SBC INSIDER: Funny money in Baptist missions?

In this edition of SBC INSIDER, Bobby and Tom start with an overview of the current situation regarding tumult in the SBC, and then a deep examination of the Baptist decisions regarding global missions–such as the withdrawal of resources from Latin America, shifting of funds to difficult Arab and Asian mission fields, and the suspicious engagement of Baptist missions with the relief efforts in Puerto Rico. For more details:

From an insider informant (in italics):

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-07339.pdf

If you watch that Send Relief video from SBC 2019 they say over and over that there are no restrictions . They are either lying or so ignorant they are breaking the law and do not know it. 

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2016/03/31/agencies-issue-final-rule-extending-new-religious-liberty-protections-beneficiaries

(from 2016) Today, nine agencies are publishing a final rule that will provide new religious liberty protections for beneficiaries of federally funded social service programs, while also adding new protections for the ability of religious providers to compete for government funds on the same basis as any other private organization. The regulations – which are being published after public notice and comment – formally implement Executive Order 13559, Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations.

In 2009, President Obama appointed a diverse Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and asked Council members to make recommendations for strengthening the social service partnerships the Government forms with nongovernmental providers, including strengthening the constitutional and legal footing of these partnerships. While Council members differed on some important issues in this area, they were able to come to agreement on a number of significant recommendations. In response to the Advisory Council’s recommendations, on November 17, 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13559.

  • Make clear that faith-based organizations are eligible to participate in federally funded social service programs on the same basis as any other private organization.
     
  • Clarify what activities can and cannot be supported with direct Federal financial assistance by replacing use of the term “inherently religious activities” with the term “explicitly religious activities” and providing examples of such activities.
     
  • Prohibit organizations that receive Federal financial assistance from discriminating against beneficiaries, including denying services or benefits, based on religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice
  • list includes Bible Study – Passing out Religious Materials, 
  • Worship  and Prayer – Evangelizing 

https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4339/valor
Here is where the Freedom of Information act Request would need to go .They would HAVE to tell how much money and provide all docs on the NAMB/ Send Relief- Send Network partnerships 

On the video from the CP stage 2019 

https://vimeo.com/344380429
” Jonathan Howe discusses Send Relief with David Melber and Vance Pitman”
start min 5:30.at min 6  we give them platform with FEMA and other agencies 
  min 6: 30 “you mention the partnership with  federal and state governments 
min 6:35 or so “The gospel ministry still happens ” when legally it can not !!!

min 12  dispell on myth – church not eliminated church involvement the church should be at the table church should be the lead partner in that ,Bring along businesses and other non profits. ( vintage Drucker 3 legged stool ) 
We have great friends at every level in Gov- they see Baptist is those volunteer and make difference They cannot do things without you as a Southern Baptist engaging in your community 
Not shy away from the government 

Min 16 “They ( the government puts no restrictions on what we can say “

YET Obama April 2016 Clarified “No explicit Religious Activity in FBP”https://www.christianpost.com/news/obama-admin-faith-based-organization-rule-religious-freedom.html

They will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Recipients of federal funds, however, will have until 90 days after publication in the Federal Register to satisfy the new obligations in the final regulations.

In explaining how the new regulations will work, the USDA noted for example, that a beneficiary who participates in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), or any other USDA service offered by a faith-based organization, must be notified in writing that he or she cannot be discriminated against based on religion, cannot be required to attend or participate in any privately funded religious activities that are offered separate from the federally funded program, and may request an alternative provider, if the beneficiary objects to the religious character of the organization.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L-R) and House Speaker Paul Ryan bow their heads in prayer at the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 15, 2016. | (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The new protections also require that all decisions about federal financial assistance be based solely on merit, without regard to an organization’s religious affiliation or lack thereof according to the USDA.

“Here at USDA, we are grateful for partnerships that help us serve Americans in their time of need. Today’s regulations not only protect the religious liberties of USDA customers, but also reflect the concerns of our community and faith-based partners,” Norah Deluhery, director of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at USDA said in a statement Thursday. “Faith-based organizations support the delivery of critical safety nets that improve quality of life for many. Today’s reforms will strengthen these services while reflecting the constitutional principles that define our nation.”

