The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has awarded its 2022 Partners in Prevention Outstanding Leader Award to Pam Crawford, LCSW-S, LCPAA of Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services. Crawford, who has served children and families with PCHAS for over 20 years, received the honor November 4 at the Partners in Prevention Conference hosted by DFPS in Austin.
The Center for Church and Community Impact (C3i) program, housed in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, strives to research and provide curriculum for congregations on community issues.
Dr. Gaynor Yancey, director of C3i, dives deeper into the program, explaining the research, work and importance of having a social work presence within congregations.
“Congregations, for me, are the heart of what we are about and certainly what our faith is about,” Yancey said. “But along with that comes the purpose of the C3i, [which] is to come alongside congregations to strengthen them in the way that they feel God directs them to do their work.”
From The Pioneer Woman Lifestyle Blog, featuring Dr. Helen Harris—
It's never easy to know what to write in a sympathy card for a friend, family member, or coworker. But even if you feel uncomfortable or aren’t sure what to say, that doesn’t mean you should procrastinate or not say anything at all.
"The most important thing is to acknowledge the other person’s loss. People who are grieving need to feel connected and know they’re not alone," says Helen Harris, EdD, who teaches about and researches loss and grief at Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University. "Even if we’re not able to be there physically, a card acknowledges that a person’s pain and loss matters to us."
WACO, Texas — A Baylor University professor is putting her boots on the ground to get young women in the juvenile system back on the right track.
"I hope that this work that we're doing will help empower these youth to meet the goals and the hopes and the dreams that they have in their life. I want to do work that's meaningful, practical and that will actually once you do the research help this population," says Dr. Danielle Parrish, a professor of social work with Baylor University's Houston campus.
Siblings Sarah and John Garland share an intangible inheritance from their late mother that transcends kinship. Sarah, a journalist, and John, a pastor, say their mother, Diana Garland, a Baptist social work educator with wide-ranging influence, pursued a commitment to justice and mercy that inspires them in their life and work. Sarah Garland “There’s not a lot required of us, the Bible says, but one (requirement) is to do justice,” said Sarah Garland, a New York-based writer and editor, during a Sept. 25 address to her home church in Louisville, Ky. Her mother “always appeared to be doing and doing” justice, she observed. “I feel both inspired and daunted.”
When a group of Baptist scholars came together virtually Aug. 9-11 for a roundtable on “Baptists and the Kingdom of God,” they did not know that several in the group had personal experience to speak to one of the presentation topics: apartheid in South Africa. The Baptist Scholars International Roundtable is housed at Baylor University and supported by member institutions invested in the formation of global-minded Baptist leaders. The group’s focus is intergenerational, transnational development in which BSIR fellows respond to the work of seven scholars selected to participate.
As we are just over a week away from Father’s Day, this Month on the Central Texas Leadership Series, a compelling conversation between Dr. Brianna Lemmons, President of The Black Female Fatherhood Scholars Network, Drexel King, one of the founding members of Black Fathers of Waco and Marlon Jones, Director of Fatherhood Services for STARRY – a nonprofit organization offering services in Counseling, Family Support, Foster Care and Adoption. LISTEN by clicking the title.
WACO, Texas (May 25, 2021) – Danielle Parrish, Ph.D., professor in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University, has been awarded a $3.1 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to study the efficacy of risk reduction intervention efforts for young women age 14-17 in the juvenile justice system. The grant will be dispersed over five years, beginning May 2021. The project, titled CHOICES-TEEN: Efficacy of a Bundled Risk Reduction Intervention for Juvenile Justice Females, is an effort to fill gaps in care for at-risk young women in the juvenile justice system.
"I'm really excited and honored to have this opportunity to pursue this research that I’ve had on my heart for many, many years," Parrish said. "This grant will provide the resources to implement a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of an intervention that I hope will be able to be used more widely in the U.S. and fill the gaps in services for this population."
