The Faith Community in Action: A Response to the Opioid Crisis

Broken families, crippling addictions, and tragic deaths: the opioid epidemic has taken an enormous toll on communities throughout the United States. Opioid addiction has been a serious issue in America since the late 1990s, when doctors started prescribing opioid-based painkillers for patients. Initially, opioid abuse primarily affected rural, small-town communities. In recent years, addiction has spread into suburban and urban areas as well. Now, an average of 142 people die every day from opioid-related causes, and the number of people who die of drug overdose in the U.S. every three weeks is equivalent to the number of people who died on 9/11. The opioid epidemic has also had a devastating effect on children and families.

Family-Supportive Workplaces Cultivate Holistic Healing

Paid family leave is an issue that affects almost every American at some point, from the new mother who wants to bond with her baby to the aging grandparent who needs help with medical care. Recently, Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill that would allow new parents to finance their paid leave by drawing from their Social Security benefits early. Senator Rubio, along with Ivanka Trump, is hopeful that the bill will gain bipartisan support.

Mission-Driven Prayer Ignites Adoption Efforts

In the United States, faith-based adoption agencies have been a trending topic in the news. A recent vote in the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to a bill which prohibits the government from discriminating against child welfare agencies because of their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” This bill will allow more faith-based adoption agencies to live out their religious beliefs by placing children in loving homes without compromising their views on traditional marriage.

Time to Flourish: Excerpt

Christian teaching contains a theology of work. It also affirms the significance of the workplace. Just as workers have a calling, the workplace has a calling as well. Workplaces produce goods and services that benefit customers. When they enlist workers in that creative task, they become the site in which humans live out their vocations. As Michael Naughton, a Catholic scholar of vocation and business, notes, “A community of work is only authentic when it serves those outside it in a way that develops those within it.” A workplace responds to its God-given calling when it treats all of its employees and workers with dignity and respect rather than as mere inputs to a production process.

Faith-based Advocacy Strengthens the Sacred Sector

Faith-based organizations are often caught in a net of contradictions while trying to advocate for justice in the public square. On the one hand, faith-based organizations recognize the biblical call to speak on behalf of the oppressed. On the other hand, advocacy and lobbying can be depicted as inappropriate activities for organizations with sacred missions, especially when government is involved. How are faith-based organizations supposed to bring about justice while avoiding government entanglement?

Sacred Sector Welcomes 12 Seminarians for Summer Fellowship with Faith-Based Organizations

Sacred Sector Welcomes 12 Seminarians for Summer Fellowship with Faith-Based Organizations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 15, 2018) – This week, the Center for Public Justice welcomed a group of twelve seminarians as part of the Sacred Sector Fellowship initiative. The program kicked off with a five-day intensive training in Washington, DC. From there, the seminarians will work as consultants for several faith-based organizations located in the Washington, DC region.

Equitable Government Partnerships Foster Student Safety in the Sacred Sector

School safety is not the only discussion that neglects the needs of non-government or faith-based entities. In any matter involving government support, faith-based organizations tend to be overlooked due to the perception that faith-based and government collaborations foster religious establishment or undermine religious freedom. Yet the best way to prevent both religious establishment and religious freedom violations is to allow faith-based and secular organizations to have equal opportunity to apply for government funds.

Trump Announces New Federal Faith And Community Initiative

At a National Day of Prayer ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on May 3, President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. This is President Trump’s version of a federal initiative created by President George W. Bush and continued, with changes, by President Barack Obama. The White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative shares much with its predecessors, although it is distinctly different in some ways. What it shares with its predecessors is most important. The new Initiative, like the Bush and Obama programs, represents…

Faith-based Organizations Transform Communities Through Strategic Partnerships

Recent headlines about churches accepting public funds for historic preservation have reignited the public debate about church-state separation. Though not expressly established in the Constitution, the separation of church and state is a value many Americans affirm. Yet this value can also have negative consequences; it tends to enforce the idea that church and state are fundamentally at odds, and that church-state collaborations ultimately undermine the integrity of one institution or the other. However, in reality, when faith-based organizations such as churches and nonprofits choose to partner with government it can benefit the organization, the government and the common good…

