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Charity

Charity is about being good-hearted, but justice is about something more. Individual sympathy is good and virtuous, but it doesn’t necessarily change the social, economic and political structures that unfairly victimize some people and unduly privilege others. We need to be fair and good of heart, but we also need to have fair and good […] Read More

How do we confront the structural challenges that break people, rather than offer sticking-plaster solutions? I was invited recently to talk about “patterns of need on the Isle of Man.” I joined colleagues from other charities and agencies as we shared about growing numbers of people in food and fuel poverty, about the prevalence of […] Read More

Robert Lupton has urged churches and other charities to reconsider and revise their mission strategies in order to make them more effective. If a church deems Lupton’s challenge, expounded in his book, “Toxic Charity,” to be valid, what are the steps a congregation can take to instill a sense of empowerment and not a sense […] Read More

I was prompted to rethink my own presuppositions about stewardship after reading Ron Sider’s probing book, “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity,” several years ago. More recently, I have been thinking more deeply about the church’s missional strategy as we have wrestled with Robert Lupton’s “Toxic Charity: How Churches […] Read More

While browsing an Oxfam bookshop recently, I saw several books and a CD I would have bought, but, to be honest and upfront about it, they were far too expensive. I know the secondhand book market and the prices that are fair and sensible. The Oxfam pricing policy seems to sit at the highest end […] Read More

A healthy Christian spirituality includes both an internal life of integrity that is developed through a personal relationship with Christ and an external life of ministry that is expressed through self-giving service for the good of others.  The life of service includes both personal and communal acts of mercy and compassion as well as social […] Read More

(RNS) If Dec. 10 had been an average day for Doctors Without Borders, the Swiss charity that sends medical help into crisis areas, its website would have logged 4,000 hits.    Instead, it was bombarded with more than 10 times that amount as atheists from the user-driven news site Reddit.com participated in a fundraiser that […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans: the most generous people in the world. In this season of giving, that’s no idle gloat. According to a new study, the United States tops a massive global charity survey, rising from fifth place in 2010. The “World Giving Index,” based on 150,000 interviews with citizens of 153 nations, ranks the U.S. […] Read More

ST. LOUIS (RNS) As members of The Gathering began to hear of the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments after Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols had signed a $254 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, they decided to act. “We heard people were burning their Pujols jerseys, and someone said, ‘Why […] Read More

I don’t normally respond to critical letters about my column, but I have decided to make an exception because certain recent critical remarks have offered a teachable moment – and there is nothing I love more than a teachable moment.   In a recent column I made disparaging comments about political conservatives and their concern […] Read More