SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
13
November
2013

Building on Faith by Louise Burnham Packard

Actual Text 1: “What does faith look like in an organization? First, there is a focus on relationship and community. Second, there is an emphasis on today’s needs. Third there is a tendency towards action versus causation, spending versus saving. Fourth, we have flexibility. Fifth, we have a holistic approach. And finally, we have big dreams.” (Page 50)

Response 1: This quote lays out five various ways faith is represented in an organization. I found all of them to be very interesting, especially the last one. First, there is a focus on relationship and community where partnerships create a deeper understanding of the community. Second, needs are at a bias for today vs. tomorrow. Third, there is a shift from caution to action and saving to sending. This is very apparent, even at Fordham. Fourth is our ability to respond to opportunities, even risky ones without fear of failure. Fifth is the holistic approach where the focus of relationship and community inspire leaders. Last, and in my opinion most important, faith allows people to do whatever it takes and a very focused determination to pursue challenges related to big ideas.

Actual Text 2: “The world is teeming with people who are feeling that something is missing in their lives. To the extent that we can offer connection and meaning, we can create public appetite and will for social Change.” (Page 52)

Response 2: This quote really spoke to be because I constantly feel like there is something missing from my life even though once I take a step back I realize I have everything I could ever want or need. This feeling is instilled on us from all the marketing and advertisements plus a variety of other reasons. People constantly feel like they don’t have enough and need more more more. The second part of this quote is almost too optimistic due to the fact that a public appetite currently exists for social change but there is little to no action being taken to combat these issues. It is a step in the right direction to acknowledge the problems but now it is time to start attempting to fix both social and economical.

Write comment now Authorin: Alyssa Mattocks Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:13 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1:

The whole section on the 'Miracle of Loaves and Fishes'
"The feeding of the 5,000, also called the miracle of the loaves and fishes, is one of only two miracles included in all four Christian gospels... They open up their knapsacks and share what they have, and it was more than enough."

Response 1:

I love the comparison to the gospel story. It fully demonstrates the power that generosity can create. The ideas presented become much more clear and simple when the author says, "We had to look at the loaf of bread or piece of fruit in our knapsack and override our impulse to save it for later, maybe for breakfast tomorrow. The tensions were between our own needs and the needs of others, between the present need and the future need. Inspired by the power of community, the generosity of Jesus, and the connection we felt to each other, we shared, and not only were out physical needs met, our spiritual needs were met, too." Reading this section really reassured my belief in the possibility of the ideas presented. The Economy of Communion also introduced the power of generosity among communities, and this reading just strengthened the ideologies that were presented.

Text 2:

"Over at Trinity, the numbers are not quite as daunting, but nevertheless, the tension persists. In January, the foundation board looked hard at two numbers. The first was our $20,000 deficit for 2010, which we needed to cover from our meager operating reserves. The second was the fact that we had given $135,000 to other organizations, $55,000 each to our Bostonians for Youth partners and $25,000 we had raised in response to the earthquake in Haiti and used to inspire a much larger citywide faith offering. So on a $1.3 million expense budget, we had both run a deficit and tithed. Best business practice? I am not sure. Faith calling? I hope so."

Response 2:

This passage struck a chord with me. I especially loved the last line, because the author realizes the potential of the Trinity Boston Foundation. The fact that the foundation was able to run a deficit of $20,000 and also give $135,000 to other organizations was very surprising. The author really does a great job of making the project seem highly successful and hopeful. However, I do realize it requires a lot of hard work even though the author makes it seem simple. Questioning whether it is the best business practice made me think, even though it may have been a joke. Fair trade and these other faith-driven business organizations are all working to achieve this "best business model" and I think it is only a matter of time before one of these revolutionary models breaks mainstream.

Write comment now Author: Pat.Alicki Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:13 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1: "I believe that the most valuable asset that congregations and other faith-based organizations can leverage is faith . The core of this faith is the belief that there is great love at work in the universe that seeks justice, mercy, peace, and joy. Our various faith traditions and practices teach us how to stay open to that love, tap into it, align ourselves with it, and be empowered by it."

Response 1: As a member of many different faith communities in my school and parish, I can resonate with this quote in believing that faith is the center of and brings together communities. I believe it is the most powerful force in uniting people. Regardless of if they are religious or secular, a ground faith or common belief in something is a uniting force. Especially at a Jesuit university where we practice religious traditions, faith is a major factor that brings communities and congregations together.


Text 2: "We have flexibility. The ability to respond nimbly to opportunities or changing circumstances is prized over disciplined adherence to a multiyear plan. There's a willingness to pursue promising but iisky ideas without paralysis due to fear of failure."

Response 2: This quote particularly interested me among the other commons values in organizations and congregations. While this may sound contradictory as a student at a prestigious and rigorous university, I agree with the idea that being able to think quickly and in response to something is more valuable than book or typical knowledge. As Packard alludes to in the rest of the reading, communities are often challenged with situations that they did not plan for, and having flexibility is what allows them to be successful.

Write comment now Authorin: lmcgowan2 Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:58 am
13
November
2013

Building On Faith- Packard (John Treseler)

Fact 1
We had liberal, progressive Christian, and conservative evangelical Christians, and the head of the Jewish Community Relations Council all there together.

Response 1
These are the stories we do not hear enough of in out religious and faith based communities. This story about all different faiths coming to solve a problem of a church needing funding for renovation is truly inspiring. What it took was someone to see that there was a problem and lend a helping hand and to have groups accept the invitation to the breakfast. These opportunities to help each other are the ones that we need to encourage as a community of humans. We can do this by hanging out with different groups all together. Here we are able to see the value add when people come together. From my point of view this is 1+1=3. We see a few groups come together and the sum of them is greater than their individual parts. This is what relationships are all about, finding how to get 1+1 to equal 3.

Fact 2
Best business purpose? I am not sure. Faith calling? I hope so.

Response 2
This is a very difficult line for me to walk down. I do want to look at the long term sustainability of the program/organization. But with that I find it difficult to put off helping those who need the help right now. This is the fight that Packard seems to be having with herself in the moment. Practically the money will run dry if she continues to give out money to all these groups and maybe she is wrong and there is not enough money in Boston to solve all of Boston's problems since the money is in the red. But the other half says that she gave money to Hati and to other groups who may not be able to fund raise or who don't know how but need the money to give back and do good in the community. Its a very difficult line for me.

Write comment now Author: jtreseler1 Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:43 am
13
November
2013

From New Blog (11/05/13)- Upward Mobility

Text 1:

"Whether rich, poor, or in between, we are all subject to the caprice of markets. Capitalism weakens traditional bonds, so that we also feel more alone than our forebears did... Individualism reigns. I don't mean egoism, but rather that people tend to confront their needs as individuals, pursuing goals and projects for themselves and their immediate dependents."

Response 1:

The central problem to why we are so compelled to the idea of upward mobility is in this quote. The idea is central to American culture and the idea of the American Dream. Individualism is in the roots of American culture. Immigrants come to America in order to make it on their own and make a name for themselves. No one comes to America with the goal of helping the poor in mind, because the conditions for the poor are probably worse in the country they are coming from. This is why I do not think the idea of downward mobility will easily catch on; it directly conflicts with basic American ideologies.

Text 2:

"In the United States, upward mobility is the road to success, the American dream of a college education, a home in the suburbs, and a two-car garage. It means hard work and initiative but also rugged individualism, the rat race, and the devil take the hindmost with "the hindmost" turning out to be disproportionately people of color... Upward mobility can mean economic security for refugees and their children; and escaping poverty is good. But it can turn into an escape from the poor themselves."

Response 2:

This quote puzzled me. I do not disagree with the idea and reasoning behind "downward mobility" but I feel like I (along with many other people) do not see it as an option. Both of my parents came to America in the pursuit of the American dream. They worked extremely hard and were able to achieve their goals and have provided my brother and I with good lives. If I lead my life un-doing what they worked for in a way, I feel like I would be disrespecting my parents and all of the work they put in to provide me with the opportunities I have. I feel like I must continue the trend of upward mobility so I can take advantage of the opportunities my parents gave to me in order to create even better ones for my children. Perhaps downward mobility isn't for everyone at once; maybe it should start from the top, from the people who can't go any higher.

Write comment now Author: Pat.Alicki Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:31 am
13
November
2013

Building on Faith (Doyle)

1. Text 1: "There's a willingness to pursue promising but risky ideas without paralysis due to failure."

Response 1: This quote reminded me a lot of Fair Trade. Fair Trade is a huge risk when practiced, and there is never a guarantee of return due to the ever-changing conditions and difficulty of communication between ourselves and other countries. No "businessman" in today's industry would ever invest a large amount of money in Fair Trade due to these risks of failure. This is what I believe separates Fair Trade from contemporary business strategies. Even if we do fail, we have placed ourselves in a difficult situation for a right and just cause. That is the maxim that Fair Trade must fall back onto and must continue to motivate us through any struggles we will inevitably find along the way.

