GA-1915

GA-1915

Pension Fund of the Christian Church
Todd A. Adams, President
1099 North Meridian Street, Ste. 720
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Toll-Free: 866-495-7322
E-mail: pfcc1@pensionfund.org

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Report to the 2019 General Assembly

On May 11, 1895, Brother A.M Atkinson, husband of Nancy E. Atkinson, a founding member of the Christian Women’s Board of Missions, received a telegram informing him of the passing of the beloved minister and former governor of Indiana, Rev. Ira J. Chase. Brother Chase left a nearly blind widow and four children with no means of support. “Brother Atkinson could not forget the need of this preacher’s family and set out immediately to raise a fund to provide the widow and family a home and a living.”[1] Enough money was raised to purchase a home in Wabash, Indiana, which Mrs. Chase graciously received, provided $1,000 was returned to the fund from the sale of the home upon her death.

Brother Atkinson called for a Conference on Ministerial Relief, which met on October 21, 1895 in advance of the General Missionary Convention. The purpose of this conference was to raise additional resources for the Chase Fund and formalize the process by which other widows and children would receive support. The outcome of this meeting was recommended changes to the By-Laws of General Christian Missionary Convention, creating the Board of Ministerial Relief and raising an offering which totaled $3,567.25.[2]

In 2020, the Board of Ministerial Relief will celebrate 125 years of working to provide resources “For the Support of Ministry.” From its humble beginnings with two offerings totaling $5,732.56, Pension Fund of the Christian Church, as the successor organization, has embodied our mission and carefully managed the resources of our pastors and lay employees and our legacy funds of Ministerial Relief and Assistance. At the close of 2017, the fund’s value was $3.25 billion[3].

In 2020, Pension Fund will celebrate the expansion of Ministerial Relief and Assistance. The program will have three core functions: Retiree Support, Active Clergy Programs, and Congregational Partnership Grants.

Retiree Support will continue for those who have no Pension, a Pension below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, Healthcare Assistance with Medicare Supplemental plans, and 13th check. Our expanded support for retirees includes adding a Geographic Pay Differential for Supplemental Pensions for persons who retired in a high-cost area. To qualify, a person must meet the current supplemental guidelines and have retired in an area where the cost of living exceeds Indianapolis as a base market. Those persons then qualify for an increase based on the difference but capped at 250% of the Federal Poverty level for a single person.

Active Clergy Programs: Ministerial Relief and Assistance expansion includes Financial Literacy Education (the permanent role of Excellence in Ministry), Career Counseling Grants for Pastors Transitioning to bi-vocational ministry, and a biennial Pastor’s Wellness Conference starting in the fall of 2020.

The career counseling grants are to combat the research which shows clergy who have a second source of income are most likely to serve in a high-crisis profession such as a funeral director or social worker. Continually dealing with crisis, leads to burnout. We want to help clergy work with a professional who can steer them toward a profession which compliments their ministry but also brings joy.

The biennial Pastor’s Wellness Conference will rotate themes of emotional, physical, and financial wellness. The heavily subsidized conference will see to bring together clergy serving various size congregations. The first keynote speaker is Dr. Matt Bloom, a researcher at the University of Notre Dame, who specializes in clergy wellness. More information will be available at Pension Fund’s booth in the exhibit hall. These are in addition to our historic clergy support programs for emergency aid and funeral assistance grants for clergy without pension plan death benefits.

We also desire to work in Partnership with Congregations. We will continue our historic programs, including Student Gift—expanded to include undergraduate internships and Global Mission Interns through Division of Overseas Ministries—and our Chaplaincy Dues program, which purchases pension credits for pastors called to active duty military service.

Our new Congregational Partnership programs include partnering with Week of Compassion to provide salary continuation grants to pastors if their home and/or the church is damaged during a natural disaster. We recognize if there is widespread damage in a community, offerings will decrease and the ability to pay the pastor will be threatened. If the pastor doesn’t have to worry about their basic necessities, they can better lead the recovery in their community. In 2017, MRA provided over $475,000 in salary continuation grants following natural disasters.

We are also responding to GA-1333 and adding salary continuation grants to support pastors at the birth or adoption of a child. The purpose of these programs is to extend the leave time previously granted for materinity and/or paternity leave and provide additional support for any extenuating circumstances related to the birth or health of the newborn. The program will be open for maternity and paternity leave grants, natural birth or adoption—including single parent adoption.

At Pension Fund, we understand our mission is standing For the Support of Ministry, ensuring that pastors and lay employees of Stone-Campbell related employers have a Strong … Smart … Secure retirement. In the coming biennium, we are prepared (as a willing and capable partner) to challenge our members and the church to journey The Road to Financial Wellness.

Our work on your behalf is guided by our:

Mission: For the Support of Ministry

Vision: Stone-Campbell pastors and lay employees will enjoy a Strong … Smart … Secure retirement.

Core Values: Integrity, Security and Compassion

Integrity: the quality of being honest, making membership-oriented decisions

Security: the state of stability, providing freedom from worry or fear

Compassion: the ability to help others in times of need or distress

Guiding Scripture: Matthew 25:20-21 “The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.”

Ends Statements:

In service to our members, Pension Fund will …

  • Partner with employers to offer financially secure retirement savings options and education for pastors and lay employees of the Stone-Campbell movement including financial support of surviving family members and provisions for those who become disabled;
  • Invest and prudently manage the resources of our members — maximizing returns, minimizing costs and assuming the burden of market risk;
  • Engage members with compassionate care and personalized attention;
  • Steward the assets and programs of Ministerial Relief and Assistance; and
  • Utilize current and compliant processes.

Contractual Programs for the United States and Puerto Rico:

As of September 30, 2018, our total assets under management were $3,270,106,921.  Of these $1,962,837,400 were Pension Plan; $280,532,877 were Tax-Deferred; $22,814,466 were IRA (combined) and $299,719,104 were Benefit Accumulation Accounts (BAA). Additionally, Pension Fund has a General Fund of $133,023,443. In 2018 our base rate for Tax Deferred was 3.5%, IRA products 3.5% and BAA 2.5%. In 2018, based on 2017 returns, Pension Fund awarded a Special Apportionment of 5.5% or $96 million and a Good Experience Credits of 10.5% (TDRA), 9% BAA, and 5.5% IRAs or $48 million.

