FAITH BASED INITIATIVE/SOCIAL MINISTRY IN OUR LIFE
By Ebelechukwu Elochukwu “The dignity of every human being is the foundation of any moral society. The Family is the first social center that needs to be supported by sharing our life and services with the community in a society of human beings with rights and responsibilities.” The aforementioned thought cross-referencing the following statements reinforces our vision to share our life of service with the poor, weak and special needs in the society and to extend it to the faith communities:
Research has shown that children who engage in social, leisure and recreational activities are more appropriately developed than those who don’t. It is also an empirical fact that children learn more through play and social interactions with people and their environment.
According to The Office of Community Services, Administration for Children & Families, United States Department of Health & Human Services; “Prevention and intervention services are those services or activities designed to provide early identification and/or timely intervention to support families and prevent or ameliorate the consequences of, abuse, neglect, or family violence, or to assist in making arrangement for alternate placements or living arrangements where necessary.” They also defined Recreational Services as “Those services or activities designed to provide, or assist individuals to take advantage of, individual or group activities directed towards promoting physical, cultural, and/or social development.” Additionally, “Special services for youth involved in or at risk of involvement with criminal activity are those services or activities for youth who are, or who may become, involved with the juvenile justice system and their families. Components services or activities are designed to enhance family functioning and/or modify the youth’s behavior with the goal of developing socially appropriate behavior and may include counseling, intervention therapy, and residential and medical services if included as an integral but subordinate part of the service,” (USDHHS). Similar expectations could also be found in Annotated Code of Maryland (COMAR) 10.21.29.07.Faith Based participation as members of the community will align us all with The Administration for Children & Families Mission whose outcome focus includes “Families and individuals empowered to increase their own economic independence and productivity and strong, healthy, supportive communities that have a positive impact on the quality of life and the development of children.” Like President Bush said in his speech on The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) of The United States Department of Health and Human Services call for participation of faith-based and community organizations as essential partners in assisting our country’s neediest citizens, “The paramount goal is compassionate results, and private and charitable groups, including religious ones, should have the fullest opportunity permitted by law to compete on a level playing field…” We are willing and ready to partner with such organization.
We need many more outstanding Citizens in our communities who take civic participation, community integration and accessing community resources with great zeal and passion. The more we can do that, the better we are equipped to take charge and control of our community life, harmonious co-existence and protect the most sacred part of our society which is THE FAMILY individually and communally. The culture of life is in the family which is the only structure that can defeat the culture of death.I will end my conclusion with The Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) statement that “It has marked a path away from large, impersonal programs designed in Washington and toward solutions built within local communities that center on the personal touch of neighbor serving neighbor.”