The regulations represent the culmination of a process started by President Barack Obama in 2009 when he appointed a diverse Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, according to Melissa Rogers, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Council members were asked to make recommendations for strengthening the social service partnerships the Government forms with nongovernmental providers, including strengthening the constitutional and legal footing of these partnerships.

The final rule regulations highlighted by the White House, sets forth changes to current regulations, including changes that:

  • Require agencies to ensure that all decisions about Federal financial assistance are based solely on merit, without regard to an organization’s religious affiliation or lack thereof, and free from political interference, or the appearance of such interference.
  • Make clear that faith-based organizations are eligible to participate in federally funded social service programs on the same basis as any other private organization.
  • Clarify what activities can and cannot be supported with direct Federal financial assistance by replacing use of the term “inherently religious activities” with the term “explicitly religious activities” and providing examples of such activities.
  • Prohibit organizations that receive Federal financial assistance from discriminating against beneficiaries, including denying services or benefits, based on religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice.
  • Require faith-based organizations that receive direct Federal financial assistance for domestic social service programs to provide written notice of certain protections to beneficiaries of the program. Specifically, an organization that receives direct Federal financial assistance is required to give notice to beneficiaries that-
  1. The organization may not discriminate against a beneficiary based on religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice;
  2. The organization may not require a beneficiary to attend or participate in any explicitly religious activities that are offered by the organization, and any participation by the beneficiaries in those activities must be purely voluntary;
  3. The organization must separate in time or location any privately funded explicitly religious activities from activities supported by direct Federal financial assistance;
  4. If a beneficiary or prospective beneficiary objects to the religious character of the organization, the organization will undertake reasonable efforts to identify and refer the beneficiary to an alternative provider to which the beneficiary does not object; and
  5. A beneficiary or prospective beneficiary may report violations of these protections, including any denials of services or benefits, to the Federal agency or intermediary administering the program.

Stanley Carlson-Theis, senior director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, praised the new rules in an response to The Christian Post.

“Faith-based organizations, such as Christian service organizations, whether or not they receive federal funds, should be thankful for the faith-based regulations the Obama administration has just announced,” he said.

“The regulations are modifications of the George W. Bush-era ‘equal treatment’ regulations, which in turn were inspired by the Charitable Choice provisions that Congress added to the welfare program and some other programs and that President Clinton signed into law.

“The regulations require government officials to be biased neither against nor in favor of religious organizations that apply for funding to offer services, explicitly protect the religious character of religious organizations that receive federal dollars, and protect the religious freedom rights of people seeking help. This is the third administration — two Democratic and one Republican — that has taken specific initiatives to ensure that faith-based organizations can be partners with the federal government to serve people in need.”

In Puerto Rico 
https://www.namb.net/news/puerto-rico-namb-and-send-relief-gears-up-for-hurricane-season/

Send Relief has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and has become a participant in FEMA’s Voluntary Agencies Leading and Organizing Repair (VALOR) program, which provides volunteer organizations with building materials at no charge.

Send Puerto Rico initiative in full swing

NAMB recently designated Puerto Rico as one of its Send Focus Areas, and Hurricane Maria has opened more doors for reaching the people through church planting. There has been a consistent Southern Baptist presence in Puerto Rico through the years, but NAMB is now seeking to reemphasize Southern Baptist work on the island.

 they talk about the church planting for community development – still looking for that part of conversation .

https://www.imb.org/2016/05/11/imbtrusteesmay2016/
On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 3:27 PM:
Church and Government work together in Puerto
Rico

Church and government collaborate on Puerto Rico rebuild

09.04.18

By Josie Rabbitt Bingham

COMERIO—”If I was to describe the effect Hurricane Maria had in Comerio, it was total devastation,” said Josian Santiago, mayor of Comerio, Puerto Rico.

