Volume 5, Number 20 • October 15, 2011 • www.agrm.org        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
 
     
 
     
 
     

 


                                                                                                                                     
        
AGRM board meeting concludes in Colorado Springs

Members of the AGRM board just concluded three days of meetings at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs, not far from the AGRM offices. This was the final meeting for Board Chairman David Treadwell, who has been on the board for nine years (his term finishes December 31, 2011). A full docket of business included changes to the personnel manual, clarification on receipting of gifts to AGRM members outside the U.S., AGRM's involvement in Movement Day, and another dozen or so items of business. Much of the time was spent finalizing a strategic plan for the association. More information on that plan will be available in January. "I am absolutely thrilled with the progress AGRM has made over the past several years," said Treadwell. "We are a healthy organization with a clear, compelling vision, and a chance to make a major difference for Jesus Christ in a world that needs His gospel so very much."

Board names new officers

Starting January 1, 2012, the AGRM board chair will be Brad Meuli from Denver Rescue Mission (Denver, Colo.). Vice-chair will be Ed Morgan from The Bowery Mission (New York, N.Y.). Ken Peterson of Union Gospel Mission—Twin Cities (St. Paul, Minn.) is the new secretary. The treasurer position will be held by Roy Tullgren of Gospel Rescue Mission of Tucson (Tucson, Ariz.). Elections will be held later this year for a member-at-large plus three district representatives.

Snapshot Survey takes place this week!

AGRM will conduct its annual national Snapshot Survey on Friday, October 21. AGRM members from across the country participate in the Snapshot Survey by reporting on the demographics of individuals and families using mission services. As a participant you will receive your mission’s results, along with a media release that can be used to share your story and compare the local mission numbers to those of missions across the country. The official survey date is Friday, October 21, but many missions have suggested that Friday is not the best day for them to participate. You may complete the survey on the one day most convenient for your ministry between Monday, October 17, and Sunday, October 23. If you don’t have staff members available to complete the survey, consider bringing in volunteers to help with the data collection. For more information, visit the survey webpage, email Director of Public Relations Nicole Daniels, or call her at (719) 266-8300 ext. 103.

AGRM members meet with congressional leaders

Recently, Rich Trickel and Mark Charvat from The City Mission (Cleveland, Ohio) joined AGRM Government Liaison Rhett Butler to meet with more than a dozen congressional offices with the purpose of educating key lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the deficit reduction “super committee”) about the unintended consequences of capping the charitable deduction. Mark and Rhett also met with the chief tax counsels for Senators Baucus and Hatch, the chairman and senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. As a result, AGRM is working to provide information about rescue missions in Montana and Utah so that both offices have a clear sense of the importance of strengthening charitable giving in their home states. Rhett is also working on behalf of AGRM members to provide similar information to other members of the Senate Finance Committee as they prepare for a hearing on Tax Reform Options: Incentives for Charitable Giving, which is scheduled for tomorrow. For additional information on any of these events, please contact Rhett via email.

Association adds new members

AGRM continues to attract new members. We welcome the following missions, which joined in October: Jesus House (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Rick Denny, executive director; and New Start Rescue Mission (Quincy, Ill.), Bill Hahn, executive director.

Victory Trade School wins World magazine’s Hope Award

The sixth annual Hope Award for Effective Compassion contest sponsored by World magazine concluded October 14 with the announcement of the national winner at a ceremony in Houston. Some 8,000 readers and supporters voted online during the past few months for the Christian poverty-fighting charity they thought did the best job in providing help that’s challenging, personal, and spiritual. The national winner was Victory Trade School (VTS), the culinary training program of Springfield Victory Mission (Springfield, Mo.). VTS director Victoria Queen accepted the award and a check for $25,000 on behalf of the ministry. The other three regional winners—which included Northeast region winner Bowery Mission Women’s Center, a ministry of The Bowery Mission (New York, N.Y) each received a check for $5,000. For more information, read the magazine’s report on the award ceremony.

