Volume 6, Number 3 • February 1, 2012 • www.agrm.org
AGRM staff in motion
Today marks the first day of work for AGRM Director of Member Services Justin Boles. He comes to AGRM with five years of CEO experience and four years of association management experience. Justin joins the rest of the Colorado Springs staff and remote associates who are all gathering in Colorado for three days of planning meetings, also starting today. Soon after, the team will be back on the road representing AGRM and serving members. Speaking of traveling, AGRM President John Ashmen dropped by the Russ Reid Missions Development Conference in Newport Beach, California, last week to bring an AGRM update and connect with members. Next week he is assisting the Charlotte Rescue Mission (Charlotte, N.C.) in board and executive team planning. Throughout the next several months, John, Justin, Director of Public Relations Nicole Daniels, and Director of Member Engagement Selena Hayle will log quite a few miles representing AGRM and serving mission CEOs and staff.
It’s time to get serious about Orlando!
The annual convention is always the event of the year for the AGRM family—and it still is! Those who don’t attend tell us they feel like they “missed a meeting” or “skipped a great family reunion.” They also say it takes several months to get over not going. You don’t want that…and neither do we. This year, we chose one of North America’s favorite destinations for AGRM’s 99th Annual Convention: Orlando, Florida!
The convention brochure, found in the center of the current issue of Rescue magazine, details all of the valuable seminars and great general sessions offered this year. The brochure is also available online.
We’ve also heard from quite a few folks who’ve told us they are coming early or staying after the convention to take advantage of everything that’s offered in Orlando, including:
AGRM urges registrants to reserve rooms in Orlando
Good news: Last year we had a spike in attendance at our annual convention. Great news: Registrations this year are keeping pace so far. Bad news: We booked our hotel rooms in Orlando two years ago on 2010 and earlier attendance patterns. Last week, we secured all of the guest rooms the Rosen Centre Hotel had remaining—yet that still might not be enough. While we look at other options, we strongly encourage you to register with the Rosen Centre sooner rather than later. This will secure a room for you at the convention venue, and it will help us determine if we need to approach an adjacent hotel for more rooms.
DC Forum offers valuable information and connections
If you haven’t noticed, 2012 is an election year. This means it’s more important than ever for your mission to be present in Washington, D.C., interacting with agencies, lawmakers, caucuses, and committees. AGRM’s DC Forum, March 18–20, provides a great opportunity for mission executive directors and PR professionals to learn about the latest government issues affecting faith-based organizations that work with homeless and addicted people. This event will also give you a unique opportunity to build relationships with the leaders of advocacy groups that share your goals. You can tell your story, voice your concerns, and discuss ways to work together in the future.
Washington, D.C., is a very expensive city, and hotels “close to the action” can be pricey. However, AGRM has reserved a very reasonable room rate at the well-appointed Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, just north of Capitol Hill. The rates for the DC Forum event include all the meetings, two overnights at Kellogg, and six meals. You can choose single or double occupancy. AGRM will handle all of the arrangements with the hotel. View the schedule, get additional information, and register for this event on the DC Forum page.
By the way, did you know that the average age of a congressional aide is 31? AGRM needs to show its own “fresh faces” on Capitol Hill. So this is a special invitation for AGRM’s Emerging Leaders to attend the DC Forum. What staff members under age 35 should attend to represent your mission? AGRM can make a huge statement about the depth in our ranks, plus we can orient our own upcoming leaders to the workings of government at an early stage in their careers.
AGRM Media Innovation Competition now accepting entries
Did you know that your mission can receive recognition for making valuable progress in innovative print and online offerings? The annual AGRM Media Innovation Competition is judged by a panel of industry experts knowledgeable in rescue mission ministry. This competition, open only to AGRM member missions, has proven valuable to all who participate. And it’s free! AGRM will award three Best in Show winners, as well as an Award of Excellence, Award of Merit, and Honorable Mention for each category. Winners will be honored at the 2012 convention in Orlando, Florida, May 20–23. Winning entries will also be displayed on the association's website. The deadline for submissions is March 30. Complete contest details will be available soon. If you have any questions, email Director of Public Relations Nicole Daniels or by phone at (719) 266-8300, ext. 103.