As the coronavirus began its transmission blitz last spring, the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation (TACK-F) was forced to scale back its marriage-based programming. Even with a smattering of retreats and virtual group counseling sessions, the waitlist for in-person programs ballooned. Couples whose significant other is a first responder or serves in the military, or is a veteran were clamoring for help.
“The need has not gone down, I cannot stress that enough,” said Corie Weathers, national clinical director of programming at TACK-F and a licensed professional counselor. “Their world did not halt — it got more complicated.”
Problems in a marriage that once simmered before COVID-19 were brought to a boil in the last year. “Resentment is going up. Anxiety is up. Exhaustion is way off the radar,” she said. Combined with a “service lifestyle,” relationships already teetering on the edge of failing face slim odds of surviving.
“Your marriage is constantly under assault by the career,” said Brad Sims, an investigator and bomb technician with the Fort Worth Fire Department. A career first responder and Army veteran, he and his wife, Kelli, a pre-school educator, nearly filed for divorce six years ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of life, including education and literacy.
Literacy Texas and Baylor University Diana R. Garland School of Social Work released survey results last week that identified barriers — lack of technology and education — created by COVID-19 impacting Texas nonprofit adult literacy providers and students.
Leaders of the Literacy Council of Tyler participated in the survey. Though researchers determined that lack of access to technology is a major hurdle in literacy training, they identified a passionate and resilient community of professionals and volunteers committed to Texas’ adult literacy achievement.
Words have power; they can carry freedom or they can carry weight.
We often forget that power also resides in names.
Our names are what we closely identify with in places of comfort and places of estrangement. Knowing someone’s name can allow them to feel safe and cared for, just like forgetting someone’s name can make someone feel shame and embarrassment.
The adjectives or labels that we ascribe to someone also carry weight. When talking to or about someone who is in a vulnerable state, the words used are particularly important.
For example, there is a common tendency to call individuals who are on the journey out of addiction and in recovery as “addicts” or “alcoholics.” The intentions might be pure, but the verbiage is haunting.
“Hi, my name is Lacey, and I am a new creation in Christ Jesus.” This statement was a hopeful reminder of a new identity I received when accepting the gift of salvation.
Grief is a part of life for every person and, therefore, is a natural part of life for every church community.
Two of the most foundational duties of those in ministry are to walk alongside those who are grieving and to conduct funerals for the deceased and their loved ones. While the church is no stranger to grief, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges in how the church approaches and supports those grieving the loss of loved ones.
DALLAS, TEXAS ( March 24, 2021) Literacy Texas and the Baylor University Diana R. Garland School of Social Work released survey results today, identifying barriers created by COVID-19 impacting Texas nonprofit adult literacy providers and students. As with education, mental health, and other key human learning services, the so-called “Covid Slide” has significantly impacted literacy training. Though researchers determined that lack of access to technology is a major hurdle in literacy training, they identified a passionate and resilient community of professionals and volunteers committed to Texas’ adult literacy achievement.
All around campus, people are celebrating Women’s History Month. While looking at the history of women in this country, there’s plenty to appreciate when looking at the efforts of local professors that Baylor students see every day.
Some women who have already set the path here at Baylor include associate professor Helen Harris and professor Laura Hernandez. Not only have these women reached the top of their field, but they have set the standards for those who will follow after them.
Professor Helen Harris works in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work and said she strives to go where the Lord calls her. Harris first came to Waco to start the first hospice in Central Texas while also teaching around 24 years ago when there was a strong need for it.
Lately, it seems I never can get enough sleep. I find myself with less patience. A task that used to take me an hour now takes me three hours. Any of this sound familiar? I guess it probably does.
We are in the midst of “compound collective trauma.” Collective trauma is described as a traumatic experience that affects and involves entire groups of people, communities or societies, such as a hurricane or war.
In a previous article, I discussed the positive and negative effects of the collective trauma of Hurricane Harvey. That is just one example of a collective trauma that effects a specific community or geographical area.