Contractual Programs for Canada:

Pension Fund provides the Pension Plan for clergy and lay employees in Canada. Canada remains a separate corporation with a separate board consisting of two US based Pension Fund employees and two Canadian based board members who also participate in the programs. This structure allows us to comply with the laws and regulations of Revenue Canada.

Pension Fund provides access to membership in the Pension Plan by clergy and lay employees in the Stone-Campbell / Restoration Movement in Puerto Rico.

Investments:

Pension Fund maintains a fully-invested policy with long-term asset allocation of 50% equities, 35% fixed income and 15% alternatives. We are honored to co-sponsor a General Assembly resolution, reaffirming our commitment to socially responsible investing. We partner with Glass-Lewis for proxy vote servicing and research. Glass-Lewis follows the guidance of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).

Ministerial Relief and Assistance:

In 2017 and 2018, Ministerial Relief and Assistance provided more than $3.6 million for the support of the ministry. Supplemental Gift Pensions are gift distributions to those retirees who have extremely low pensions. Relief Pensions are gift distributions to those who have no pension.

The 13th Check is a gift to all persons receiving a Ministerial Relief pension. The offering received at General Assembly, endowment income, and annual fund contributions provide resources that bless our members. Many recipients offer thanks for the church’s generosity, as the 13th Check provides resources for heating bills, medicine and other necessities that these saints would forgo without this support.

We provided over $450,000 in salary continuation grants in 2017 following Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. Additionally, we extended the grace period on pension payments from 3 to 6 months to help these communities in their recovery and restoration efforts.

Commitment to Churchwide Priorities:

Pro-Reconciliation / Anti-Racism: In addition to utilizing the principles of the Executive Search Process, Pension Fund staff engaged Reconciliation Ministries for Cultural Awareness Training with Rev. Sandhya Jha. Our Senior Leadership Team participated in the Executive Leadership School, including Pro-Reconciliation / Anti-Racism Training, Prevention of Harrassment, and Financial Ethics.

Compliance with Board Diversity: For the first time in over a decade, Pension Fund’s Board of Directors meet the 30% racial-ethnic diversity requirements of the Assembly.

Young Adult Leadership Development: We have expanded Student Gift Pensions to include undergraduate students who are pre-ministerial studies, serving in paid internships and Global Mission Interns.

New Church: Pension Fund is exploring with our legal counsel the tax liability of partnering with regions to provide matching funds to new church planters, who are intentionally seeking to start a new worshipping community.

Board Membership

     2019                                                           2020                                                           2021

Peggy Brittan*                                   Rev. Thaddaeus Allen                                    Josh Santana*

Kelly Bauer                                               Brenda Cline                                         Camilla Lindsey

Randy Clayton*                                       Charlene Butz                                     Rev. James Johnson

Kelly Nelson                                             Rev. Bill Lee                                          Rev. Jabari Butler

Rev. Esteban Doble-Gonzales              Rev. Janet Long                                          Chad Turner

Greg Smith*                                   Linda Hernandez-Williams*                           Rev. Sydney Avent

 

*2019 Board Officers

 

[1] Smith, W.M; For the Support of Ministry; pg. 49.

[2] Ibid; pg. 54.

[3] This reports was submitted on Dec. 27, 2018, therefore 2018 Finanacial Information was not available.

GA-1912

GA-1912

 NATIONAL BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION (NBA)
of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
www.nbacares.org

Mark D. Anderson, President and CEO
January 2019

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Our Mission

Following God’s call, the National Benevolent Association exists to inspire and connect the people and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), to accompany one another in the creation of communities of compassion and care, and to advocate for the well-being of humanity.

Our Core Values

Serving as the Disciples health and social service general ministry for more than 130 years, NBA’s mission has been, and continues to be, responsive to the needs of the church and society. Over this long history, we have had the joy—and the challenge—of supporting the church across a rich array of issues. As the NBA, we are grounded in core values that focus our work:

  • Rooted in Compassionate Care: We celebrate those who have served before us in creating a just world. The NBA’s mission and work emerged from the faithful witness of six Disciples women seeking to address the needs of children and families in need. We value this legacy of serving the “least of these” and endeavor to root all our initiatives in the value and dignity of human life and in serving a world that God so loves.
  • Accountability: We claim our duty to be effective stewards of the resources entrusted to us. We are fiscally responsible and acknowledge our accountability to our partners and the communities we serve. We treat others with respect and strive to conduct our work in the spirit of transparency and openness. Where there is brokenness, we strive for reconciliation.
  • Collaborative Partnerships: We believe that meaningful results to build compassionate and caring communities happen only when we can work in partnership with God and a wide diversity of others – individuals, communities, churches and organizations. We affirm that by working with partners, as well as those we serve, and by practicing humble leadership, we have what we need to make a difference.
  • Accompaniment: We value the creative voice and mind of all people as we seek to heed God’s call, especially in developing solutions through creative and innovative efforts designed to address personal challenges and systemic oppression. As we assume a posture of openness, we find in each other’s company the “bread” that will sustain us all. As we share life’s joys and struggles, at times picking up one another’s load and going the hard way together, we create communities of compassion and care.
  • Forward Leaning: We commit to learning and adapting as we move into the future. We understand that during times of change and new directions, the path forward often involves uncertainty and challenges. Through our shared efforts of advocacy, education, pastoral response, and professional care and services, we move towards the health and well-being of all.

NBA Mission and Ministry Grant Program

2018 was the second year of NBA’s Mission and Ministry Grant Program, supporting Disciples congregations and health and social service ministries working with older adults and at-risk children and youth across the life of the church. Utilizing approved, purpose-restricted funds in these two areas, grants are available for Disciples congregations and health and social service ministries across three categories/amounts:

  • Catalyst Grants: $1,000 – $5,000: These are startup funds to get projects up and running and/or to expand an existing project to a new area/initiative.
  • Innovation Grants: $6,000 – $15,000: These funds should help move an established project to a new level of effectiveness and impact.
  • Impact Grants: $20,000+: These funds should be used for major leaps in project areas with a proven plan for how these will move the organization to a new level of sustainability and impact.

The Grant Committee accepted applications during the summer/fall 2018, and grantees were announced in December 2018. For this second cohort, the NBA granted a total of $157,900 to 20 Disciples projects located across 13 Disciples regions. Of these 20 selected projects, nine are focused on at-risk children and youth; six are focused on older adults; and five are intergenerational, serving both communities. Eight of these grantees also received Mission and Ministry Grant funds from NBA last year. Stories and impact reports from these grantees will be shared throughout the year.

