Dear Church Family,
Many of you have queried, “How we can live creatively during these days?" Some are knitting prayer shawls, others delivering Meals on Wheels, many calling people, and most are praying too.There are art projects, moments to Zoom, and postcards to send. Please email other ideas about how to stay connected during these odd days.
In speaking with my dear friend from high school, a creative business person, I asked him to share some of the ways he has been working to empower change. He sent me the ideas below I share with you to spark our imagination. Beyond care of family and pledging in time, talent, and treasure to church, Mark Fogas writes about his experience-
- Several years ago I created a scholarship in my parents’ name. This is endowed and will provide one or two scholarships per year. This year we changed the criteria for selection to include minority students who have a demonstrated financial need who are first generation college attenders. The recipients can get this every year.
- Because it simply takes time for scholarships to generate enough income to support multiple awards, I made donations to the university to allow them to award two additional $1,000 scholarships each year for the next five years while the endowment continues to grow in principle.
- I had our company establish a partnership with several Historically Black College and Universities that will provide paid internships during the summer of each school year, with the intention that when they graduate and are proficent in the job, they will transition into a full-time position.
- With so many families struggling to get the technology they need for their kids to do online schooling, I partnered with a local middle school to provide 30 wifi hotspots to families. The school board is providing chrome books, but many families do not have access to, or cannot afford, Internet Service at their home.
- In partnered with an organization called Homestretch, which provides support services to homeless families, we were able to get Chrome Books and printers so they can create a learning lab in their facility to help kids with either after-school tutoring or providing them access to technology for schooling.
- With the university from which I graduated, we established a Minority Opportunity Scholarship. This will be established with resources defined in my estate when I pass away. This will fund multiple scholarships annually for minority students.
- I recently had the opportunity to begin discussions about a skill development program with a shelter that houses women and children who don’t have someplace to live who are in transition away from situations of domestic violence. The intention is to help them develop skills that will lead to full-time employment.
May Mark’s creative vision help inspire us to think broadly about our corners of the world. What projects fir our passions and skills? We hold to the prophet Micah's words, What does God require of us but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. How might we follow Micah's call today?
Peace on the journey and for the ministries of life,