Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday Topics: Dream Big Edition

Deb over at Another unfinished symphony says

Dreaming big... The "Come Away" Edition
(This is what I get for procrastinating and surfing instead of studying...)

Gary Means wrote:
"If you could start any ministry, and have it fully funded by an anonymous source who did not want to be credited, what would you do? I guess I should limit the amount, otherwise everyone would just end world hunger, etc. So, let's say you were given a mere $5,000,000."

So. What kind of ministry would I do if I could dream big and had the resources to do it?

I think I'd like to build satellite resource offices around the metro to help in the resettlement of refugee families. Right now we only one center in the city, which makes it difficult to work in wide region. So, for example our church is hosting a family for a short while, but we are a good hour's drive away from the center, which means a long commute there and back two times a day whenever the agency needs to bring the family into the center for anything (processing paperwork to be legal in this country and giving them their public aid cards for meds, etc.) All the families need to have housing in a small area or be along the train line for an easy commute to one main office. If we had satellite offices around the metro area we could house families across the city and still provide the services they need: English language classes, job training, instructions for using public transportation, medical care, child care, etc. The agency I am working with offers a comprehensive program to provide for the needs of these families for three months, or longer. The goal is a successful resettlement and a good new life.

This could be accomplished by renting office space and hiring staff in one or two suburbs. 5 million would not go far, but it could be well utilized. And it could help to relocate these new families in safe areas and in areas where their are other people from the same country who will assist in helping them assimilate into life here.

My vision is a broader networked community building on what is already in existence. I don't need reinvent the wheel, just make it more accessible.

I'm not sure how many refugees there are in the world today. Millions, I think. And our country brings in maybe a few thousand a year. The rest go to other countries, or wait year after year for a placement. We will help resettle as many as 60 families over the next few months - which is huge. I am currently working on establishing a consortium of churches that will warehouse items needed to set up an apartment: dishes, pot and pans, linens for kitchen, bath, and bedroom, etc. I have seven churches willing to help.

But this small piece of the dream could be expanded into even greater potential.


Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

Wow. I love this idea. And I especially am intrigued to see how others will "dream big"... because I imagine that the depth and breadth of our passions, different because we in the Body are so different, will cover a lot of needs and a lot of ground!


great play!

P.S. Oops. Hit the WRONG button after posting the first time!

mompriest said...

Thanks. I too look forward to what others might dream!

Homily for the Festive Eucharist at the closing of the Episcopal Women's Caucus

The readings that we chose for the service tonight were all picked specifically for this service because they lift up the role of women ...