 Our Ministries and Partners

Serving as the church’s health and social services general ministry, the NBA partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers. Our shared work advances care for and with others in our communities and raises awareness of needs that are often overlooked and forgotten—needs such as affordable housing; spiritual care for the incarcerated and returning citizens; children and family services; programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; care and advocacy for older adults; hunger and food security; mental health and wellness; and other needs as they emerge.

Today’s ministries of the NBA are grounded in our historic mission of “caring for the least of these.” Our missional vision is to inspire and invite people of faith into this shared work and ministry responding to God’s call to be compassionate listeners, organizers, and advocates. Together, we create communities of compassion and care.

 NBA Incubate Initiative

The NBA Incubate Initiative strives to encourage and support the development of new and innovative health and social service ministries and organizations by Disciples. These ministries, in turn, inform and inspire fellow Disciples throughout our communities and across the life of the church. Together, we expand the church’s understanding of and capacity for health and social service ministry as part of Christ’s work in the world. The goal of this initiative is to support and empower new Disciple-related health and social service organizations, projects, and ministries—what we’re also calling social enterprises—to focus on their growth, strengthen their impact, and work toward sustainability.

As of January 2019, nine ministries are formally affiliated with the NBA as part of the NBA Incubate Initiative. We help these entities strategically strengthen areas such as board development, capacity building, administrative mentoring, marketing and communications, fundraising and development, bookkeeping services, sustainability, Disciples relationships, and more. Two of NBA’s first Incubate Partners, Reach Beyond Mission and Tulsa’s Table, have concluded their formal Incubate affiliation with NBA, while two new Incubate Partners are beginning: Garden of Eden Health Center, operating in Jayuya, PR, and New Communion, in Winston-Salem, NC.

In March 2018, the NBA hosted its fourth Incubate Retreat for emerging Disciples-related health and social service ministry leaders to create intentional space for rest, renewal, and equipping for the ministry of social entrepreneurship. In September 2018, the NBA again hosted the SENT Seminar: Equipping Social Entrepreneurs for Leadership and Change. This training brought together 21 Disciples-related health and social service ministry start-ups to learn and share in a variety of topics, including leadership coaching, legal principles for faith-based entities, marketing, and fundraising.

The NBA Incubate Initiative also continued our Social Enterprise Resource Bank, an online clearinghouse featuring blogs, webinars, and other resources to help support Disciples social entrepreneurs and ministries across the life of the church. Virtual learning opportunities include an expanded webinar series, with topics in 2018 including fundraising, community transformation, mission/vision/values, board development, and succession planning.

NBA XPLOR

In 2018-19, we are now in our fifth year of NBA XPLOR, a 10-month, faith-based residency for young adults who are exploring the intersections of the life of faith and the work of justice. The Residency provides 10-months of leadership development and vocational discernment for 21- to 30-year-olds to live simply in community and engage in direct service and justice work. In 2018-19, NBA XPLOR placed 19 Residents at six host sites—St. Louis, MO; Hiram-Mantua, OH; Tucson-Marana, AZ; Spokane, WA; Dallas, TX; and Charlotte, NC—the latter serving as a new, second-year Residency experience called XPLORmore.

The cohort begins with an intensive week of orientation and anti-oppression training, called XPLOR Laboratory, held in St. Louis in late August before the XPLOR Residents travel to their host communities. There, NBA XPLOR Residents serve six hours a week with their host congregations and about 30 hours a week through community engagement site internships spanning a variety of health, social services, and social justice ministries and organizations.

NBA XPLOR Residents are currently working with low-income families, unhoused individuals, people with disabilities, older adults, vulnerable children, and undocumented persons, among others. They are learning grant writing, event planning, community advocacy, and much, much more. These professional and leadership skills make a huge impact. Through their dedicated work, spiritual practices, and exploration this year, these young adults are now discerning calls to social work, education, community organizing, medicine, military, ministry, and more.

In February 2018, we hosted an NBA XPLOR Reunion, gathering with 25 Alumni Residents and three Spiritual Companions who had completed XPLOR in the past three program years. The weekend reunion included worship; free time for fellowship and renewal; conversation and resources around personal and professional development and leadership opportunities across the life of the church; and a visual story-building exercise allowing XPLOR Alumni to continue processing the impact of the XPLOR experience on their lives. We are grateful to the Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation for the grant funding that made this event possible, and we look forward to reuniting with future cohorts of XPLOR Alumni in the coming years.

Advocacy and Activism

We also continue to deepen our engagement in Advocacy and Activism to transform the root causes of social injustice. In NBA’s strategic planning for 2018-2021, we named Advocacy and Activism as a strategic priority, flowing from NBA’s mission to “advocate for the well-being of humanity.” Following the trajectory of the work begun with the Ferguson Justice Initiative, these efforts utilize relationships, wisdom, and processes built and tested through that work.

Through a 0.5 FTE Program Coordinator for Advocacy and Activism, the NBA nurtures engagement strategies to equip and train partners to address the critical social justice issues most relevant to their work, and collaborates with NBA staff to cultivate partnerships across the life of the church to coordinate efforts related to social justice theology, action, and advocacy.  In 2018, this position focused on three initiatives:

AR/PR Mid-America Project:

The pilot project explores what a new decentralized model for Disciples justice infrastructure could look like in a region. The work grows out of NBA’s early investment in local clergy in St. Louis during the Ferguson movement. The merger of the St. Louis Racial Justice Group and AR/PR Justice Ministry of Mid-America has happened, adding a 2.0 Community Organizing Training to the traditional 1.0 Basic Anti-Racism Training. In 2015, the NBA hosted the first Racial Justice Summit in Mid-America. In 2018, Mid-America hired a conference organizer and assumed the continuation and ownership of that conference in the region. Approximately 60 people, including all three Regional ministers, were in attendance as the group mapped initial justice action plans and work in the region. 

Advocacy and Activism Peer Group:

This new peer group aims to bring together a new generation of activists and advocates to share, learn, and grow in their ministries and relationships. The group launched in August 2018 and will end in August 2020, meeting virtually and in-person with a particular focus on social justice issues; language and the theological foundations of social justice; and direct action and advocacy efforts.

