Christians, by the very nature of their calling, are bound up in a ministry of reconciliation. The scriptures make it clear that reconciliation is the restoration of lost harmony between persons and God. Its subordinate meaning extends to include reconciliation between persons as well as between persons and their environment. Ultimately it is God who takes the initiative and effects reconciliation.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation .(2 Corinthians 5:18-19, RSV)
The concept of reconciliation:
- Is founded on God as the initiator through the giving of Jesus whose life, death and resurrection gives direction to our lives.
- Depends upon the understanding that we have been given this ministry and task of reconciliation.
- Assumes that God now performs this work and makes this appeal in the world by and through those who truly love Him.
- Prods each of us to reach out in a caring spirit for others, whether or not there is an appreciation of the caring.
The Reconciliation program:
- Helps make the biblical concept come alive in human relationships.
- Is an official priority of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
- Is people centered projects – some on-going, others experimental.
- Reflects personal involvement in the life of any community where people are hurting because of poverty, alienation, racism and fear.
These guidelines shall be applied in allocating Reconciliation Funds for programs within the Kansas Region:
- Priority will be given to programs which:
- strike at the causes of racial discrimination, alienation and poverty, and which give people the skills and/or tools to solve their problems.
- seek to change systems (e.g. laws, institutions, company practices) rather than to deal only with individual cases.
- attempt to give persons control over the decisions which affect their lives.
- involve local people, especially members of congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), so that they will become more sensitive to the needs of others and be enabled to bring about change.
- have broad sponsorship, including ecumenical and community involvement.
- are related to ethnic congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
- Programs requesting Reconciliation grants should:
- state measurable goals.
- outline strategies for reaching those goals.
- indicate all resources available. d. include evaluation procedures.
- show a great likelihood of continuing beyond the life of the grant, unless there is an obvious reason for a short-term project.
- not duplicate or unnecessarily overlap other projects in the same community.
- publicize that their project is partly funded by a Reconciliation grant from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kansas, if that grant is awarded.
- Funding requirements include:
- a conscious attempt to meet the criteria listed in #1 above.
- a negotiated length of time funding can be expected.
- an evaluation by the Reconciliation Committee of all projects in the funded year in the light of their stated purposes and goals. 1
- a clear understanding that a program must demonstrate its viability through this report and evaluation in order to be eligible to receive another Reconciliation grant.
- an awareness that projects will not be funded which can be supported out of other available monies from local, state or national sources.
- If the organization requesting Reconciliation funds is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ, that organization is expected to support the annual Reconciliation Offering which is the source of the funds for these programs, the Disciples Mission Fund which is the basic funding for most of the missions of the church, and to show evidence of support of both funds with this application.
1This evaluation will be based on:
- written project reports (e.g. program and/or financial reports) that portray the current life and health of the program.
- one visit to each project annually by a Reconciliation Committee member or persons assigned.