Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Interfaith Community Services

I've read several quotes like this:

Why is a religion spending tens of millions of dollars to take away my right to marry? How many people could have benefited from the money and countless hours spent by the Mormon Church to take away the rights of a minority group? Why not target families suffering because of the economic downturn?

Last night I attended a Thanksgiving Service at our church attended by about a diversity of churches. I was moved by messages of hope, gratitude, etc. Besides worship, song and prayer, an "offering" was collected to benefit the Interfaith Community Services. The combined congregation quickly filled the plates as they passed by.

Interfaith Community Services was founded by various faith communities and serves San Diego North County (From Oceanside to Escondido). Their annual budget is about $10 million, of which only 9% is operating costs. They have thousands of volunteers each year and served 28,000 unique individuals last year. I've had the opportunity to go with friends and family to serve breakfast there. It gives you a new appreciation when you see hundreds of people fed with the modest donations (I never imagined having chili or spaghetti with garlic bread for breakfast).

There is a similar organization in our last community, the Interfaith Food Center of Whittier. They served over a million pounds of food last year. I attended a service at our church in Whittier before we moved. It was inspiring to see people of so many different faiths gather together. The funds collected were to help build a woman's shelter.

While campaigning for prop 8, my neighbor and I came across another Christian. He said he would support us and then provided a packet with information about a fundraiser his church was sponsoring. The purpose was to "feed the hungry". We spent more time talking about this than we did about prop 8.

I think the $80 million spent on prop 8 is small compared to the charity performed by churches in the state of California. There are countless good people making sacrifices for the good will of the people of California. Of course you don't hear this published. Why? Matthew 6:1-4 is why.

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

1 comment:

Kristy said...

Dad, I thought you had some great points. It is interesting how many negatives are being pointed out -- where when you dig deeper there is more good to find.