Training Institute focuses on ministering to men
Haven of Rest Ministries (Akron, Ohio) will host a Multi-District Training Institute for rescue mission ministry staff February 20–22. This Training Institute will focus on ministering to adult men in rescue mission programs. Topics include dealing with difficult people, grace and accountability, stress in ministry, strategic partnerships, and emergency planning. Speakers include Demond Scott, Shirley Johnson, Darryl Brake, Henry Studer, and Richard Serbin, Cost for the Training Institute is $40 per person if received by February 13. (After February 13 the cost is $45 per person.) The registration fee includes all programming and meals with the exception of breakfasts. Participants are responsible for making your own lodging and breakfast arrangements. For additional information, download the conference brochure, registration form, lodging information, and map for driving directions. You can also email Jim Cole or call him at (330) 535-1563.
Looking down the street…
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Legislation would repeal insurance mandate for religious institutions
Just yesterday, Florida senator Marco Rubio introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, legislation that would repeal the Department of Health and Human Services imposed mandate that requires even religious institutions with conscience objections to offer employees insurance coverage for contraception—including drugs that may work as abortifacients. According to a National Review Online report, Rubio noted: “The Obama Administration’s obsession with forcing mandates on the American people has now reached a new low by violating the conscience rights and religious liberties of our people. Under this President, we have a government that has grown too big, too costly, and now even more overbearing by forcing religious entities to abandon their beliefs. This is a common-sense bill that simply says the government can’t force religious organizations to abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith because the government says so.” Click here to read the text of the bill.
Editor’s note: AGRM Government Liaison Rhett Butler calls attention to the original mandate in his column in the upcoming March/April issue of Rescue magazine. In addition, President John Ashmen is currently talking to Board Chair Brad Meuli about adding AGRM’s name to a lawsuit against the government, seeking to bar the mandate. Watch for updates on this important topic in future issues of Street Smart.
Halfsies urges Americans to fight hunger with smaller meals
A social initiative known as Halfsies invites diners in two American cities to eat half-sized portions in participating restaurants while paying full price for the food. The extra money will be donated to fight hunger. According to a Wired UK report, the goal of the program—being launched as a pilot program in New York City and Austin, Texas—is to educate consumers on the issues of food waste and oversized portions, while urging them to eat a little less to allow those in the developing world to eat a little more. Partner restaurants will place a Halfsies icon beside certain menu items to indicate they are available as half portions. Halfsies funds will then be tracked with each restaurant’s point of sale system; funds will be deposited into the Halfsies account at the end of each month and distributed to nonprofit partners. The initiative says 60 percent of funds will go to local charities in the city where the restaurant is located, 30 percent to global relief efforts, and 10 percent covers the organization’s running costs.
Teenagers get creative to sneak alcohol into school
Trouble keeping up with the latest teen fads? Here’s one that might surprise you. According to a Daily Mail report, children as young as 13 are experimenting with alcohol in guises that belie their seriousness and make them easy contraband at school—including mixing alcohol with candy. Vodka-soaked gummy bears—made by soaking gummy bears in vodka for three to five days—are easy to mistake for the innocent variety. The gummy bears absorb the liquid, double in size, and change to a firm gelatin consistency. Experts say that part of the danger is the inconsistency of strength of the alcohol-laden candy, which could lead to acute alcohol poisoning. Students are unaware of how much they are ingesting per gummy, or how fast the alcohol is absorbed into their bodies.
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Excessive overtime doubles depression risk
People who work 11 or more hours a day have double the odds of becoming depressed, compared with those who don't work overtime, a new study suggests. According to a CBC report, those who worked an average of at least 11 hours a day showed up to 2.5 times the risk of a major depressive episode compared with those working a standard seven- to eight-hour day. The study followed 2,123 middle-aged civil servants for six years; all were considered mentally healthy when they started the study, but after six years, just over 3 percent were diagnosed with clinical depression. Most of the workers, 52 percent, worked a regular workday. Another 37 percent averaged nine- or 10-hour days, and 11 percent clocked 11 hours or more. Depression was found more often in junior and mid-level employees than those in senior positions.