Disciples Public Presence Working Group:

The Standing Rock Protests and other social justice crises led to the creation of Disciples Public Presence, a Facebook group and advocacy platform to give Disciples a common place to share their life in current justice movements. In October 2018, the first Disciples Public Presence Conference and Working Group were formed, gathering more than 60 Disciples and 25 working group members committed to strengthening the justice infrastructure by implementing priorities in worship/theology, communications, mass mobilization and sustained organizing. The NBA, along with several other justice-related ministries, provided staff time and programmatic support to ensure the forward momentum of the movement.

Prison and Jail Ministries

The NBA connects collaborative communities of Disciples working together on particular health and social service justice issues. Through Prison and Jail Ministries, the NBA supports Disciples engaged in spiritual care and advocacy ministries with those who are or have been incarcerated and their families. This area of work centers around education, inspiration, and advocacy. The Prison and Jail Ministries webinar series continued in 2018, with topics including immigration detention, how to start a prison congregation, restorative justice, and moving beyond the labels to the humanization of God’s children. Webinar topics planned for 2019 include bail reform, voting rights, immigration detention of children and families, and a spotlight on The Marshall Project.

Prison and Jail Ministries Peer Group:

The first cohort of this peer group concluded its time together in April 2018, after meeting and serving together for two years. They focused on public narrative—how to share their stories and clearly convey the significant impact of ministries through the context of prisons and jails. NBA Prison and Jail Ministries helped participants workshop and prepare their narratives, and then recorded and produced videos with each ministry.

In August 2018, NBA launched the second cohort of the Prison and Jail Ministries Peer Group, welcoming 10 members to this two-year peer group experience, which focuses on: 1) education through peer-to-peer learning and sharing experiences, expertise, and resources on prison- and jail-related issues; 2) inspiration through spiritual renewal practices and self-care; and 3) advocacy by engaging in a collaborative service or advocacy project. This cohort will give some particular attention to the issues of immigration and detention.

Mental Health Initiative

The NBA takes seriously its call to create communities of compassion and care through dialogue and action centered on issues related to mental health. With hopes to support the prioritization of mental health and wellness in the life of the church, the Mental Health Initiative aims to establish the necessary awareness and understanding required to counter stigma and change the landscape of conversation regarding mental illness and disorders within the church. The Mental Health Initiative’s five main vision areas are to cultivate welcome by countering stigma; provide resources and educational support; collaborate and connect with Disciples congregations, health and social services ministries, and other mental health and wellness providers; encourage the sustainability and innovation of mental health ministries in congregations, regions, and the general church; and support clergy mental health and wellness.

This shared work supporting mental health extended to regional ministry through the Regional Mental Health Initiative with the Christian Church in Georgia (GAMHI), providing education, support, and infrastructure development to Disciples leaders and congregations in the Georgia Region. This pilot partnership concluded in 2018, with the Georgia Region and NBA reporting on the impact of this shared work in January 2019. The GAMHI will continue beyond this pilot partnership, with a full slate of regional programming in 2019 and beyond.

The NBA Mental Health Initiative continued to be present at a variety of church-wide gatherings, learning opportunities, and self-care retreats in 2018, including with Week of Compassion, Pension Fund, Obra Hispana Asamblea, National Convocation Biennial Session, NAPAD Convocation, Hope Partnership’s Leadership Academy, the Rocky Mountain and Capital Area Regional Assemblies, the Women in Ministry Conference, Hispanic Ministries Young Adult Leadership and Development Conference, and more.

The Mental Health Initiative webinar series also continued in 2018, with topics including immigration trauma, how to start a mental health ministry with your congregation, and clergy mental health and wellness. Webinar topics planned for 2019 include grief and loss, suicide post-vention, and children and trauma. In 2018, the Mental Health Initiative also focused its efforts to support ministries in becoming adept at identifying and addressing issues related to mental health and congregational life, through a Liturgical/Theological Resources Task Team and a Mental Health Justice Task Team. The Resources Task Team produced a video for Mental Health Awareness Sunday in May 2018 and released a series of Advent reflections and worship resources in December 2018.

Chaplains Peer Group:

The Mental Health Initiative is making the final preparations for a new Chaplains Peer Group to launch in early 2019. The vision of this peer group is to provide an opportunity for likeminded individuals living out their call through chaplaincy to focus on: 1) education through peer-to-peer learning and sharing experiences, expertise, and resources on chaplaincy related issues; 2) inspiration through spiritual renewal practices and self-care; and 3) advocacy by engaging in a collaborative service or advocacy project. Influenced by the needs of the cohort, this peer group will also give particular attention to the issues of mental health, personal spiritual devotion practices, and healthy work/life balance formation.

Disciples-Related Health and Social Service Ministries

The NBA continues to support and partner with a network of care providers and justice-minded individuals who serve as the “hands and feet of God” in their communities. Our goals are to connect, resource, and amplify these ministries, providing access to a constellation of support and services, such as marketing and development consulting, executive coaching, back-office accounting, and executive searches, as well as networking with other partners through webinars, educational trainings, and peer learning and wellness group opportunities.

The Connect Conference for Disciples-related Health and Social Service Ministries was held in October 2018. This conference offered educational, connectional, inspirational, and advocacy opportunities to support direct service providers in “Making connections in the 21st Century.” We welcomed 20 attendees from 14 partner ministries and organizations. Highlights included a session on “Common Sense Technology Solutions for Non-Profits,” and a dinner gathering at the home of the NBA President and CEO Mark Anderson. Ideas for ongoing connection with this group include regional and issue-based affinity groups and quarterly online Wisdom Garden conversations.

Executive Leaders / Marketing and Development Peer Groups:

The first cohorts for the Executive Leaders Peer Group and Marketing and Development Peer Group cohorts concluded their time together in summer 2018. The vision of these peer groups is to provide an opportunity to cultivate support and encouragement, mutual dialogue, spiritual renewal, and peer-to-peer learning. There has been time for rest, joyful shared conversation, and group learning with others who truly understand the challenges and gifts of health and social service ministry and faith-based nonprofits in the current environment. The second cohort of the Executive Leaders Peer Group will launch in early 2019.

 A directory of Disciples-related health and social service ministries connected with NBA follows this report. For more information about all NBA ministries, and for stories, upcoming events, and worship and study resources, please visit www.nbacares.org.

