Faith Leaders Work Day with Habitat for Humanity! – May 1, 2019

Calling all Rabbis, Imams, Pastors, Priests, and Gurus!  CRIHI invites you to take up hammers and paint brushes for our first ever…

Faith Leaders Work Day!


Wednesday, May 1, 2019; From 8:30 am – 4:00 pm at Carter Place

With the help of thousands of volunteers from every skill level and background, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton has provided over 500 families with a hand-up into home ownership.

This year, we asked ourselves, what would happen if we had all kinds of different faith leaders working together at on the big Habitat build site at Carter Place?

Our answer:  Who knows?!  But it would likely be a lot of fun!
So here’s the formal call to faith leaders from every tradition to take a day on May 1st and come join us.


To sign up:
1. Please rsvp to mike@interfaithhousing.ca,
2. Register with our faith leader’s work group (group name: Interfaith Works 2019) on May 1 according to the instructions below:Here’s the link to get started, with the steps to register below:
https://www.hfh.org/volunteer/



If you have any questions about your registration, please contact:
Megan Stannard at mstannard@hfh.org or 780-451-3416 x 237


May 1, 2019 – Instructions for the day!

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Working in my Community, Part Two

So you’re interested in working in your community…  As you begin, consider the following insights from those involved in community development work.

Before you dig into this session, please ensure you have read part one in this series: Working In My Community; Part One

Part Two Focus: Let’s find our way forward carefully, and make sure we do no harm.


The Oath for Compassionate Service

  1. Listen first.
  2. Never do for another what they can do for themselves.
  3. Limit one-way giving to emergencies; then stop.  (Sustained one-way giving creates a dependency; often diminishing a person’s capacity)
  4. Strive to empower the materially poor through employment, lending and investing, using grants sparingly to reinforce achievements.
  5. Keep your self-interest secondary to the needs of those being served.
  6. Listen closely to those you seek to help
  7. Above all, do no harm.

(Provided by Robert Lupton in Toxic Charity)


DO NO HARM

“Until we embrace our mutual brokenness, our work with low-income people is likely to do far more harm than good.” 

Research from around the world has found that shame – a “poverty of being”- is a major part of the brokenness that low-income people experience in relationship with themselves. …low-income people often feel they are inferior to others.  This can paralyze the poor from taking initiative and from seizing opportunities to improve their situation, thereby locking them into material poverty.

At the same time, the economically rich …also suffer from a poverty of being.  In particular, development practitioner Jayakumar Christian argues that the economically rich often have ‘god-complexes,’ a subtle and unconscious sense of superiority in which they have achieved their wealth through their own efforts.  …the way that we act toward the economically poor often communiicates – albeit unintentionally – that we are superior and they are inferior.  In the process we hurt the poor and ourselves.”

When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert


how can i help

Consider these three levels of help we can provide.   


Relief
The urgent and temporary provision of emergency aid to reduce immediate suffering.
Giving a sandwich to someone who is hungry; taking someone in out of the cold, or calling an ambulance for someone injured.

Rehabilitation
Restoring people to the positive elements of their pre-crisis conditions.

Assistance finding housing, or a job and reconnection with their family.

Development
A process of ongoing change that moves all people involved to right relationships to ourselves, to others, to God and to the creation.
Helping someone find a supportive community, belonging, purpose, mentoring, healing from trauma and addictions.

*Warning:  Hurt comes when we apply the wrong intervention.
Example:  Sustained one-way giving (relief work) creates a dependency; often diminishing a person’s capacity.  (points one and three in the oath of compassion.


Most people in North America are capable of participation in the improvement of their lives, so we should always be doing development work.  “Let’s figure this out together.”

To watch for along the way…

  1. Look for systemic issues and then also focus on advocacy. [ie. working (helping yourself) while on social assistance means reduction in benefits.]
  2. The design, implementation and evaluation should be done by all participating.