Comerio is a mountainous town nestled on the east side of Puerto Rico. Before the hurricane hit in 2017, the town had a population of 20,779. Now, thousands of homes sit empty on tree-covered hills.

“In the commercial sectors, in the homes, the hurricane affected the most poor of families, schools and police stations,” Santiago said. “Practically everything was destroyed. It was very painful for us to live that experience. We are still in the process of trying to recuperate.”

Many of the homes need roofs and expert carpentry work. That’s where the mayor stepped in, offering his carpenter to local Southern Baptist church planter, Jorge Santiago, who had asked the government for a list of people his church could help.

“Pastor Jorge is very involved in the community,” said Bob Wallingford, director of recovery for Send Relief Puerto Rico. “He invited me to the town hall to the mayor’s office to talk about projects. During the conversation, we found that the government has carpenters who work for the city. And I said, ‘Give me one. Give me one carpenter, and I’ll put a team of volunteers with them. We can help people rebuild their houses.’”

With the government partnering with local churches and FEMA’s Valor program providing construction materials for voluntary agencies like Send Relief, the people in Comerio are able to begin rebuilding their lives. Wallingford estimated 220 homes needed roof repairs.

“We have managed the collaboration of the church and the municipality,” Santiago said. “It was the church’s desire to work the cases that were in most need. They needed the support and skill in managing construction. From there, they identified which families had been most affected. We were able to help the church reach those places and at the same time collaborate with municipality workers who are skilled in carpentry construction work. They would direct the process of the construction with the support of the volunteers who came as part of the mission work they have come to do.”

Carlos Tirado was one of the carpenters who was part of the collaborative effort between church and municipality to rebuild and restore Comerio.

“I assist the teams that come from the United States to do repair and reconstruction to the homes,” Tirado said. “I also supervise them in certain aspects being that the majority of them do not have construction experience and are learning.”

On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 3:25 PM
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/november/southern-baptist-spending-crunch-imb-david-platt.html
IMB Plat  cuts
$ 230 million – $21 million in 2015 alonePlatt announced in Summer 2015 cut of 600 to 800 missionaries
over 1000 were “retired”

The Southern Baptist S(p)ending Crunch

Image: Thomas Graham / IMB

November 2015

This article is from the November 2015 issue. Subscribers can read all of CT’s digital archives.

David Platt makes no small plans.

When the 36-year-old pastor and Radical book author became president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) in 2014, the agency had about 5,000 missionaries. Platt hopes to someday have 100,000.

He just has to figure out how to pay them.

This summer, Platt announced that the 170-year-old agency will cut between 600 and 800 staff due to a financial crisis. One of the largest missionary organizations in the United States, the IMB had a $21 million deficit for 2015 and had overspent by $210 million since 2009, draining its reserves.

Among those targeted for cuts are missionaries and other staff over age 50, who are being offered voluntary early retirement. When the dust settles, the IMB will likely have its fewest missionaries in 20 years.

That’s not the outcome Platt had hoped for when he was elected.

“The financial realities are clear,” Platt told Christianity Today. “[I]n order to get to a healthy position for a future like I’ve talked about, we have to get to a healthy place in the present.”

Even with reduced staff, the IMB will remain a powerhouse in Protestant foreign missions, with a $300 million budget and more than 4,000 professional missionaries.

Those IMB missionaries have long had an advantage over missionaries in other denominations: Until recently, they haven’t had to worry about money.

IMB’s $300 million budget comes from two main sources: the Lottie Moon Christmas offering (named for the famous 19th-century missionary to China), which brings in about $150 million per year; and the SBC’s Cooperative Program, which pools money from the approximately 40,000 Southern Baptist churches in the United …


https://www.namb.net/news/namb-breaks-ground-on-send-relief-ministry-center-in-puerto-rico/

Government and Send Relief leaders prepare to break ground on the new ministry center. From left to right: Carlos Ferrer, North American Mission Board (NAMB) executive vice president; Hector Albertorio, Faith Based Partnership Liaison for Puerto Rico’s governor; Angel Perez, Guaynabo mayor; David Melber, Send Relief president; Juan Oscar Morales, representative for Puerto Rico’s speaker of the house; and Jonathan Santiago, Send Relief’s Ministry Center director. NAMB photo.