 

DISCIPLES-RELATED HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICE MINISTRIES

 

A Small Hand
Ann McBroom, Executive Director
Edinburg Christian Church
210 Center Street, PO Box 117, Edinburg, Virginia 22824-0117
(540) 933-6313
www.helpingshenandoahcountyinfantsinneed.blogspot.com

A Small Hand provides age-appropriate food, diapers, and hygiene essentials to infants in need from newborns to 36 months in the Shenandoah County of Virginia. The focus of our ministry is to serve as a specialist pantry providing care to the youngest and most vulnerable members of our community. All of our clients are enrolled in government supplemental feeding programs (SNAP/Food Stamps or WIC). As these programs were never designed to provide a full month of nutrition, families and infants often do not have enough for non-food essentials such as diapers, feeding bottles, pacifiers, and hygiene essentials. These are the gaps that A Small Hand fills. As an all-volunteer agency, the vision and goals of A Small Hand are that children can reach their full developmental potential.

Chain Reaction Ministries
David Finklea, Executive Director
Memorial Drive Christian Church: 11750 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77024
First Christian Church: 3700 N. Walker Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118
(713) 789-0060
www.chainreactionbikes.org

Chain Reaction Ministries provides freedom of transportation to those in need through a ministry of bicycle recycling. Started at Memorial Drive Christian Church in Houston, Texas, CRM recycles bicycles by linking donors with identified needs in the community. CRM had humble beginnings in 2009 by answering a call by Westside Homeless Partnership for used bikes for kids in their program. People have an emotional attachment to their bicycles. It was their first bike, or their kid’s first bike – and they don’t simply want to set it on the curb, or donate it to a large, faceless charity. They want to know that their bike can provide the same freedom and hope to a person in need that they experienced.

Child Saving Institute
Peg Harriott, President and CEO
4545 Dodge Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68132
(402) 553-6000
www.childsaving.org

Child Saving Institute provides a safe haven and healing for thousands of innocent young victims of family crisis, neglect and abuse. We offer the vital services necessary to make at-risk children safe and fractured families whole through programs such as early childhood education, foster care, adoption, an emergency shelter, parenting classes and therapy. Our mission is “responding to the cry of a child,” but it is our vision that guides us as we work to give the children we serve safe, happy childhoods. Our vision is that all children have homes where hope is kindled and dreams can be achieved. This is our work, and they are ALL our children.

Christian Care Communities
Mary Lynn Spaulding, President/CEO
12710 Townepark Way, Suite 1000, Louisville, Kentucky 40243
(800) 662-1738
www.christiancarecommunities.org

Christian Care Communities is the oldest provider of older adult care related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We are Kentucky’s largest faith-based provider of housing, long-term care, adult day centers, and community based services for older adults. We serve approximately 3,000 individuals and their families throughout Kentucky. We actively work with churches helping them with older adult ministries.

Christian Church Homes (CCH)
Don Stump, President and CEO
303 Hegenberger Road, Suite 201, Oakland, California 94621
(510) 632-6712
www.cchnc.org

At Christian Church Homes (CCH) we build and manage affordable housing communities where seniors can live and thrive in the comfort of their own homes, because we believe doing so is better for communities as a whole and the seniors we serve. Having served more than 100,000 seniors over 50 years, CCH has now grown to 57 caring communities that are More Than a Home to residents in seven states.

Christian Services for Children in Alabama
Gerri Johnson, Board Chair
1792 Highway 14 East, Selma, Alabama 36702
(334) 875-0608

Christian Services for Children in Alabama strives to be an organization that has a positive, recognizable, long-term impact on ALL children and youth in our care by providing professional, cost-effective, and timely services. CSCA is a pioneer for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Alabama/Northwest Florida in promoting ministries that nurture, restore, and reclaim those children who have experienced various types of abuse and neglect. We provide opportunities for families and individuals (who wish) to share their love, time, and resources to nurture vulnerable children and youth toward independence and enriched lives.

Cleveland Christian Home
Charles Tuttle, CEO
1400 West 25th Street, 2nd Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
(216) 671-0977
www.cchome.org

Cleveland Christian Home exists to be a haven of hope and healing for children, youth and families struggling with mental illness, abuse and neglect. Cleveland Christian Home will be a center of excellence providing the highest quality services to meet the physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of children, youth and families.

Columbia Area Older Adult Ministry
Rev. Sally A. Robinson, Chaplain
101 North Tenth Street, Columbia, Missouri 65201
(573) 819-5043

The Columbia Area Older Adult Ministry (CAOAM) provides spiritual and emotional support to the growing elderly population in long-term care and retirement communities in the Columbia, MO, area. Though this is an ecumenical ministry, it is recognized as a ministry of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Columbia, MO. Currently CAOAM provides spiritual support in seven long-term care and retirement communities on a regular schedule.

Disciple Homes Management Group
Karen Wardlaw, Administrator/CEO
327 Eden Drive, Longview, Texas 75605
(903) 845-7638
www.disciplehomes.org

Disciple Homes has been providing quality affordable housing for senior adults (age 62 years or older) and their household since 1972 in Northeast Texas. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, rental assistance is available to all of our residents that qualify. Qualified residents pay 30% of their adjusted income for rent and utilities. Disciple Homes Management Group provides social services and housing to meet the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of person, in the loving and caring spirit of Christ.

Disciples Retirement Community of Oklahoma (DRCO)
Sallie Spillman, Board Member
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oklahoma
301 NW 36th St., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118
580-821-6561

Disciples Retirement Community of Oklahoma (DRCO) provides funding to assist Disciples older adults living in Bradford Village senior living community in Edmond, OK.

Florida Christian Center
Rev. Kimberly Weir, Executive Director
1115 Edgewood Avenue S., Jacksonville, Florida 32205
(904) 981-3095
www.flchristiancenter.org

The Florida Christian Center provides ministry, pastoral care, worship services, classes on faith and aging and other programs and services focused on the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the senior and disabled residents in our community. Serving more than 300 residents in three buildings—Sundale Manor Apartments and Florida Christian Apartments provide subsidized housing for senior and disabled adults, along with Edgewood Condominiums, a senior community on-site—and with a full-time Activity Director and full-time Chaplain/Executive Director, FCC seeks to provide an array of services that honor the body, mind and spirit.