Here’s a great Edmonton example of community development:

The Riverbend neighbourhood is home to a pocket of affordable housing in a community called Brander Gardens.  A circle of local organizations including the school, churches, the library, the community league, and local sports programs came together to develop an outreach program called Brander Gardens ROCKS! that provides all kinds of different opportunities for the kids and families.

Riverbend United Church has been a strong partner from the beginning, opening up space for programming, and providing volunteers.  Every year, they host a community meal inviting the broad community including some Syrian families.  But rather than just having church volunteers provide lunch for the community, they chose to invite BG Rocks families to participate in every stage.  So these families help plan the meal, do the shopping, and cook the meal with the church’s volunteers.  This shared effort makes for a wonderful and special event that is rewarding for everybody.


BG Rocks families gathering with Riverbend United Church members

 

Interfaith Habitat Works 2019!

From March 5 – June 5, CRIHI and her partners at Habitat for Humanity invite you to come join us as people of many faiths put boots on the ground together building homes for people.  There is still time and opportunity to get involved, so come join us!


Ways you can get involved:

  • Volunteer on a build or at a ReStore: Volunteers can come out either individually or as a group. Beginners are welcome and all equipment and tools are provided.
  • Feed the volunteers: contributions of lunches or baked goods are welcome.
  • Attend the Kick-off and Wrap-up events

Here is the link to Habitat’s Interfaith page where you can sign up your groups, download posters and information, and find answers to your questions:
http://www.hfh.org/interfaith/  

We also have a promotional video for you to share with your community:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUA5Vgj2ivY&feature=youtu.be

And a Special Invite to Faith Leaders! 


CRIHI is excited to announce our first ever …

Faith Leaders Work Bee!
May 1, 2019

Habitat work days usually start around 8:30 and go until the later afternoon.  If you as a faith leader are at all able, carve out a day in your schedule to come work on site with leaders from other faith traditions.  A formal invitation will be sent out shortly, but please mark your calendars!

Three Hebrew Words

Shalom

Shalom is a rich word in the Hebrew scriptures. encompassing “universal flourishing, wholeness and delight,” according to Christian Theologian, Cornelius Plantinga Jr.   Shalom is often thought of as the desire of God for all his creation; characterizing both Eden in Genesis, and in the new creation in Revelation.

Chata

Contrasted with shalom, is the Hebrew word for sin.  In Hebrew, the word sin (Chata) literally means “missing the mark; or getting it wrong.”  But more broadly, Plantinga explains sin as any human action that vandalizes shalom; causing harm; breaking relationships; resisting, twisting or distorting something good, doing damage in word or deed.

Chata damages Shalom when…

  • We sin against another person.
    Gossip…  abuse…  neglect…  or even by trying to do good in the wrong way.
  • We sin against creation.
    polluting…   exploiting…   neglecting our responsibilities as stewards and caretakers.
  • We sin against ourselves.
    Accepting lies that fuel either pride or depression.  Losing our freedom to addictions and the pursuit of false hopes.
  • We sin against our Creator.
    denying God’s existence and authority; putting our trust for the future elsewhere, and sinning against others, ourselves, or the creation.

Hesed

The path of restoration and healing relies heavily on hesed; or the practice of covenant love.  It is a love commitment that binds relationships together for the long term, so that no matter what happens the relationship holds together.    In the Bible, God forms several covenants with his people to rescue them, teach them, heal them, and restore Shalom.  By practicing hesed,God shows his commitment to his children; a stubborn love that never gives up.

So too, God wants his children to practice covenant love with each other so that our families and friendships are strong, and our communities are warm and vibrant, where everyone belongs and is cared for.  In relationships built on Hesed, we find ourselves in a circle of secure and committed love where we can put broken pieces back together, and find shalom.

As we work to care for each other in our city, may we too seek God’s vision of Shalom for each other, reject actions that knowingly or unknowingly cause harm to another, and couch every work of hope and healing in the context of loving relationship.


By Pastor Mike Van Boom, Christian Reformed Church