Text 2: Out of all of our assets, our most important one in our knapsack is our hunger for connection, meaning, and purpose.

Response 2: Well, this is pretty radical. Goes against everything I've been learning in Gabelli for the past 3 years. I've learned about assets, liabilities, debits, credits - but never an intangible hunger for connection, meaning, and purpose. It's interesting how this is so important, yet we seem to miss it on many occasions. I guess it's that feeling you get when you've had a bad day and you need to be around others to lift your spirits. People need other people. That is the true "bottom line" that we should be focusing on. The world would be a much different, and better place if we recognized that more often.

Write comment now Author: Rdoyle5 Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:03 am
12
November
2013

Building on Faith

Quote 1: "The core of this faith is the belief that there is great love at work in the universe that seeks justice, mercy, peace, and joy. Our various faith traditions and practices teach us how to stay open to that love, tap into it, align ourselves with it, and be empowered by it."

Response 1:Faith is something that makes me tense up in class when it is brought up. I am not a religious person at all. But I really love this description of faith because it is something that I can identify with. The idea of justice, mercy, peace, and joy is something that sounds good to anyone. I think we are meant to seek these things, and to better the world around us. I am not sold on the traditions and practices being necessary to keep these values, but I think that they don't hurt anyone who attends them.

Quote 2: "Our tagline at the Trinity Boston Foundation is 'Together, let's change the odds.' But unless we get the 'together' right, there's no way we will succeed."

Response 2: Many people blogged about the Trinity Boston Foundation. The idea of a community and especially the word "unity" really speaks to me. I have written quite a few times about humans needing community as part of our nature. I love the idea of people really getting together and genuinely wanting to help. This was really the feeling I got from the feature about the Trinity Boson Foundation.

Write comment now Authorin: smurray Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:26 am
12
November
2013

Building on Faith

“Together, let’s change the odds. But unless we get the “together” right, there’s no way we will succeed.”

I really enjoyed this article because I feel it really helps to drive the point that the whole is better than the individuals that make it up. In my life, I feel I have always be part of a team. Whether that team is in sports, in my job, for a school project or even my family I have come to realize that working with others allows me to see new prospective and reach an answer for something that is much different from the answer I would have come up with on my own. Specifically in sports, my teammates have always been a reason to work hard each day and really give all of my effort. We work together to make everyone the best they can be and inspire each other to keeping striving for our aspirations. This has always been an extremely powerful feeling that I have come to realize makes a huge difference in performance. I believe that the Boston Foundation has a really strong foundation to begin making changes to the city of Boston that will most certainly be for the better.

“What did each of us in the crowd do to create that miracle?”

I found this to be a really challenging question that led me to think about what it is that I could do to really make an impact on those around me. While not everything we do will be a miracle, simple things can make the biggest difference. As an RA, I always strive to make a difference for my residents. While I know not every resident wants to attend programs or be extremely active in the community, I want everyone to know they are appreciated. I began giving residents care packages for the holidays and cards for their birthdays which have been received with great success. For me, this is the something I can do to help my residents feel appreciated while they are living away from home. I have come to realize that by adding your own special touch, others appreciate the effort and often times go on to do something nice in return (even if it’s for someone else!)

Write comment now Authorin: Shannon McKenna Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:45 am
12
November
2013

Building on Faith

Test 1: "But first, what is a faith-based organization"

Response 1: This quote was extracted from the second page of the text. At this point I was still getting a sense of the author and the main point of the passage. Then this particular quote caught my attention. The author describes a faith-based organization as a religious one. I have to criticize the author's ignorance in this instance. Faith is not limited to religion, but can also be secular. Though many people find their faith in religion it is not all people. Many find faith in other forms. Faith is personal and should not ever be generalized in the way that Packard did in this part of the passage.

Text 2: "Preaching just gets the words in the air. It is in the development of community that the words are put into practice."

I was extremely moved by this quote. At this instance in the passage I was reminded of Father Jim O'Shea when he discussed Monsenor Oscar Romero. Father Jim said that the movie about the Monsenor is only a movie unless we do something about it. This is exactly what Packard suggests in her quote in the passage. People often speak without backing their words or promises. Words only have meaning for so long. Eventually, words must be matched by actions. As the famous quote states, "actions speak louder than words." As people, we must act when we desire change.

