[Now that mosques are popping up, the dangers of churches (and mosques) should be more apparent.]
[The point is to do things through our communities and keep talent and money in them; churches and pastors come and go.]
If people cared as much about their communities as they did their churches, there would be Country Club Quality Community Centers (CCCC) in every community that locals would enjoy going to, and take pride in. CCCC’s can be a safe haven where the strength of many (the community) benefits everyone. We see this with libraries, they provide books and educational materials for everyone. But what about activities for all ages? CCCC’s could provide those and more. New housing developments already reflect this pattern with space being set aside only for parks, schools, community centers, and no churches.
Example 1 – Make Dreams Real – Stanislaus County
The Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund is a fine example of investing in the community:
- To make dreams real for school-aged children of Stanislaus County through participation in programs that enrich and stimulate their minds and bodies and teach values through service learning.
- Collaborate & participate with student/parental support groups in establishing a service learning process of volunteerism and accountability in the community.
- SCOE, Stanislaus County Office of Education 6th Grade Science/ Conservation Camp Matching Grant: Recent budget cuts to schools county-wide resulted in the cancellation of 6th grade students attending science/conservation camp at Foothill Horizons, Sonora, CA. The Foothills Horizon program offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for many students to experience wild animals, team building skills, science in a natural setting, being away from home and so many more character building moments. In 2016, grants were awarded to Empire School District, Salida School District, Riverbank School District Sylvan Union School District and Stanislaus Union School District to support outdoor education.
- CASA of Stanislaus County- Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children: In 2016, CASA received a grant for their “Children’s Fund,” helping to fund extracurricular activities and needs for children in the foster program. “The mission of CASA of Stanislaus County is to provide quality advocacy services for all abused and neglected children in the dependency system through the use of trained volunteers. CASA of Stanislaus County is a passionate community organization that provides children received through the court system with personalized advocacy and support. Our goal is to provide a safe, permanent, nurturing environment for every child served.”
- Society for Disabilities: The Society received a grant supporting their annual “Adapted Bike Camp,” in Modesto each year during spring break. This week long camp teaches children with various disabilities how to ride a bike, using specialized equipment and instructors. Many local teens volunteer for the program and partner with participating children.
- Tuolumne River Adventure Club (TRAC): In 2016, TRAC received a grant to help with their program for children in the neighborhoods around the Tuolumne River. “The Tuolumne River Adventure Club project seeks to lower barriers to underserved youth by providing river safety training and recreational opportunities led by adult mentors who serve as role models to help participating youth develop a passion for and a connection to the river in their backyard.”
- Modesto Sunrise Rotary: The following programs are supported: Student Mentoring Bret Harte School and Hanshaw Middle School, Christmas Elves, 3rd Grade Dictionary Modesto City Schools, Salvation Army Breakfast, Central West Ballet, Modesto Symphony, Gallo Arts, Kids Works-Memorial Hospital.
- Juline Foundation for Children: For the past 3 years, the Juline Foundation received a Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund grant to support their Outreach Dance Program. The mission of the foundation is to provide all children who have a desire to perform and be self-expressive, the opportunity to do so through dance.
- Girl Scouts Heart of Central California – Stanislaus County Outreach Program: The GSHCC received a grant for their Outreach Program to help offset costs for girls wanting to get involved in scouting and need financial assistance. The girls will earn the assistance through their various community service projects and activities, giving while receiving! (http://makedreamsreal.org)
Make Dreams Real will not consider applications outside of Stanislaus County.
Example 2 – Lafayette Library and Learning Center
Much more than a library: “The Intersection of new ideas, innovation, and resources.”
“A visionary construct of education, collaboration and community, the Lafayette Library and Learning Center (LLLC), home of the Glenn Seaborg Learning Consortium, is a place where all generations can gather for enriched intellectual and cultural experiences.”
