New learning community empowers faith-based organizations to live out their sacred missions
Meg Biallas Henry, Director of Communications
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 22, 2018) – This week the Center for Public Justice, a Christian civic education and public policy organization, launched a special initiative to support, empower and advance the work of faith-based organizations to exercise their faith in the public square. The Sacred Sector initiative is led by Director Chelsea Langston Bombino.
Sacred Sector is a learning community for faith-based organizations and emerging leaders within the faith-based nonprofit sector to integrate and fully embody their sacred missions in every area of organizational life. The more than 30 inaugural members include a range of faith-based organizations, from internationally-known groups like Accord Network and Prison Fellowship, to local faith-based nonprofits such as Exodus Treatment Center, Little Lights and EDEN, all located in Southeast Washington D.C.
Sacred Sector, made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust, launched on Feb. 20 with a special kick-off event at First Rock Baptist Church, a participating Sacred Sector organization in Southeast Washington D.C. Inaugural participants gathered to learn from each other about how to holistically further their missions, exercise their faith and increase their impact through a framework called “Three P’s”: how to understand public policy, adopt best organizational practices and implement public positioning.
“We are so honored by the breadth of participating organizations and are eager to see what our participants learn from one another over the next several months,” said Langston Bombino.
Following the launch event, participating faith-based organizations will engage in a six-month learning community which will be carried out through in-person and online gatherings, as well through written resources and one-on-one coaching to build their capacities. These resources will empower participating organizations to apply the “Three P’s” in key areas relevant to faith-based nonprofits.
Participants in Sacred Sector Community will also have direct access to tools from Standards for Excellence®, a national initiative that promotes ethical practices and accountability in the nonprofit sector. The Center for Public Justice, through Sacred Sector, is a replication partner of the Standards for Excellence® program. The Standards for Excellence code covers the following areas of nonprofit operations: Mission, Strategy and Evaluation; Leadership; Board, Staff and Volunteers; Legal Compliance and Ethics; Finance and Operations; Resource Development; and Public Awareness, Engagement and Advocacy.
“The Standards for Excellence is based on fundamental values that promote ethical practices,” said Amy Coates Madsen, Director of the Standards for Excellence Institute. “We know these are key values for nonprofits — especially faith-based organizations. We are thrilled to partner with Sacred Sector organizations to help them identify and communicate these principles.”
Minister Anthony Minter of First Rock Baptist Church, which operates several community-serving ministries, noted that, at its core, Sacred Sector is helping faith-based organizations identify areas of strength and areas for growth. "We are excited to be among such a dynamic group of organizations, and to learn about best practices for faith-based organizations,” said Minister Minter. “We know that living out our sacred mission is critical to who we are.”
To learn more about Sacred Sector, visit SacredSector.org.
Sacred Sector is an initiative of the Center for Public Justice, and is a learning community for faith-based organizations and emerging leaders within the faith-based nonprofit sector that seek to integrate and fully embody their sacred missions in every area of organizational life.
The Center for Public Justice is an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to policy research and civic education. Working outside the familiar categories of right and left, conservative and liberal, we seek to help citizens and public officeholders respond to God's call to do justice.
Standards for Excellence Institute is a national initiative established to promote the highest standards of ethics, effectiveness and accountability in nonprofit governance, management and operations, and to help all nonprofit organizations meet these high benchmarks. Our program is a system of nonprofit sector self-regulation and replicated by state, regional and national associations and support organizations.
The Sacred Sector inaugural cohort includes:
America World Adoption Agency
American Association of Christian Schools
Anacostia Gracious Arts Program
Annapolis Area Christian Schools
Children’s Jubilee Fund
Christian Alliance for Orphans
Church Hill Activities and Tutoring
Columbia Learning International Ministries
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Exodus Treatment Center
Faith Tabernacle United Holy Church of America
First Baptist Church Capitol Heights
First Rock Baptist Church
Grace Meridian Hill Church
Greater Fellowship Baptist Church
Helping Up Mission
Kingdom Care Senior Village
Mount St. Mary’s University
National Catholic Education Association
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Open Hands Legal Services
Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope International)
Potomac Valley Assembly Church/PVA Daycare and Preschool
Pregnancy Clinic Ministries
Samaritan Health Center
The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
The Keys to Canaan
The Way Homes
The Well Community Church
Washington Baptist Theological Seminary
Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality