Date: 20 August 2007 17:30:05
Dith had a meeting with a contact in social services last week that seemed to go very well and provide us with encouragement with our aims. She also contacted the allotment secretary and there are plots available in our area. I'll let her tell you about that though.
As I wrote below there is a problem with funding charity work undertaken by exclusively Christian organisations. Thanks to Eee for pointing out the misunderstanding that I'd encountered with this. This led to Dith and I having a conversation regarding how we hope to move forward.
One of the things that Caring For Life kept saying was that they wanted their "users" to have the best of everything; whether it be foodstuffs, accomodation or assistance. However from our observations we saw that they were extremely overstretched with manpower. They acknowleged that this was because they insisted that only Christians could work there who had a calling for the work. I got the impression that the term Christian was not necessarily used in its widest sense. This is all well and good and, to a certain extent, I can agree with this.
However what if there is a highly qualified non-Christian who wants to work for you? Having a calling for social care is not an exclusive right of Christians alone. Dith knows many non-Christian who have such a calling, as well as Christian who shouldn't be working in that field but are.
So we have to decide:
1. Do we want to be an exclusively Christian staffed organisation and work with the limited resources and manpower that is available in that area?; or,
2. Do we want to be an organisation that has a strong Christian foundation but accepts workers who don't share our faith but are sympathetic to our aims?
If we are aiming to help people by living out Christ's commandment to offer assitance and witness wherever it is needed then should that include non-Christian helpers/staff who are willing to assist you in this area. Only by meeting non-Christian people can you hope to show them the love that Christ has for them, whatever their personal situation.
However we wouldn't want to dilute the Christian aims that we have in our work. I think that a strong Christian base with others helping could be the best way forward. However that decision will hopefully be a little way down the line from here.