Looking down the street…
  • The Springs Rescue Mission (Colorado Springs, Colo.) broke ground for an expansion of its Life Recovery Center on October 13. AGRM President John Ashmen joined Springs Rescue Mission CEO Joe Vazquez for the ceremony, luncheon, and a special $500,000 grant presentation from the Dallas Home Loan Bank.
  • Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission (Los Angeles, Calif.) was honored with the Servant Leadership Award, presented at the Pacific District meetings by district president Jim Lewis, president/CEO of Long Beach Rescue Mission (Long Beach, Calif.).
  • Speaking of Jim Lewis—congratulations go to him for earning his Masters of Intercultural Studies in Global Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary.

 

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New Sesame Street character faces battle with hunger

The issue of hunger is reaching the youngest among us through the long-running show Sesame Street. During a prime-time special called “Growing Hope Against Hunger,” which aired October 9 on PBS, Sesame Street introduced a new character named Lily, a 7-year-old Muppet whose family is facing an ongoing struggle with hunger. According to a CBS News report, the episode aired to help address issues about poverty and hunger. In the show, the well-known Muppet, Elmo, helps his new friend Lily volunteer at a food drive to collect goods for those in need. During the special, the new, vibrantly colored Muppet also visited a community garden and talked about her family's hunger issues with the rest of the cast.

Medical community hopes vaccines can help defeat addictions

Imagine a vaccine to help people quit smoking—someone trying to quit would light up a cigarette and feel nothing. Or a vaccine against cocaine, one that would prevent addicts from enjoying the drug’s high. While neither is imminent, both are on the drawing board, as are vaccines to combat other addictions. According to a New York Times report, scientists are at work on shots that could one day release people from the grip of substances, just as they once successfully created vaccines to battle and even eliminate diseases such as polio, smallpox, and diphtheria. Just like shots against disease, vaccines against addictions would work by spurring the immune system to produce antibodies that would shut down the narcotic before it could take root in the body or in the brain. Unlike preventive vaccines, however, this type of injection would be administered after someone had already succumbed to an addictive drug. For example, cocaine addicts who had been vaccinated before they snorted cocaine would feel like they’d used “dirty coke,” and sense that they were wasting their money. Because addiction is believed to cause physical changes in the brain, doctors are increasingly pursuing medical solutions to drug problems.

Mississippi voters weigh constitutional abortion ban

A national effort to amend state constitutions with abortion bans is seeking its first victory next month. According to an sfgate.com report, voters in Mississippi are being asked to approve an amendment declaring that life begins when a human egg is fertilized. Supporters hope the so-called personhood initiative will succeed in a state that already has some of the nation's toughest abortion regulations and only a single clinic where the procedures are performed. While Mississippi is the only state with such an amendment on the ballot this fall, efforts are under way to put the question to voters in at least four other states in 2012. One constitutional law professor notes, however, that Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court rulings have required states to allow abortions up to the point that a fetus could survive outside of the womb—approximately 24 weeks. The group behind the amendment—Personhood USA—eventually wants to amend the U.S. Constitution, although similar "human life" amendments have been introduced on the federal level repeatedly over the past 30 years and have failed.

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Churches often first to see families facing poverty

For churches across the country, working families that aren't able to make ends meet are becoming an all-too-familiar sight. As household resources get tapped out, says a USA Today report, churches are often the first to see the changing face of poverty—and it's often a young one. "The most disadvantaged families oftentimes don't go to formal settings to receive services, but they will go into a church," said Taniesha Woods, senior research associate at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University. "Churches can provide information and reach families and children who wouldn't know about (public) services otherwise." Across the United States, rising numbers of children are coping with the stressors of economic hardship. Some examples: Child poverty rates reached 22 percent in 2010, up from 20.7 percent in 2009 and 16.2 percent in 2000; the number of children living in poverty increased from 13.1 million to 15.5 million over the past decade; 4 percent of American children have been affected by home foreclosures since 2007; and 11 percent had at least one unemployed parent in 2010.

