbury

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
    Advertisements

    Brazilian City Eliminates Hunger

    with 5 comments

    For only 2% of its budget!
    clipped from www.treehugger.com

    Belo Horizonte People's Restaurant Photo
    Restaurant Popular (People’s Restaurant) by Bruno Spada/MDS
    Back in 1993, the newly elected city government of Belo Horizonte, Brazil declared that food was a right of citizenship. At that time, the city of 2.5 million had 275,000 people living in absolute poverty, and close to 20 percent of its children were going hungry. Since the declaration the city has all but wiped out hunger and only spends 2% of the city budget to do so.

    Article continues: Brazilian City Makes Food A Basic Right And Ends Hunger
    blog it

    My friend Lexica over at Clipmarks took up this discussion with someone who wrote in about food banks. A quote from the food banks commenter is first (emphases are mine): Read the rest of this entry »

    Written by Monte

    March 17, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Why pro-life should mean anti-poverty

    with 18 comments

    Rarely have I quoted someone else’s post in its entirety, but this one has so many excellent and quotable points that I wanted to give it as much daylight as possible. Please do visit God’s Politics and take part in the debate there. They might lose a few visitors by my printing more than an excerpt here – help me make it up to them.

    Tackling Abortion: The Cruel Connection (by J. Christopher LaTondresse)

    There is a cruel link between poverty, race, and abortion in America. Unfortunately, many pro-life advocates fail to meaningfully address this connection. Aside from age (the abortion rate is highest among girls under the age of 15) the most predictable indicator of whether or not a woman will have an abortion is her income level and ethnic background.

    Before Roe vs. Wade decriminalized the procedure, many American women still had abortions, though the procedure was radically unequal in its accessibility and application. Those with available resources traveled abroad for safe procedures while low-income women relied on dangerous illegal clinics operating in the poorest neighborhoods in America.

    As someone who lives and works in such neighborhoods in Washington D.C., I can tell you that simply making something illegal does not keep it from happening if there is a serious demand for it – as evidenced by the rampant drug, weapons, and prostitution trades still plaguing these communities.

    I strongly believe in the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death; that all human beings are created in the image of God and are therefore of immeasurable worth. However, I also believe that we should spend more energy advocating policies that might actually reduce the abortion rate and spend less time challenging a judicial precedent unlikely to be overturned. Read the rest of this entry »

    Written by Monte

    October 31, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Church for a new era

    with 3 comments

    Those of you following the life of New Oaks Church may find this story encouraging. Here’s Donnie Miller (pastor of the Trinity Family Church in Gardner, KS) telling of a change of direction:

    A New Era begins for TFC

    Donnie Miller

    There was an energy level among the congregation on Sunday that I haven’t experienced for a long time. People kept telling me, through smiles and hugs, how much they love the changes that have just happened.

    These changes have been a long time coming. Last spring, we began a numerical slide that has resulted in our Sunday morning worship attendance being between 2/3 – 1/2 of what it was a year ago at this time. Toward the beginning of that slide, after a very lowly attended Sunday in March, I spent a sleepless night talking with God and wrestling with my fears and hopes. My fear was that if we continued to “do church” as we were at the time, we might not continue to exist. That fear lead to a hope, a hope that TFC could stop focusing on “doing church” and become more intentional about “being the church.” At about 4 AM, I got a pretty clear picture of the changes we could make.

    I began sharing those changes with staff, the board and then ministry leaders; everyone was on board with the ideas. Last summer, we polled the congregation to find out approaches were working and to gauge their openness to the potential changes. The surveys revealed an almost unanimous support of the structural changes our leadership was considering.

    Discussion groups

    In August, we took a big first step in introducing Discussion Groups to Sunday AM worship. To say these groups have been a success would be the understatement of the year. Every Sunday, over 90% of the congregation participates in discussion groups. This past Sunday, only ONE person skipped discussion groups and that was because of a family emergency. It was almost hard to hear the other members of my group over the dull roar of the conversations happening all over the commons. The introduction of Discussion Groups, as well as “Ask Anything” Sundays, have all been a part of our effort to take a more dialogical approach to Sunday morning worship.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Listen to Obama five years ago

    with 6 comments

    ObamaI have no idea what Republicans and Democrats will be doing come caucus time in Iowa next January (or what I’ll be doing). But I came across this speech of Barak Obama given five years ago (courtesy of meditatio), and found it remarkable. Given the hopeless swamp that Iraq has become, he appears to have hit the nail on the head then.

    That ought to count. The much-touted “experience” of others is surely less significant than the quality of judgment such experience reveals. And what a different place the world would be if the others had responded like this:

    I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism.

    What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. Read the rest of this entry »

    Written by Monte

    September 22, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Posted in Iran, Iraq, Politics, Terrorism