Christmas is almost here! I’m sure you didn’t need that reminder (at all!). Costco shelves and dollar store aisles have had their Christmas supplies out since October, if not sooner. Churches and charities have been busy planning and promoting their Christmas programs and ministries for a while now. Social media has been buzzing about who deserves our time and money this year (and who we should avoid). While this can be the most wonderful time of the year and a time we are all feeling just a little bit more charitable, it can also be the most overwhelming. Many not only want to find the perfect gift for their family members and friends, but also want to give back – to their community and those who are less fortunate.
Over the past year, World Renew and Diaconal Ministries Canada have teamed up to lead a workshop called, “Helping Without Harming”. This workshop helps participants learn how to alleviate poverty and injustice through effective engagement in their local and global communities. It encourages churches and charities to discover how food banks, deacon funds, short-term service trips and other benevolent activities can be more impactful and meaningful.
Last Wednesday, December 5th, Wendy Hammond, Church Relations Manager for World Renew (US), along with Andy Ryskamp (CRCNA Diaconal Ministry Initiative, US) and Ron VandenBrink (National Director for Diaconal Ministries Canada) hosted a webinar called “Helping That Helps at Christmas and Beyond.” This timely (and timeless!) webinar was insightful and helpful to those who attended. One participant thanked the panel and remarked that this webinar was a “good reminder to work WITH people rather than FORthem” if we truly want to see lasting change.
This webinar was a “good reminder to work WITH people rather than FOR them” if we truly want to see lasting change.-Webinar participant
You can find the webinar here. Feel free to share it with your church ministry teams and members, your diaconate, your family and friends or anyone you think of. All will benefit, especially those we are striving to help this time of year.
For those with further questions, the following resources and tips were offered up later on in the webinar:
- For CANADIAN CRCs;
- Find or host a local HWH workshop! The next workshop will be held in Edmonton in January, 2019, with the next one happening in Nanaimo, BC in early February,2019;
- Several books can offer practical help: The When Helping Hurts book series, Toxic Charity, Charity Detox;
- Contact your local Diaconal Ministry Developer and he/she can help with these conversations;
- For US CRCs:
- Find your local Diaconal Conferences or email Andy Ryskamp for assistance;
- Look for organizations to collaborate with that have a “Helping Without Harming” mentality.
- For CANADIAN & US CRCs: World Renew offers ways to partner with families around the world throughout the year. Churches can contact Peter Bulthuis (Canada) or Wendy Hammond (US).
Resources mentioned in this recording:
The Network (Deacons Section)
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself (Corbett and Fikkert, 2014)