Heart disease rates in U.S. trend downward

The prevalence of heart disease in the United States is declining, although rates vary widely depending on gender, race, education, and geography, according to new figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As summarized in a CNN report, the study found that the coronary heart disease decreased from 6.7 percent to 6.0 percent from 2006 to 2010. Men, American Indians and native Alaskans, those with less than a high school education, and Southerners had significantly higher rates of heart disease; women, Asian, Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders, those with advanced degrees, and residents in Hawaii and Connecticut had the lowest rates. Researches said that access to care, lifestyle, and education were all factors in these disparities. Among the CDC’s findings: The prevalence of heart disease among men in 2010 was 7.8 percent, compared with 4.6 percent for women; some 11.6 percent of American Indians and native Alaskans reported having coronary heart disease; that figure was 6.5 percent for blacks, 6.1 percent for Hispanics, 5.8 percent for whites, and 3.9 percent for Asians, Hawaiians, and Pacific islanders. Among people with less than a high school diploma, 9.2 percent reported having heart disease, compared with 4.6 percent with more than a college degree. Comparing states: Kentucky (8.2 percent) and West Virginia (8.0 percent) had the highest prevalence of heart disease. Hawaii (3.7 percent) and Connecticut (4.4 percent) had the lowest.

ER visits rise for children with mental health issues

The number of emergency room visits due to mental health problems of children and young adults is on the rise. According to an msnbc report, researchers analyzed data from 279 million visits kids made to emergency rooms around the country from 1999 to 2007. Over that eight-year period, the percentage of those visits attributable to psychiatric complaints rose from 2.4 percent to 3 percent. This increase translates to hundreds of thousands of additional psychiatry-related ER visits per year. The largest rise was seen among children who have no health insurance or public health insurance. A secondary factor is a shortage of outpatient mental health specialists—if a patient or parent can't easily find an outpatient specialist to help them, they turn to the emergency department. The reasons for the psychiatric visits in those under age 19 fit into six broad categories: depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues were the most common, while suicide attempts, drug use, and alcohol problems were cited less often.

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Strolling Taste Fest

Folks in New Baltimore, Michigan, took part in a fun and delicious fundraising event by sampling some of the best cuisine offered by local restaurants. According to a local newspaper’s report, proceeds from the $30 admission went to three local charities. The public voted for their favorite dish, the People's Choice, while a separate judge's panel made up of local dignitaries decided their own winner. The event also featured silent auction items donated by local businesses, and guests who brought donations of non-perishable food items were entered into a drawing for a prize provided by a local bank.

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Salem, Oregon: Director of Advancement—Reporting to the President/CEO as a member of the Executive Council, this exempt professional develops and coordinates the overall strategy and administration of fundraising programs including, but not limited to: direct mail, newsletters, major donor development, and grant writing. Other areas of responsibility include church & community relations, and volunteer department. Bachelor’s degree or higher in marketing, fundraising, or related field. Minimum five years nonprofit fundraising with supervisory experience. For more information and employment application visit the Union Gospel Mission Salem website. Added 10/15/2011

Indianapolis, Indiana: Chief Administrative Officer—Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis is accepting résumés for chief administrative officer. This position is responsible for managing the business affairs of the ministry: accounting, budgeting, personnel, purchasing, resource development, insurance, food service, and maintaining and developing all ministry property. Strong accounting and management knowledge plus written and oral communication skills, experience in managing/executing business processes, and strong people skills plus ability to implement business process improvements/changes. Business degree with accounting major from accredited college. Five or more years accounting/operations experience. Please send résumé to Debbie Moore, human relations director. Added 10/15/2011

Hickory, North Carolina: Warehouse and Gallery Manager—Safe Harbor Rescue Mission in Hickory is seeking an individual to manage its creative reuse center. Seeking a mature Christian female with experience in both warehouse and retail operations in a supervisory capacity. Strong people skills, plus written and oral communication skills, and ability to implement business process improvements/changes required. Creativity and artistic ability a plus. Résumés or request for more information should be directed to Debbie Haynes. Added 10/1/2011