The whole world is a geographical area, right now, experiencing the collective trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic. While various countries are experiencing it differently, everyone is simultaneously in the midst of some aspect of the pandemic, and we all are experiencing the trauma throughout our specific communities.
Growing up, the church always was a safe place for me. I grew up in the same small-town church my entire life, and a lot of our life revolved around the church.
Sundays were filled with Sunday school and the beloved evening prayer meeting, while Wednesdays were for mission group and choir. Our church felt like a village, a family that was raising me alongside my family of origin.
As a teenager, this could feel smothering at times. The beloved elderly church ladies had a running commentary on my life; out of a place of love, they would frequently express their opinions on my life choices — both positive and negative. Overall, my church was a safe, loving, nurturing place to be.
A weekly podcast exploring stories at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens. This week Mitch and Autumn talk about what an increased minimum wage could do for the US.
Later, Dr. Tony Talbert and Dr. Helen Harris, professors at Baylor University, join the show to talk about their work with the LGBTQ+ student organization, Gamma Alpha Upsilon. The faculty senate passed a resolution in support of the group's charter - another step closer to their goal of being an official student organization.
Because of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the people and location, this piece has been generalized to keep those involved safe and to challenge congregations of all sizes not to underestimate what they can do.
“We sometimes underestimate the influence of the little things.”—Charles W. Chesnutt
I am the kind of person that must be doing something “big” in order to think change will occur. However, I was challenged by the above quote from Chesnutt.
I was blessed recently to witness a church do something that in most eyes would seem small, insignificant and ordinary. Last week, I observed a small community church rally around one of their members, do the “little things” and, through them, advocate for this individual while also instilling a sense of hope.
Why it is so hard for some people of faith to own their own discomfort? To own their own fears and see how they injure others?
These are salient questions when it comes to creating caring Christian community for the LGBTQIA+ community. It is an even more relevant question for the leadership of my own university.
In the Bible, there are multiple references to people being known by their fruit and people’s actions being judged by their consequences.
Jesus’ fruit analogy seems to be one of the most useful lenses through which we can examine our words and actions. And it should help us provide clarity for any conversation about how we offer support to the LGBTQIA+ community.
People who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community do not harm or injure others in any way because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The history of the Christian church includes many examples of addressing who belongs and who does not belong, starting at the very beginning.
Despite how clear Jesus was that women belonged, that Samaritans belonged and that lepers belonged, the early church struggled with whether or not Jesus came for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
That seems obvious to us now (as most reading this are likely Gentiles, not Jews), but it was a matter of contention until both Peter and Paul understood God’s inclusion of all and spoke up and spoke out.
Phillip’s encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch gave a concrete answer to the question, “Is there anything preventing me from being baptized?”
The answer, to someone barred from entering the sanctuary because of sexual difference, resounds through the years but often not through the church.
As a member of Protestant, often Baptist, congregations through the years, I have participated in the use of the words “Brother” and “Sister” to refer to other Christians.
If we are truly family, what does it mean when we cut off our siblings? When we make them hide or leave the family because they are different and unwelcome?
It didn’t take long for me to learn that what made me different was not always seen as beautiful by the world that existed outside the four walls that I was raised in.
My story is from a third generation Chinese American lens, who was raised in the Midwest and attended school in the south — please know this writing doesn’t encompass or represent all Asian American stories.
“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (NIV, Psalm 103:6).
“God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet” (The Message, Psalm 103:6).
Christian Scriptures give great hope for the oppressed and victims of oppression. No matter which translation of the Bible we read, it is clear in Psalm 103:6 that God knows about the oppression and the resulting victimization.
The Bible is full of admonitions to followers of the way of Jesus about our actions toward the oppressed and victimized. We are to treat all people with love, dignity, honor and justice, because we all are made in the image of God.
Our actions should flow naturally from a heart filled with God’s love. Learning to see people as God would have us see them, with loving actions toward and on behalf of all people, comes with a commitment to do this hard work with the Lord. That commitment, I have discovered, is a life-long journey.