Study calculates vacant space available for homeless in New York
New York City has more than enough vacant space to provide housing for every homeless person in the city, according to a study released yesterday by Picture the Homeless and Hunter College. According to a Village Voice report, the study represented the first effort to catalog New York's vacant spaces, and included a survey of community districts from all five boroughs. The study identified two major kinds of vacant buildings: those in poorer areas that have been abandoned by landlords, and those in higher-rent areas that landlords have consciously held off the market while waiting for more profitable economic conditions. For example, just in Manhattan’s Community District 2, which includes Soho, volunteers identified 263 vacant buildings—enough to house 8,109 people.
Antidepressants help some people with mild depression
People with mild depression might benefit from taking antidepressants, suggests a new analysis of past studies that compared symptoms in people on the drugs to those given drug-free placebo pills. According to an msnbc.com report, earlier studies had suggested that antidepressants generally only improve mood in people with severe depression. Researchers collected data from six studies done at New York’s psychiatric institute between 1985 and 2000. Those included 825 people with non-severe, long-lasting depression enrolled in trials that compared symptoms with antidepressant treatment versus a placebo. In three of the six studies, patients taking an antidepressant improved more on a widely used scale of depression symptoms and severity than those taking a placebo, and in four studies, a higher percentage of patients taking antidepressants went into remission, meaning they were no longer considered to have clinically-significant depression. The researchers also noted that some combination of antidepressants and talk therapy is considered most effective in depression treatment, but getting therapy is often more expensive and time-consuming than medication. Therapy can run $100 or more per session, while generic brands of antidepressants usually cost about $20 per month.
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Lighthouse Ministries (Lakeland, Fla.), has developed a program called VBS to the Rescue. If a local church selects the mission to receive their Vacation Bible School (VBS) offerings, the mission will schedule a 30-minute presentation to the VBS kids about giving to families in need, food for the poor, the needs of the lost, and sharing Jesus with those we serve. “We raise about $10K plus per year—but it’s not about the money,” says President/CEO Steve Turbeville. “Most of all we engage churches, kids, and leaders to think about the homeless all year long, and encourage food and toiletry drives and other activities the church can do to stay engaged throughout the year.”
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Colorado Springs, Colorado: IT Assistant—Springs Rescue Mission is seeking an IT Assistant for approximately 30 hours per week. Visit the mission website for full position description and application instructions. Added 2/1/2012
Springfield, Missouri: Director of Development—Springfield Victory Mission is seeking a person to lead its successful development department. The right candidate will have the education, experience, leadership skills, and personality to grow the mission’s donor base, funds, and community image forward from its very strong base. Click here for application instructions. Added 2/1/2012
Redding, California: Director of Development and Community Relations—The Good News Rescue Mission in Redding has an opening for a director of development and community relations. This person provides leadership, strategic direction, and administration oversight for the development and community relations department. They are responsible for creating, maintaining, and coordinating development strategies designed to support the mission’s short- and long-term financial goals. For more information contact Executive Director Cesar Partida or call (530) 242-5920. Added 1/15/2012
To advertise in future Market Street Classifieds:
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Faith-Filled and Fearless
When I was a little boy I had an experience that marked me for years. I was at a clothes store shopping with my mother and grandmother, and like most kids I thought it was fun to slip in and out of the clothing racks. Although I was only feet from my family, I had a moment when I could feel invisible. Then the unthinkable happened. I emerged from the racks to find they had moved on to look at clothes somewhere else.
I'm not sure how it happened, but I went from being feet away to being fully lost. To make it worse, the woman who realized my situation and tried to help me had dark black hair and wore a black dress—in my little mind, this was the way a witch looked. So the only person talking to me was the definition of what I believed to be evil.
Somewhere along the way, God taught me a truth that changed me so I don’t have to have fear any more. In Isaiah 41:10, the Lord tells us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” God says, “It’s okay, I’ve got you.” And that changes everything.
Throughout Scripture, God reminds us that He has us and if we are with Him, we can be driven by faith and not crippled by fear!
Contributed by Micheal Woods, executive director of Western Carolina Rescue Ministries (Ashville, 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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