Write comment now Authorin: hshort2 Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:00 am
12
November
2013

Nov 12th: rereading rumi

-The video Wealth in America was about the distribution of wealth in America. It gave information about how people perceived the distribution, how people thought the distribution should be, and how it actually was. It revealed a lot about how the top 1% of Americans live, and compared them to the rest of the nation.
-I liked this video because it was really informing. At one point it stated that if compared to the amount of money made “a CEO works 380% harder than the average employee.” It also said, “The average worker needs to work more than a month to make what a CEO makes in one hour.” These two quotes really stuck out to me because they really put things in perspective. The thought that an average person would need to work for an entire month to match what a CEO makes in an hour is hard to swallow. I know a CEO is a very important person, but I just don’t think the monetary difference should be so great.

-“Be trained by that. Never say, or think, “I am better than…whoever.”” Pg 243
-This is a piece from Rumi’s poem in the section Green Ears Everywhere: Children Running Through. I think this excerpt is true not only in every day life, but is also very relevant to fair trade. This is a point that I people sometimes forget, and is a very humbling sentence. It shows that it is never ok to judge other people in a way that allows you to put them down. In regards to fair trade, it would be really helpful for the cause if people applied this theory. I think fair trade would be more commonly used, and people would be more aware of the goals of fair trade.

Write comment now Authorin: vmcal Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:44 am
11
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1: "But I believe that the most valuable asset that congregations and other faith-based organizations can leverage is faith. The core of this faith is the belief that there is great love at work in the universe that seeks justice, mercy, peace, and joy. Our various faith traditions and practices teach us how to stay open to that love, tap into it, align ourselves with it, and be empowered by it."

Response 1: I think faith is important for so many reasons, one being that it supports what we think and why we think it. It gives people something to believe in. I think society is so evil at this point in time that people look for something that is good and they find it in their faith and belief that God can still serve justice and peace. With the heinous crimes occurring it makes it hard to believe that love still exists, but I think a strong faith keeps the love alive in you. It doesn't have to be God that sends mercy, peace, and joy, but it can be those who go out in search of them to make it better for others.

Text 2: "One, there are enough resources in Boston to solve Boston's problems. Two, if we all got to know each other, this would be a different city."

Response 2: This reminds me of a quote from a previous reading where the world's riches 20% consumes 75% of the world's resources and the world's poorest consuming less than 2%. There are enough resources in the world for everyone to be able to survive yet millions around the world are starving daily. It's the same in Boston. There are enough resources to solve Boston's problems but the resources are not being used efficiently enough, therefore a lot of it goes to waste. However, the quote was true in saying many things can change by working together. There's only so much that can be done individually, yet together as a whole a huge change can be made.

Write comment now Authorin: fanezaj Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:49 am
11
November
2013

Rumi and Downward Mobility

Text 1:

“I used to be shy. You made me sing."

"I used to refuse things at table. Now I shout for more wine.”

Response 1:

These lines are both very powerful and symbolic. They are a great representation of our Spirituality and Fair Trade class. In our class we are able to feel comfort in voicing our opinions and thoughts. The class allows us to open our minds to views and situations we may not have ever thought of. We are now able to express ourselves without fear of being judged or embarrassed. Our words, actions, and cooperation with one another have allowed us to step outside of our comfort zone, and put meaning and importance to our thoughts. It is empowering to feel comfortable with other to express how you feel. If we are not open to our shortcomings or accomplishments we cannot work with others to achieve something great. Cooperation and teamwork allows us to use each and everyone's strengths to improve a situation. It is key to have distributive justice, and to recognize we all do not have the time, or power to do everything on our own. We must collaborate with each other and focus on what we specialize in and let others do the same. With methods like this, we are able to create great things.

Text 2:

Insecurity reaches to our sense of self. Since we are socially mobile (up,down, and sideways), we no longer identify with traditional roles, or with our occupations. All that can change from year to year. Meanwhile, pluralism discredits traditional sources of meaning: custom, religion, and ideologies. Doubts plagues. us. We take a long time to figure out who we are and what we believe.

Response 2:

We are all not perfect. We all have faults and insecurities, but that should not be the reason we cannot succeed. We are all born into the world with difference, varying life perspectives. We all adapt with our environment and with the relationships we build with others. We must make sure we are supportive of each other so that we can create the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. We are not supposed to know who we are and what our purpose is over night. In order to truly understand ourselves as human beings we must be rational and know that it takes time and experience to create ourselves. I really like the quote, “life is not about finding ourselves, it is about creating ourselves.” We are not in this world to live up to anyone’s expectations. We must discover what we are passionate about and what we are skilled at and use that to create the person we what to be, the person that will have the confidence to change the world.