The Faith & Mental Wellness Podcast with Brittney Moses
045: How Faith & Therapy Integrate In Mental Health Treatments
Season 2, Ep. 40
Should Christians only see a Christian therapist?
How can faith and therapy integrate into mental health treatments?
And what does the data show about the benefits of including one's faith in therapy?
We're diving into all these things and more with my friend Dr. Holly Oxhandler. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!
Dr. Holly Oxhandler is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Holly studies religion/spirituality, health and mental health, and is especially interested in whether and how mental and behavioral health therapists discuss their client’s religious/spiritual beliefs in treatment. She developed and validated the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale in addition to other instruments to measure the integration of clients’ religion/spirituality in mental health treatment, has written for numerous academic journals, and her research has been featured in the Washington Post, Consumer Affairs, Religion News Service, and more. She also co-hosts the weekly podcast, CXMH: Christianity & Mental Health and lives in Waco, TX with her family.
The white church in America is learning racism is not merely about our individual actions and decisions.
As a civil human being—more so as a child of God—we know better than to be racist, than to do racist things. In fact, in our effort not to be racists, we work hard to talk as though race doesn’t exist. Being colorblind was the way to be nonracist, we were taught. I suppose it meant if we didn’t see race, we couldn’t perpetuate it or contribute to racism.
The work of identifying racist attitudes and behaviors is not only uncomfortable, but also never-ending, said Kerri Fisher, a lecturer and diversity educator at Baylor University.
Recognizing white privilege and oppressive social systems isn’t enough to sustain “cultural humility,” said Fisher, co-chair of the Race Equity Work Team in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.
“There are always new ways to be unjust, so we have to always be learning,” she said.
“Cultural humility” describes an ability to critically self-reflect on the existence of cultural differences and impacts on marginalized groups with the goal being to build relationships with those groups, she explained.
One point that often gets lost in the academic debate of teaching versus research is that research, at its best, is teaching. Baylor’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award — presented each year by Baylor Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) — aims to recognize those who exemplify that by mentoring undergraduate students in a research setting.
This year’s honorees? Dr. Stephanie Boddie from the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and Dr. Lorin S. Matthews (BS ’94, PhD ’98) from the Department of Physics.
As we wait for healing and solutions to the distress of the coronavirus pandemic, we seek revival like the people of God sought during the time of the prophets.
We desperately search for stories of God working, despite the little we have or the sickness we are trying to understand.
How is the church responding? How should the church respond? Who are the prophets of our time, and how are they responding to the call of God?
Congregations around the country are seeking to answer these questions in new and unique ways. In Waco, as elsewhere, many institutions have responded to COVID-19, seeking fresh ways to love their neighbor like Christ would have us do.
I was born, raised and now live in El Paso. El Paso is a great place to live if you like to run, and I do. My runs regularly take me up to a place where I can see all three cities and states that adjoin each other here.
A few weeks ago, while on a morning run on my usual route, I noticed two things at a distance I hadn’t realized could be seen from my vantage point.
To the left of my viewpoint was a thick black line in stark contrast to the natural colors of the desert landscape. This is a part of the border wall funded by private donations.
Directly across and above this wall is Mount Cristo Rey, which sits on both sides of the international border between the United States and Mexico. The mountain is named for the statue of Christ located at the top of the mountain.
The figure of Christ stands in front of a giant cross. His eyes gaze out over the borderland, and his arms are outstretched with his palms facing outward over three cities and two nations.
As I thought about this picture—a manmade barrier created to keep people out directly across from a statue of Jesus on Mount Cristo Rey—Christ’s words came to my mind: “For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. … Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:42-43, 45).
Amidst the busyness of life, it can be hard to take time for yourself, let alone get the care you need. In this interview, Holly Oxhandler provides insight on the importance of self-care and the best ways to cultivate it for yourself and others during any season.
Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Dr. Oxhandler has studied the intersection of faith and mental health over the last decade and is particularly interested in the degree to which mental health care providers discuss and integrate clients’ religion/spirituality in mental health treatment. She’s also the co-host of CXMH, a weekly podcast on the intersection of faith and mental health, and is currently writing her first book to translate her research on this intersection for everyday helpers.
Through the expansion medical care and technological advances, the lifespan of older adult women has progressively increased. According to the National Vital Statistics Reports of the U.S., in the year 2017, the national average of female life expectancy is the age of 81. Compared to the 1920s, female life expectancy was the age of 54. Older adult women are living longer and are experiencing the world through many significant changes throughout the lifespan. They experience milestones of struggles, hardships, love, and laughter throughout their lifetime that is monumental to their well-being.
Mark Wingfield makes a compelling case that “You cannot follow Jesus and endorse racism.” However, he may have placed the “Period” of his title a little too soon.
I do believe the biggest problem in perpetuating racism is the “virulent white supremacist views” of people of faith, but I believe that virus is far more widespread than most of us white progressive Christians care to admit.
Lt. Col. Liquori L. Etheridge isn't a man of few words but, after winning the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020, he was left speechless. Etheridge, who works in the Department of Social Work at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, was named the Army's Social Worker of the Year for 2020.
Etheridge has ten years of active duty service and has been a licensed clinical social worker for 11 years.
Some see addiction as a disease that stems from biological factors. Others see it as a moral failing that stems from the choice to sin against God. Addiction, however, is formed through various influences in a person’s life, including biological, psychological, spiritual and social factors.
Paul’s self-description in Romans 7 fits addiction very well. He did not understand what he did. He did what he did not want to do, even doing the very thing he hated.
Paul wrote: “For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but willpower is not enough to accomplish it” (Romans 7:18, The Passion Translation).
No matter your relationship to higher education, there’s a good chance you’re aware of the importance of professors getting published. To be published means a professor’s research appears in a peer-reviewed academic journal, having been approved by a group of peer editors and then distributed to a wider academic audience — thus contributing to the body of knowledge within their field.
Congratulations are in order! Baylor has named Dr. Stephanie Boddie as Faculty Mentor of the Year for her research and mentor work with students Kathryn Hong, Ana O'Quin and Chrissy Sessa!
I was the pompous Christian college student who spent time with friends memorizing Scripture, even if I didn’t truly live them.
It was misplaced rigor, misguided piety and an out-of-focus faith. I could spit these passages out and talk about the virtue of humility, but practicing humility was not my strength.
My whole Christian fraternity and I memorized Philippians 2:3-8, but I missed the point. I had plenty of selfish ambition and was truly blind to what this passage meant.
Furthermore, my selfish ambition and vain conceit was tied up in my views of race.
Born in Vidor, Texas, a well-known sundown town, I was influenced by white supremacy in the earliest years of my life.
My white racial identity was a standard by which I compared myself to others and the norm against which others were seen as different or less than.
Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3
In November 2017, Kristen Tekell Boyd stands in the pulpit of Truett Seminary’s chapel in Waco, Texas, and preaches, taking Ezekiel chapter 37 as her text. As she describes the valley with the prophet Ezekiel coming upon the dry bones, she reads a key question from the Scripture: “Can these bones live?”
This question might have been asked 20 years before when Carver School of Church Social Work closed in 1997, an event that seemed like a death to many of its alumni.
WACO, Texas (May 5, 2020) – Twelve Baylor University professors have been honored with Outstanding Faculty Awards for teaching, scholarship and contributions to the academic community for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The Outstanding Faculty Awards recognize the best all-around professors – including non-tenure track, tenured and tenure-track faculty – based on teaching capabilities, research achievement, time spent with students and church and community service.
Baylor’s focus on offering a distinctly Christian educational environment includes cultivating thought leaders who can help congregations answer the call of societal challenges. Dr. Stephanie Boddie, an assistant professor of church and community ministries at Baylor, is one of those leading the way.