Garden of Eden Health Center
Alicia Rodriguez Davila, Founder/CEO
2833 Eagle Eye Court
Kissimmee, FL 34746
(407) 414-5511
www.gardenofedenhealthcenter.org

The Garden of Eden Health Center (GOEHC) is a vision of a future community health clinic; a faith-based health education program focused on women, infants, and children; and a senior and therapeutic health center, deep in the heart of the central mountain range (Cordillera Central) of Jayuya, Puerto Rico. As a not-for-profit healthcare organization, GOEHC aims to provide quality healthcare, preventive medicine, and holistic health education to higher risk communities (rural residences, women, children, and seniors), while also providing local work and volunteer opportunities for children, youth, and families.

 HER Faith Ministries
Rev. Elaine Y. Sanford, Executive Director
3396 Park Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38111
(901) 324-3705
www.herfaithministries.org

HER Faith Ministries is a 501(c)(3) Christian charity that provides assistance to homeless and needy women and children. The ministry provides emergency food, clothing, transportation, dental assistance, and housing to impoverished women and children. HER Faith also provides family counseling and programs for ministry and reading to incarcerated individuals.

Hiram Farm
Leeanne Saro Jereb, Executive Director
PO Box 157, Hiram, Ohio 44234
(330) 569-3441
www.hiramfarm.org

Hiram Farm is a nonprofit organization, agricultural setting that serves developmentally disabled adults, with an emphasis on adults on the autism spectrum. The Farm provides opportunities for these adults to grow, learn, and work in a setting focused on respect and support for individuals and the environment. Here, farmers can develop both professional and social skills and accomplish meaningful work. The program began serving six adults with autism in June 2009. Today, the Farm has grown to provide meaningful work for 24 farmers.

Juliette Fowler Communities
Nicole Gann, President and CEO
1234 Abrams Road, Dallas, Texas 75214
(214) 827-0813
www.fowlercommunities.org

Juliette Fowler Communities is a neighborhood of choice and connection, of caring and service, of faith and fulfillment. Founded more than 120 years ago as an intergenerational community, Fowler serves children, youth and seniors, as well as their families, at our East Dallas location. As a continuing care retirement community, Fowler’s residential services and care offerings for older adults include: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Support, Health and Rehabilitation, and Affordable Senior Housing. As an intergenerational community, Fowler’s residential offerings for children, youth and young women include: Foster-to-Adopt and The Ebby House.

Manistee Manor Apartment Homes
Debi Windahl, Administrator
7987 N. 53rd Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85301
(623) 915-5039
www.manisteemanor.com

In the loving and caring spirit of Christ, Disciples House of Glendale Inc. and Manistee Manor are passionately committed to exceed the needs and expectations of our residents by providing quality senior housing and other services to enhance the lives of those we serve in a friendly family-style community environment. A place our residents are proud to call home. Manistee provides apartment home rentals for our low-income senior residents in a safe and caring environment where they can continue to age in place independently (with or without the help of out-side services) in an active senior community.

Mission Behind Bars and Beyond
Rev. Dean Bucalos, Executive Director
PO Box 22-34, Louisville, Kentucky, 40252
(502) 396-3543
www.missionbehindbarsandbeyond.org

Mission Behind Bars and Beyond is a nonprofit, faith-based organization providing community based mentoring programs for those released from prison and returning to communities in Kentucky. In conjunction with a Disciples of Christ congregation, New Life in Christ Christian Church, which is located in a women’s halfway house, we minister to those incarcerated, train outside volunteers to form Nurture, Support and Accountability Groups (NSAG) and connect returning citizens with a NSAG which will then walk alongside each person for six months to a year to equip them for a successful re-entry into the community to which they are returning.

New Communion
Rev. David Harrison, Jr., Director
2320 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104
(336) 722-2714
www.newcommunion.org

New Communion is a faith-based organization with the goal of enhancing community relationships and diminishing the impacts of hunger and food insecurity. We are committed to providing nourishing food and being in relationship with those experiencing food insecurity and hunger in the communities we serve. Through the model of Asset Based Community Development, New Communion emphasizes shared abundance in ways that transform individuals and systems of poverty. We function as an interfaith organization and utilize interdisciplinary practices in order to promote healthy food systems through shared abundance and redistribution of resources. Currently, New Communion is feeding over 150 local families a week, and would like to continue to grow, increasing the number of families being fed, using shared abundance and expanding our food and financial sponsorship to support securing healthy nutrition for all.

Oakland Peace Center
Rev. Sandhya Jha, Executive Director
111 Fairmount Avenue, Oakland, California 94611
www.oaklandpeacecenter.org

As an emerging social entrepreneurship nonprofit model of ministry, the Oakland Peace Center exists as a physical space (40,000 square feet gifted by First Christian Church of Oakland) and a network of people and organizations (over 40 Bay Area based nonprofits). It brings together more than 40 direct service, advocacy, youth empowerment, art and culture-shift nonprofits to connect and collaborate with each other in the struggle for peace and justice.

Oklahoma Family Empowerment Center (OFEC)
Rev. Sharyn Cosby, Executive Director
1020 South Garnett Road, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128
(918) 551-6017
www.ofec.co

Oklahoma Family Empowerment Center, a related organization of In the Spirit Christian Church, is a not-for-profit agency that seeks to provide resources and assistance to individuals and their families that will empower them to live a successful and purposeful life. In an effort to reduce the disparity of minority contact with law enforcement, Oklahoma Family Empowerment Center has entered into an agreement with the City of Tulsa and partnered with various state, local, and community agencies to implement the Tulsa County Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Community and Strategic Planning Demonstration Project through a grant funded by the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

Patchwork Central / Sozo Health Ministry
Rev. John Rich and Amy Rich, Co-Executive Directors
100 Washington Avenue, Evansville, Indiana 47713
(812) 424-2735
www.patchwork.org

Patchwork Central has worked to serve its neighborhood through flexible and innovative programming that matches the talents and interests of those involved to the needs of our community. Today, Patchwork serves individuals and families with a food pantry (since 1982), neighborhood hospitality (a cup of coffee, telephone usage, someone to listen, etc.), a community garden (created in 1995), low-rent facilities for other community organizations, a bicycle program for the homeless, a Health Ministry, and unique art/education programs (Arts & Smarts) that have been available free of charge to at-risk children and youth since 1980. As part of the community fabric, Patchwork Central changes the lives of those it serves by giving them a sense of hope, a place of acceptance, and a bright outlook for the future.