Wichita Falls, Texas: Executive Director—Faith Mission, a fiscally sound nonprofit organization serving homeless men, women, and children in North Texas, is seeking an executive director. The salary and benefit package is competitive. The applicant should have significant upper management and preferably CEO experience. The executive director will direct and support the efforts of the senior leadership team and staff. An energetic and committed Christian with a participatory leadership style who wants to make a difference in the lives of the homeless in Wichita Falls is encouraged to apply. A cover letter and résumé may be submitted to Mark Inman. Please include two work references and two personal references with names and phone numbers on your résumé. Added 10/1/2011

Colorado Springs, Colorado: Supportive Family Services Director—Springs Rescue Mission is seeking a Supportive Family Services Director to lead and develop a new family ministry program and expand the Resource Advocate Program. Details available at the mission website. Added 10/1/2011

Holbrook, Arizona: Kitchen Manager, Office Personnel, Woodshop Director, or combination—Two to three positions, can be filled by a married couple or single men. Housing provided and small stipend. Unlimited opportunities to lead Bible studies, chapel, and disciple individuals. Contact Cherise Merrick via email cherisemerrick@hotmail.com or phone (928) 241-1061. Added 10/1/2011

Nashville, Tennessee: President/CEO—The Nashville Rescue Mission, a 900-bed, fiscally sound, nonprofit organization serving homeless men, women and children in Middle Tennessee is seeking a president and chief executive officer (CEO) due to the upcoming retirement of our current CEO. The salary and benefits package is competitive. The applicant should have significant upper management and preferably CEO experience. The CEO will direct and support the efforts of a senior leadership team along with a staff of 130 and oversee an annual budget of $12 million. Strategic planning is completed under the direction of our board of directors. Past experience in nonprofit management is desirable, but not mandatory. An energetic and committed Christian with a participatory leadership style who wants to make a difference in the lives of Nashville’s homeless is encouraged to apply. A cover letter and résumé can be submitted after completing an application at this website link. Please include two work references with names and phone numbers on your résumé. All candidate submissions, including reference contacts, will be handled with strict confidentiality. Learn more about this dynamic organization by visiting the mission’s website. Added 10/1/2011


To advertise in future Market Street Classifieds:
            
Members of AGRM can place a 30-word classified ad listing available positions in two consecutive issues of Street Smart at no charge; additional words will be charged at 50 cents per word. Non-members can place an ad for $25 per issue for a 30-word ad; additional words will be charged at 50 cents per word. AGRM members can renew ads after the second placement at $15 per issue for a 30-word ad. Ads are also placed on the AGRM website. Members can also sponsor Street Smart for $350 per issue. Email desired ad placement to Brad Lewis (subject line: Street Smart advertising). Ads are subject to editing to conform to Street Smart style, and AGRM reserves the right to reject any ads or sponsorships it deems inappropriate for members. All ads are due one week before issue date.

 

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The First Button

When I was a little boy, I would always choose a pullover shirt before a button-up. A button-up messed me up. I would get all buttoned and then look in the mirror, only to discover I had an extra button on the top and an extra hole on the bottom. With my misaligned buttons, the shirt hung crooked and I had to start over.

One day my aunt saw my frustration and said, “Micheal, instead of starting in the middle, start buttoning your shirt at the top or bottom. If you get the first button right, the others will be right too.”

When I think about our lives, I think we can learn a lot from my aunt’s advice. We try to adjust our lives midway through and we can’t get things straight. We wonder why we struggle with people, with God, and with circumstances. We struggle because we have overlooked the “first button” of love.

Jesus summarized the Christian life by saying that as forgiven and reborn people, we should love God and others: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-38).
 
Love is the first button—when we get love in its right place, so much of life finds its place too.

 

Contributed by Micheal Woods, executive director of Western Carolina Rescue Ministries (Asheville, N.C.). Reprinted with permission from The Beacon newsletter.

To contribute: If you would like to write a devotional thought for "Street Light," please make it about 200 words and include at least one Bible verse or passage, and submit via email.
           

           
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All Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, unless otherwise noted. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
            

Street Smart is sent to you as a member service of AGRM. The content does not necessarily represent the views of or imply endorsement by AGRM. To submit items for publication, e-mail editor@agrm.org. To unsubscribe, email unsubscribe@agrm.org.             

 
                                                                                                      
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