The Economic Impact of Faith-Based Colleges and Universities

Christian colleges and universities can often find themselves on the defensive. They may be asked to explain their commitment to their Christian values, their high standards for faculty, staff and students, or how their sacred mission contributes to their academic goals. Although they are frequently scrutinized, the reality is that Christian colleges and universities make irreplaceable contributions to the common good not only in terms of advancing faith and intellect, but also in terms of economic impact…

How Faith-Based Organizations Bolster Local Communities

When a local church is featured in the media, it isn’t usually to highlight its thriving ministry. Media consumers are more interested in church controversy than in the important work of small groups or outreach programs. Media organizations aren’t the only ones missing out on the important work of local churches; in fact, society often perceives the work of local churches as primarily taking place on Sunday mornings. However, many churches contribute extensively…

How Faith-Based Organizations Empower the Marginalized Across Contexts [Part 2 of 2]

Religious freedom is a comprehensive issue that deals with a range of topics. Religious freedom protections have implications for whether an Orthodox Jewish community can build a temple, whether a Muslim man can retain a beard while imprisoned or whether a public university can host a Catholic club on campus. Today, conversations about religious freedom often revolve around the intersection of religion and sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI). While religious freedom has to do with far more than…

How Faith-Based Organizations Empower the Marginalized Across Contexts [Part 1 of 2]

Recent contentions surrounding the term “Evangelical” have forced Christians to reckon with the differences embedded in their faith community. As disagreements arise and counterpoints are exchanged, it is becoming increasingly clear that the terms “Evangelical” and “Christian” can mean a variety of things to different people. Yet despite political or theological divisions…

The Federal Faith-Based Initiative: Good News is Hiding Behind No News

With little to no fanfare, the Trump administration for the last year has been slowly appointing new staff to the federal Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. More importantly, the administration has maintained the federal equal treatment regulations. This is good news for faith-based organizations and for the sacred sector because it means that…

The Vital Impact of Faith-Based Crisis Pregnancy Centers

The Vital Impact of Faith-Based Crisis Pregnancy Centers

On Tuesday, March 20, the U. S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. The case concerns whether crisis pregnancy centers — often faith-based organizations — can be forced by California’s law, the Reproductive FACT Act, to advertise abortion to their patients.

According to this 2015 law, a licensed clinic providing primarily family planning...

Faith-Based Organizations Sit at the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Immigration Reform [Part 2 of 2]

Faith-Based Organizations Sit at the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Immigration Reform [Part 2 of 2]

The scriptural basis for caring for the orphan is clear: passages on the subject span the Old and New Testament and leave no room for interpretive error. Perhaps because of this, the Christian community has a history of caring for orphans through adoption agencies, foster programs, orphanages and other ministries. Yet while Christian communities are often generous...

Faith-Based Organizations Sit at the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Immigration Reform [Part 1 of 2]

Faith-Based Organizations Sit at the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Immigration Reform [Part 1 of 2]

Recent frustration over the government’s inability to preserve DACA has sparked renewed concern about immigration, especially as it involves youths and children. Stories about individual Dreamers who meaningfully contribute to U.S. society have circulated and amassed public, bipartisan support of DACA. But what if instead of having to come to the United States to succeed...

The Vital Role of Faith-based Organizations in Criminal Justice Reform [Part 2 of 2]

Criminal justice isn’t just a political issue. When over 2.7 million U.S. children have parents in prison, it’s also a family issue. When those single-parent families struggle to help their children succeed in school, it’s an education issue. When incarceration presents mental-health challenges, it’s a medical issue, and when returning citizens struggle to re-integrate into society, it’s a community issue. Finally, when the conditions in the criminal justice system lead to a sense of deep...