“Library Facility: The Lafayette Library and Learning Center (LLLC) exceeds 30,000 square feet, and includes a Community Hall, Arts & Science Discovery Center classroom space, Children’s Area, Homework and Teen Centers, computer stations, study areas, comfortable reading chairs, and private meeting rooms. Some of the LLLC’s most engaging features are outdoors, including two balconies, a reading court, Amphitheater, and the Glenn Seaborg Garden.” (www.lllcf.org)
Ballet, music lessons, art lessons, etc. What only the wealthy could afford, now all can have. The world is tough enough as it is, people should feel safe, protected, and rejuvenated in their own communities, viz. going to their CCCC’s.
The time for working together has come, and the power that comes through synergy developed. If one suffers, everyone carries the load, so no single person’s load is unbearable. Conversely, when one member succeeds, all members benefit.
As one community perfects its system, they can send forth “ambassadors” to help other communities perfect theirs, which is different from Christian missionaries going forth (Often with hidden agendas, e.g. proof to their congregants their money is being put to good use, but their just one of many sending forth conflicting versions of what Jesus taught. In truth, they are perpetuating error.).
A big part of any community are Faith Centers. We see this at Universities where a single building is used by people of all faiths: University of Rochester – Interfaith Chapel. In India where people worship a multitude of different gods, they all share but one temple in communities and get along in doing so. We on the other hand claim to serve just one God, and yet we have a multitude of church buildings in every community—even a different church on each corner of an intersection—it is a poor reflection of the message Jesus gave.
The study and instruction of religion should continue by those who feel called, via the internet, Faith Centers, or private schools. The key is not to do it by way of churches or any system that allows one to “lord it over” others—especially at tax payer expense:
24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm. (2 Corinthians 1 NIV)
Worship would continue and in fact be more efficacious, for instead of allotting a few minutes here or there during a service to worship, a full day could be allotted, once each month, where many communities come together in theaters or stadiums, like we see during Christian concerts (as powerful as Christian concerts are, not everyone has access to them, or can afford them).
There just are not enough Christian artists to fill the needs of Believers (or would-be Believers) all over the world, but there are enough Worship Leaders, and other talented and gifted individuals who could lead such gatherings. If each area staggered their gatherings, there should always be a group praising God, every week that Believers could attend—using public venues.
Instead of hundreds (or collectively thousands) sitting in a pew each Sunday in our communities believing that’s their “Christian duty” for the week, everyone should be mentoring someone.
The flow of criminals into our prisons will not stop until the source of the cause is properly addressed. There is no overseership/leadership for how people are raising their children. We’re not talking about telling people how to raise their children, we’re just not assuming everyone is born knowing how to parent well.
It’s time to concede that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. We cannot expect a spoiled child to do well as an adult. And we can’t expect children to respect authority figures if the parent(s) are incapable of setting boundaries. Children raising children, and misfits raising misfits will not slow the tied of criminals going into our prisons.
Mentoring means, older, wiser, more qualified persons help those who are younger or less experienced in any area of life learn the ropes of whatever it is they need guidance; parenting being the main one. So instead of hundreds and thousands of people being entertained for a few hours on Sunday as their assumed “Christian duty,” they can and should “serve” as Christ said through a system of mentoring—for all areas of life.
Nothing compares to the joy that comes from investing in the life of another and then seeing it make a difference. We’re talking about teaching others “how to fish” not giving them a fish, not showing them movies about fishing, but equipping them and after they got it, they can mentor another, and the original mentor can move on and bless someone else.
There would be no desire to continue to sit in a pew thinking “this all I need to do (along with my donation)” when our communities are literally crumbling morally, and our governments, education systems, and every other system is ramped with corruption, for the only thing needed for evil to prevail is for good people to sit in their pews and do nothing.
Mentorships could be paid or by volunteering, just like some churches paid their staff and others did not. The idea is to replace the one (church based) with a version of the other (community based) according to the teachings and actions of Our Lord and everyone will become the better for it.