QC Family Tree
Rev. Helms Jarrell and Rev. Greg Jarrell, Executive Directors
2910 Parkway Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208
(704) 654-7429
www.qcfamilytree.org

QC Family Tree’s mission is to be kinfolk rooted in discipleship in West Charlotte, NC. They embody this mission through creativity, prayer, and welcome. The Family Tree offers hospitality in their homes to neighbors who are in transition. Participants enjoy family-style meals each evening with neighbors and guests and gather for prayer every weekday morning and midday. The ministry has grown to include: Freedom School summer literacy camp, Wednesday evening dinner and devotionals for youth and children, twice monthly community meals, arts activities, young adult leadership development through internship programs, edible gardens, community outreach activities, and microbusiness in order that provides employment to neighbors as well as sustainable income to their nonprofit.

Reach Beyond Mission
Rev. Mary Lu Johnston, Executive Director
15907 Braesgate Drive, Austin, Texas 78717
(512) 218-4335
www.reachbeyondmission.org

Reach Beyond Mission is a fully planned youth mission/poverty education experience. Youth join youth from other churches across the country to explore issues of culture, gender, and poverty in an urban setting. Participants volunteer at numerous metropolitan area nonprofits working with the homeless, low-income families, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Summer mission week focus on food justice, housing, or advocacy. RBM provides speakers, age-appropriate activities, and discussion starters to help young people explore the biblical, theological, economic, social, and political issues related to poverty. Our goal is to help youth begin to explore how to spend a lifetime changing the systems that sustain poverty through their votes, career choices, and how they spend their money.

Recovery Café San Jose
Ken Goldstein, Executive Director
80 South 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 294-2963

Home

Recovery Cafe San Jose is a healing community for those traumatized by homelessness, addiction, and mental health challenges. We are founded on the belief that every human being is precious, worthy of love, and deserving of the opportunities to fulfill his or her potential. Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Recovery Cafe San Jose members come for long-term support in a safe, sober, and supportive environment. Program elements include Recovery Circles (small, peer-support groups), School for Recovery classes in job and life skills, group meals, guest speakers, creative activities, and connections to community resources. Through the Cafe, members gather the skills and strength needed to gain and maintain employment and housing, and achieve their goals in health, family, and sobriety.

Safe Haven Day Shelter
Joni Laurence and Donna Hawley, Co-Coordinators
6165 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22044
(703) 532-8220
www.fccfc.org/safe-haven/

Safe Haven in Falls Church, VA, is a drop-in program working together with Northern Virginia Family Services to provide a welcoming environment for those experiencing homelessness and poverty. This program began as an outreach program at First Christian Church to an average of 15-20 individuals and has grown to a drop-in program serving more than 100 clients weekly, now an interfaith coalition of faith-based communities contributing hot meals and volunteers to the program.

Serra Center
Lisa Senadenos, CEO
2610 Central Avenue, Suite 120, Union City, California 94587
(510) 477-1000
www.serracenter.org

Serra Center offers three types of support services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF-DDH) provides 24-hour care and supervision in six-bed homes in residential neighborhoods. Individuals in Supported Living Services live in the environment of their choice, with care and support based on their individual needs. Independent Living Services provide services focusing on specific identified living skills, working toward eliminating the need for services when the skills are mastered. All individuals served are active during the day either at jobs or in a day program

SHARE (Sharing Hands: A Respite Experience)
Rev. Tom Jones, Executive Director
3500 N. A Street, Suite 2200, Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 818-1253
http://sharewtx.org

Upon the diagnosis of a child’s disability, families find themselves on a lonely journey in which they are isolated from friends, other families who care for children with special needs, and the community. The constant care demands of the child’s disability create stress and leave little time for relationships and personal care. SHARE provides respite care for these families, including parent support groups, counseling services, family events, and programming for siblings. SHARE cares for the whole family because strong families are needed to provide care for the person with special needs—now and well into the future.

Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, Inc.
Jamie Himes, Executive Director
860 East River Place, Suite 104, Jackson, Mississippi 39202
(601) 354-0983
www.scscy.org

SCSCY provides services through 11 different statewide locations including therapeutic group homes for children and youth, a transitional living facility for older teens who are homeless, an array of adoption, therapeutic foster case, and post adoption services, and education services that include independent living preparation for teens in the foster care system, and abstinence education for at-risk youth.

SquareOne Villages (formerly Opportunity Village)
Rev. Dan Bryant, Executive Director
458 Blair Boulevard, Eugene, Oregon 97402
(541) 606-4455
www.squareonevillages.org

As we grow into an organization with multiple projects, Opportunity Village Eugene has recently evolved to SquareOne Villages. Our mission continues to be to create self-managed communities of low-cost tiny houses for people in need of housing. SquareOne Villages has two projects: Opportunity Village Eugene, which provides transitional shelter for approximately 35 people, and Emerald Village Eugene, an affordable housing project of 22 tiny homes being built in fall 2016. Both communities provide stable, safe and sustainable places for people in need of housing through alternative, cost-effective approaches.

StoneSoup Community Venture / Tulsa’s Table
Rev. Christy Moore, Founder and CEO
2232 S. Nogales Ave. Tulsa, OK 74107
(918) 984-8225
www.tulsastable.org

Tulsa’s Table is a project of StoneSoup Community Venture, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2010. Our identity springs from the heart of the stone soup folktale, in which community members provide valuable contributions that turn a soup of stone into a nourishing, sustainable meal. The mission of Tulsa’s Table is to provide enriching, seed-to-table educational experiences as solutions to hunger and poverty for youth living in at-risk communities in Tulsa. Our objective is to nourish community for a purpose by providing opportunities for youth to obtain solid job and life skills through the learning laboratory operations of a food production garden and our pay-what-you-can community café. The long-range goal is for our garden and café to be fully operated by graduates of our programming who develop a sense of ownership in the operation through their learning experiences at Tulsa’s Table. The garden will supply fresh, locally-grown food to the café that will function five days per week, serving lunch or dinner to everyone on a pay-what-you-can basis.

The Summit
Gina Meadows, Executive Director
1400 Enterprise Drive, Lynchburg, Virginia 24502
(434) 941-7606
www.summitlynchburg.com

The Summit is a senior living community providing an environment for each resident to be engaged in life. We provide services, amenities and facilities that support an active lifestyle in Independent Living for each individual. As residents’ needs change, The Summit’s campus has a continuum of care available through Assisted Living and The Summit Health and Rehab Center.