Send Relief has established excellent relationships with local government officials in Puerto Rico through their persistent presence, serving people affected by the massive storm. Volunteers have invested 12,278 days’ worth of service, engaged in 1,510 gospel conversations and seen 107 professions of faith.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, Send Relief helped distribute more than 760,000 meals, provided 1,134 water filtration kit and assisted in the clean-up or repair of 400 properties.

Guaynabo’s Mayor, Angel Perez, and other government officials joined Send Relief for the groundbreaking of a new ministry center in Puerto Rico. Perez said that the new Send Relief ministry center gives hope to families in Puerto Rico, who are still struggling two years after the hurricane, by showing that the help will continue. NAMB photo.

Ricardo Agudelo-Doval, a representative with the US Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith & Opportunity Initiatives and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), called the ministry center something Puerto Rico needs and has not had for a long time.

“This is not a recovery that’s going to be over in the next few years,” said Agudelo-Doval. “This is something that’s going to take a long time to finish, and having an organization as established, as important, with the background that Send Relief has, is an amazing opportunity for Puerto Rico.”

Once construction is complete, Send Relief will have the capacity to house more than 100 mission volunteers at any given time as well as space for missions leaders as well. There will be a dining hall with a full, commercial kitchen as well as an event space that will seat between 100-120 people

“The facility creates a permanent presence in Puerto Rico,” said Jonathan Santiago, Send Relief’s ministry center director in Puerto Rico. “It’s not just for relief efforts but for community engagement on behalf of Southern Baptists. We will run logistics from a centralized location, which will help facilitate ministry on the island.”

. “We want to embed ourselves in Puerto Rico, to know the culture and see these communities transformed.”

NAMB president Kevin Ezell said the work in Puerto Rico revolves around starting new evangelistic churches and strengthening existing churches.

“We intentionally involve local pastors in the work the volunteers are doing” Ezell said. “Meeting the physical needs is an urgent priority right now, but we know the larger, long term need is spiritual, as it is everywhere. NAMB’s work will be all about the gospel as we share Jesus in Puerto Rico.” On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 2:21 PM
https://www.namb.net/send_city/puerto-rico/

Puerto Rico is an archipelago among the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. East of Cuba, the region is over 2,000 miles away from the United States and includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller ones, such as Mona, Culebra and Vieques. The population exceeds 3 million, many of whom speak both English and Spanish.

For decades, the North American Mission Board has been looking for ways to enhance missions strategy in this U.S. territory, but when Hurricane Maria struck in 2017, the devastation to Puerto Rico and her people necessitated immediate action.

Puerto Rican church planter Andres Laracuente explains that disaster response is making a difference in the region. He says, “Hurricane Maria opened up many new opportunities to get to know my community better, to get to know the surrounding neighborhoods. I’ve seen many kids that I didn’t see before Maria. I’m preaching the gospel to different people than I was before. My family has also grown more focused on the gospel and the Word of God.”

Through our renewed emphasis on church planting on the island, Laracuente and other church planters and missionaries will have additional resources and opportunities to expand gospel ministry efforts in their communities.

“As we continue to pray for and help in the physical healing and restoration of Puerto Rico, we must also consider the spiritual well-being of its residents as well,” said Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board. “Our Send Puerto Rico effort brings new resources and increased attention to the needs, with a special emphasis on starting churches that will be an ongoing gospel presence and places of strength and hope in times of need.”

Currently, there are 56 Southern Baptist churches on the island, engaging a population of more than 3.4 million people. There are 78 municipalities and about 40 don’t yet have an Southern Baptist church in them. In the capital city of San Juan, there are two established Baptist churches, and while in the past few years several more have been planted, the need exists for many more based on population.

The need for more life-giving, community-based churches is great. From planting a church to partnering with those already on mission in Puerto Rico, you and your church can make a difference; connect with us to learn how.