Write comment now Authorin: sgostiguy Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:02 am
11
November
2013

Building in Faith

Actual Text 1:

I’m going to suggest that the best way to discover and deploy those assets is through building and strengthening community, not just within city neighborhoods but across neighborhoods and out to the suburbs. It is also by creating not just a web of individual relationships but also organizational partnerships and networks that weave together the faith-based organizations, social enterprises, and traditional nonprofits that make up our social sector.

Response 1:

This is a very powerful statement. We talked last night about bettering ourselves and being prideful in doing all we can to obtain our own personal goals. The other side to this is, that we all do need each other to survive. In order to make the world, a fruitful and happy place to live, we need to build and strengthen our community. We must use the word, community, in the sense of everyone in the world, not just as the people who live right next door to us. Cooperation and teamwork not only bring great ideas out to the open, but also allow us to create change. If we can get to know each other and value each other, then with each and everyone’s strengths and powerful minds, we can do great things.

Actual Text 2:

Often the approach is accompanied by a “whatever it takes” determination. The organization has the courage to make leaps of faith, to tackle big challenges or pursue big ideas despite a lack of resources.

Response 2:

This is important to point out, because we can think of something to change, say something about it, but unless we take that first step and take action, nothing will happen. Romero, MLK, KFK, Rosa Parks, and many other inspiring people took a leap of faith, even if they could not see the entire staircase. We have to have strength and support within ourselves, and for others, in order to change the odds and make a substantial difference, together.

Write comment now Authorin: sgostiguy Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:58 am
11
November
2013

Blog #9 – 11/12/13

Text 1:

“I believe that the most valuable asset that congregations and other faith-based organizations can leverage is faith.”

Response 1:

This is not only very well said, but absolutely true. Even in a corporation or organization filled with good people, there is something special about what a faith-based group can offer. There is a certain sense of hope and working for the greater good of others that prevails. People of faith know that they are part of something much bigger than themselves which helps prevent petty arguments and other actions like that which often take place in a group setting. Even in terms of decision-making, organizations of faith are more likely to do what they feel is best rather than what is calculated to be the best logistical or rational decision. There is a big difference between an organization that consists of faith-based or spiritual people compared to an organization that is faith-based in structure. When the latter exists, the values that are packaged with faith such as community and relationships become core values of the organization.

Text 2:

“It has become clear to me and to Reverend Hamilton that the most important outcome of the breakfast and the Roxbury Presbyterian campaign was the set of relationships we formed.”

Response 2:

Although this isn’t a particularly powerful statement, I was impressed by it because it pertains to normal business as well. If there’s one thing I have learned to be true in my time at Fordham, it’s that the relationships you make and the network that you create is extremely important if you want to get a job or get anything done. People don’t just do you favors or invest their time into you because you’re a good or smart person. They are more likely to do so because they have gotten to know you and because you have already invested some time into them. It was encouraging to see the overlap between business organizations and faith-based organizations within this reading.

Write comment now Authorin: ninajanel Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:18 am
11
November
2013

Blog #8 – 11/4/13 (Posted on other website on time)

Text 1:

“Contemporary society aggravates our fear and insecurity.”

Response 1:

If you ask any close friend of mine what makes me more uncomfortable than anything, they will all cite insecurity. I find a lack of confidence to be unattractive and unnecessary. I have never met a single person who didn’t deserve to be completely confident in themself. I have especially met people who our society would pronounce to be physically or intellectually beautiful, that still found things to be insecure about. It’s really unbelievable to me, but at the same time, I understand it. I don’t know how people let themselves be caught up in this web that society creates, keeping us wanting more and never feeling good enough, especially because the scheme is so clear. How can we change as a society to be more comfortable with ourselves and people around us? Are we not capable of being happy for others in times of success? Or is it just our nature to always strive for “better”, even if our own concept of better is skewed?

Text 2:

“Our desires are stimulated and shaped by social rivalry.”

Response 2:

I very much agree with this statement. I even feel that this statement could be a good thing, if the end goal of our rivalry was positive. This is one of those “what if” moments. What if everyone’s goal in life was to be as full of knowledge and compassion as possible? What if our rivalry had to do with who could make as much of a positive impact on their family, neighborhood, community, state, country, and world as possible? I would love to be challenged to that. How can we change what we’re fighting over and fighting for?

Write comment now Authorin: ninajanel Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:01 am
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