Says now is a perfect opportunity for the church to re-assert itself in the mission field at home
Concord, NH - In light of the suggested budget cuts by the House Finance Committee, particularly in the area of social services, Cornerstone is calling on churches and faith-based organizations to "step up" as many have done in other states where government can no longer afford to provide vital services to the most needy. Over the coming months, Cornerstone will work to bring together both leaders from the faith-based community and government officials to give each side a better understanding of where the greatest needs are anticipated and in what areas faith-communities are equipped to help to meet these needs.
Commenting on the proposed partnership was Cornerstone Director, Kevin Smith:
"We are calling on church leaders, lay people, and other faith-based organizations to see this difficult economic time as an opportunity to re-assert itself as agents of cultural change by serving our most poor and needy right here at home. While many churches and faith-based organizations have done and continue to do incredible work in the mission field abroad, too often they have abdicated their responsibility, to serve our own neighbors, to the federal, state, and local governments. With state and local services now being reduced or eliminated at an unprecedented rate, leaders of faith-based communities are being presented with a chance to effect a paradigm shift in the way social services are delivered - and we are asking them to heed the call."
Smith added, "Just because social services are being reduced on the state and local level, does not have to mean that those who are most in need of them can no longer receive some of them - we just need to change the way we think in terms of who is able to provide these services. Granite Staters and Americans in general are the most compassionate and giving people in the world in terms of how much of their earnings they give to private charities. I have no doubt that if asked in their local church or community group, they will jump at the opportunity to help out their fellow neighbor."
Prior to becoming Executive Director of Cornerstone, Kevin Smith headed up the state's first state and faith-based partnership at the Department of Health and Human Services while serving as Deputy Director at the Division for Juvenile Justice. During that time, Smith brought together department agency heads and leaders in the faith-based community to develop volunteer and community based programs such as UShareNH and FBA-Net as a way for the faith community to assist state government in areas where needs were not being met.
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