Boddie is known nationally for her research on congregation-based social services and trends in faith-based initiatives. Over the years, much of that research has been through the lens of the black church, with a focus on the social and entrepreneurial approaches these institutions have used to address disparities in wealth, health and food insecurity in their communities.
Can you experience grounded, present, awareness? So much is changing around us. How are you handling it?
Higher education has been in flux for many years with financial and technological upheavals changing so much of what we as faculty and staff understand about ourselves in our institutions of teaching and learning. To this, the crisis of Coronavirus is completely overwhelming. Financial burdens are even more significant. Our dependence on technology is all-encompassing. Students struggle with the anxiety of it all and we are hardly prepared to respond given our own anxieties.
Anxiety, however, is exactly what we are supposed to feel in a situation like this. It is absolutely to be expected that we experience fear, uncertainty, and doubts about all that is happening around us, and to us. We cannot do anything to control it. We cannot make sense of it intellectually. Our feelings seem to overwhelm us. We can all expect to experience anxiety in a situation like this.
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WACO, Texas (March 25, 2020) – In a difficult and ever-changing time of crisis surrounding the spread of coronavirus, the basic needs of health and safety come first. But as these basic physiological needs are met, the more advanced care for spiritual and mental health can remain overlooked or ignored altogether.
Baylor University’s Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW., associate dean for research and faculty development and assistant professor the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is an expert on mental health, primarily anxiety and depression, as well as religion and spirituality in clinical practice.
What a difference a few weeks make in the way the world operates. Widespread limits on social interaction, closing of restaurants and other gathering places, and the moving of worship services to online-only experiences are just a few of the ways the world is a different place today. Political leaders insist the changes are both necessary and temporary. The importance of “flattening the curve” to reduce the rate of Coronavirus infection escalation is essential to protecting the most vulnerable among us. Limiting the size of crowds, elbow bumps instead of hugs, and three to six feet of space between us are some of the operationalizations of social distancing. Others include canceling sporting events and meeting for worship and education on-line.
The physical separations are intended to protect our physical health. However, the two of us and many of our colleagues in mental health think the unintended emotional and relational consequences of all of this “social distancing” will be much deeper and wider unless we recognize the risk and take action. It appears that the social, emotional, and spiritual toll this is taking on individuals and communities is largely unseen by the mainstream media and in many cases by public health professionals alike.
Read the full article here.
It’s that time of the year again, where we sing about what a wonderful time of the year it is. Hot cocoa, warm fireplaces, Friendsgiving’s and family gatherings galore make this time of year such a special and beautiful time for so many people. Although this season is full of love and giving, this year is hard for me because it is my first year without my sister. Last year on December 5th I lost someone very dear to me, my big sister, Kimberly. She was 28-years old and died from a 10-year battle with diabetes.
To read the full article, click here.
Dr. Alan Keith-Lucas (Keith) is one of the earliest and most influential leaders of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) and a seminal thinker and writer on the integration of Christian faith and social work practice. Many who knew him were both inspired by his understanding of faith and human behavior and energized by his practice wisdom as he valued every human being.
Read full article here
Tia Khachitphet, MSW ’15, is making a difference with her passion for helping youth when they are most vulnerable. She grew up in a mental health conscious household, where her mother worked as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and her sister is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Tia’s interest in mental health was sparked when she learned her cousin, who had seemed to be on a path for success, had gotten into legal trouble. She became curious about the influences someone encounters, which lead them to make the choices of committing a crime. Tia learned how someone’s life can be drastically affected by an adverse decision, which motivated her to get involved.
Read full article here.
Bonni Goodwin, a recent recipient of the Oklahoma NASW’s Emerging Leader in Social Work award, stumbled upon a passion she is now pursuing in the form of a PhD through the Garland School of Social Work (GSSW).
Goodwin studied Family and Human Services at John Brown University, received her MSW at Washburn University and now holds a position in the Center for Child Welfare Training and Simulation at the University of Oklahoma while she completes her PhD in social work.