Tennyson Center for Children
Ned Breslin, CEO
2950 Tennyson Center, Denver, Colorado 80212
(303) 433-2541
www.tennysoncenter.org

Tennyson Center provides 24-hour intensive residential care, day treatment, special education and home/community based services for approximately 150 children and their families every day. Children with severe behavioral and mental health problems along with educational delays are the primary client population. The families of these children have experienced or are experiencing extreme trauma, physical and/or sexual abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, or extreme poverty and/or homelessness. Tennyson is a leader in advocating for the needs of all children and families in need in Colorado through legislative and policy development.

UrbanMission Community Partners
Rev. Al Lopez, President
810 S. White Avenue, Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 764-8054
http://www.um-cp.org

Located on the campus of UrbanMission (a UCC/DOC new church start), UMCP is a community-focused nonprofit organization that seeks community wholeness, resilience, and sustainability in the Pomona area of Los Angeles County, California, by working with families and individuals at risk from poverty, hunger, homelessness, incarceration, and/or inadequate education and healthcare. In cooperation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the United Church of Christ, as well as other denominations, faith communities, neighborhoods, community organizations, and public/ government entities​, UMCP​ actively seeks out and develops opportunities to empower and walk with our community towards a brighter tomorrow. This includes but is not limited to: Social service provision to individuals, families, and neighborhoods at risk from poverty, hunger, homelessness, incarceration, and/or inadequate education and health care. Other opportunities for UMCP’s intended work include involvement in nonviolent civic engagement; advocacy for social uplift in local, state, and national legislation; urban agriculture; supportive and transitional housing for vulnerable populations; and deeply inclusive neighborhoods

Woodhaven
Mark Palmer, CEO
1405 Hathman Place, Columbia, Missouri 65201
(573) 881-9840
www.woodhaventeam.org

Woodhaven is a caring team advocating for those with disabilities. Its Community Living program supports more than 100 men and women in more than 50 apartments and homes, and its Community Connections program provides opportunities for individuals who do not work during the day. Our mission is not just about providing supports; it is about working toward a fundamental shift in how the community perceives people with disabilities. Every day, the men and women we support are living full, independent lives as active members of the community. With every shirt they buy, hour they work, and life they touch, they’re changing the face of ability.

 

NBA Board of Trustees
Jackie Compton Bunch, Chair, Columbus, Ohio
Bob Cooper, Vice Chair, Denver, Colorado
Mary Lou Kegler, Secretary, Kansas City, Missouri
William Jennison, Treasurer, Spokane, Washington
Cindy Kim Hengst, At-Large, Chicago, Illinois
Jabari Butler, Atlanta, Georgia
Alex Cooper, Cleburne, Texas
Jacque Foster, St. Louis, Missouri
Willie Garcia, Yonkers, New York
Ariel Kidwell, Dallas, Texas
Audrey Jackson, Cleveland, Ohio
Lisa Legeer, Jacksonville, Florida
Cristian Marin, Eureka, Illinois
Suzanne Quenette, Austin, Texas
Darren Phelps, Washington, D.C.
Orlando Scott, Norcross, Georgia
Mark D. Anderson, St. Louis, Missouri*
Terri Hord Owens, Indianapolis, Indiana**
Michael Readinger, Cleveland, Ohio**
*Ex-Officio with Vote

**Ex-Officio without Vote

 

NBA Staff
Mark D. Anderson, President and CEO
Dietra Wise Baker, Program Coordinator for Advocacy and Activism
Jordan Bles, Director of Development
Ben Bohren, Mission Specialist, NBA XPLOR
Dean Bucalos, Mission Specialist, Prison and Jail Ministries
Dani Loving Cartwright, Vice President of Operations
Lesley Durham, Director of Operations Accounting
Angelica Santiago Gonzalez, Administrative Assistant, Operations
Rebecca Hale, Executive Vice President
Héctor J. Hernández, Coordinator, NBA Connect Ministries
Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick, Director of NBA Connect Ministries
Christine Koetting, Associate Vice President of Accounting
Virzola Law, Mission Specialist, NBA XPLOR
April Lewton, Vice President of Development and Marketing
Larry J. Morris III, Program Associate, NBA Incubate Initiative
Bonnie Osei-Frimpong, Director of NBA XPLOR
Kara Whitehouse, Executive Support Manager
Angela Whitenhill, Mental Health Initiative Manager
Kasi Zieminski, Director of Marketing
Gary Zimmerman, Vice President for Administration and CFO

 

Rev. Sandhya Jha

sandhya-jha1Sandhya Jha serves as founder and director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations creating access, equity and dignity for all in Oakland and the Bay Area. Sandhya’s commitments to interfaith and interracial work were shaped by her Scottish (Presbyterian) mother and Indian (Hindu) father, as were her love of music and love of both chick pea curry and macaroni and cheese (although not together). She’s the youngest of 14 cousins, the rest of whom live in India and whom she is desperate to visit again.

Former pastor of First Christian Church of Oakland and former Director of Interfaith Programs at East Bay Housing Organizations, Sandhya is the author of Room at the Table, the history of people of color in the Disciples of Christ, and  Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines (Chalice Press) on the subject of race and spirituality in America. Pre-Post-Racial America was listed as one of the top five books on race and religion in 2015 by Publishers Weekly. She serves as an anti-racism/anti-oppression trainer with Reconciliation Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is a faith-rooted organizer with Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (formerly Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice – CA) and with the Emerging Leaders Program at the Leadership Institute at Allen Temple. Sandhya is particularly proud of her podcast, Hope from the Hood, available oniTunes and at sandhyajha.com.

Ordained at National City Christian Church in 2005 as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, Sandhya is pretty proud to have received both a Master of Divinity and Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where her joint thesis was on the subject of “Public Goods, Public Bads, the Common Good and the Common Burden: Environmental Racism as a case study on the intersection of Public Policy and Theological Ethics.” Before graduate school, Sandhya first worked for Congressman Thomas C. Sawyer of Akron, Ohio and then for the religious liberty organization The Interfaith Alliance. She gets far more excited about urban policy than a normal person should, and she loves to sing folk, jazz and gospel even though she was trained for classical music.