Read full article here
WASHINGTON, DC (September 17, 2019) – New research by Ana O’Quin (Baylor University ‘20) and faculty advisor Dr. Stephanie Boddie was published today by the Center for Public Justice (CPJ), a Christian civic education and public policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. Now in its second year, The Hatfield Prize (previously called the Student-Faculty Research Prize) honors the late Senator Mark O. Hatfield, a U.S. Senator from Oregon known for integrating his Christian faith and his public policy commitments. The Hatfield Prize is made possible through the generous support of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
O’Quin’s research focused on food insecurity among the teen population in Waco, Texas. In particular, the report focuses on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and makes recommendations for the ways that government and civil society institutions can respond to teen food insecurity. O’Quin completed her research during her junior year at Baylor University and is majoring in social work, with a minor in poverty and social justice. Boddie serves as assistant professor of Church and Community Ministries with affiliations at the Garland School of Social Work, Truett Theological Seminary, and the School of Education at Baylor University.
Read the full article here
At 72 Beaver Dam Road in Bellport, New York, about 70 miles from Manhattan, a modest home on a lush, tree-lined street is tucked somewhat anonymously into a residential area surrounded by industrial warehouses, paving companies, trucking lots, and construction supply facilities.
Crystal Brown, 36, was born in the Village of Patcogue on the Great South Bay of Long Island, 20 miles from that home, the second of five children, to parents, George, a custodian, and mother, Lucille, a homemaker.
And she remembers a moment on the front lawn of that home where she played with her siblings. Her cousin, Kim, was visiting. And she had news.
That memory – almost three decades ago – stayed with her throughout the years.
“In that moment, I remember wanting more,” she said. “Kim was letting the family know that she was going to law school, and it inspired me to set goals like that for myself.”
Read the full article here.
First responders do exactly what their name implies. They are the first to arrive on the scene of incidents as mild as a senior adult seeking assistance or as tragic as a violent death. They work days and nights separated from the comfort of their own homes, missing milestones within their own families and maintaining odd schedules to provide comfort to crying mothers, distraught fathers and lost children who pass in and out of their lives. It’s all part of just another day’s work. Why, then, is there so little effort being made to meet the needs of these individuals who are an integral part of our communities?
A recent survey conducted by the University of Phoenix reveals the current nature of mental health within the first responder community in the United States. As of April 2017, a reported “85 percent of first responders have experienced symptoms related to mental health issues”. Of this 85 percent, only 34 percent have received a formal mental health disorder diagnosis, which indicates a significantly smaller number, or one-third, of individuals who are seeking help for the symptoms they are experiencing.
To put this in perspective, of the estimated 2.8 million first responders in the U.S., only an approximate 400,000 of them are not experiencing symptoms related to mental health. There still are more than 2 million first responders facing mental health symptoms: 2 million first responders whose families are affected by their loved one’s work, 2 million first responders who deserve just as much concern as the people they serve every day.
Read the full article here.
“Our church is a place where no questions are asked and we follow the pastor with our whole heart.”
“Our morning service is typically around an hour and a half and is filled with exuberant worship. We clap and lift our hands, sing aloud and offer sincere expressions of worship, including laying hands on you to pray over you.”
“We fill up quickly, so get here early! We keep the sanctuary lights dimmed, so it’s hard to see where the open seats are.”
Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”
Did any of these statements make your heart race a little faster, make your stomach a little queasy or just make you a little uncomfortable?
“Traumatic events can range from one-time physical traumas, such as a car wreck or an assault, to long-term poverty or abuse.”
These are examples of statements, situations and scripture verses printed in church bulletins, preached from the pulpit or published on a church website. While most likely well-intended, these and similar sentiments have something in common that may surprise many Christians and congregational leaders: they can be triggering and re-traumatizing, causing harm to persons who have experienced trauma.
Read the full story here.