Monday, October 23, 2017

LCCH strategic plan retreat

Good question. I should have something to say, shouldn't I? I did fill out a pre-survey.

In general, I'm still pretty basic.

What's our core mission? Housing those needing to transition from emergency housing to stable long-term solutions. How do we pay for that? Currently, mostly with federal dollars.

Will our mission change in the foreseeable future? No, I think transitional housing is going to continue to be a need — it could grow or just as possibly shrink, depending on other economic factors relating to employment and housing stock.

If federal funding is cut, how many units of transitional housing are a bare minimum needed in the area, and what would it require in fundraising to do that and/or what options for alternate income would be available? If a sudden infusion of cash came in, how would we add to our core mission delivery system? What is our "blue sky" longer view goal that we'd love to do if current constraints weren't holding us to "business as usual"?

In the collateral areas we've entered — income tax prep, special housing options, developmentally disabled adults — what is the prognosis for income vs. expenses, and do we conduct an ongoing review of how those areas of poverty reduction, self-sufficiency, and community support of stable housing options all work to support our core mission? Under what circumstances would we expand those, or cut them off (if expenditures to maintain those peripheral aims threatened the core mission, primarily)? When is a community-wide "Housing Forum" needed again to promote the idea of a wide range of housing option viability among builders, developers, and community leaders across the county?

And finally: what game changing development could transform our core mission? Either to eliminate it as a need, or to deliver the response more effectively than we currently do for those moving from emergency housing to stable and resilient circumstances? E.g. — a guaranteed living wage? Zero unemployment? A dramatic shift in housing stock either due to new builds or vacancies in existing homes? And a) is there anything we as LCCH can or should be doing to bring that about, or b) how might we prepare for those developments should they occur?

That's my strategic plan vision on a basic level. More particularly for a board — do we have a compelling "case statement" to give potential donors? We have done relatively little donor development in the last 25 years. Is that capacity we should develop, or is federal/state/local funding our main strength and would development work undermine that . . . or is it a direction we need to be privately, quietly pivoting to? It's always easy to say "we should do it all" but practically speaking, choices for an agency of our size have to be made. A major gifts and ongoing annual fund/sustaining giver program of development is a very real change in our institutional culture, and would change many of our community partnership relationships as well. So if that's an area to explore, there are major downsides to consider before just jumping on the "yeah, we should raise major funds soon" bandwagon. I could be convinced, but I'd need to see a better case than I'm aware of currently.

But even if the answer is "no," a good solid attractive "case statement" for LCCH should exist, as donor opportunities do come up and as we do have a very basic annual gifts program. Plus, the landscape could change quickly on us — a "case statement" for giving is never going to go entirely to waste.

Jeff Gill

> On Oct 23, 2017, at 4:44 PM, Deb Tegtmeyer <> wrote:
> Anything you want to inject into the conversation tomorrow?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Gill []
> Sent: Monday, October 23, 2017 4:23 PM
> To: Deb Tegtmeyer <>
> Subject: Re: LCCH retreat tomorrow
> Church stuff in Delaware at 10:30, sadly.
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Oct 23, 2017, at 11:05 AM, Deb Tegtmeyer <> wrote:
>> Jeff - are you planning to attend?
>> Or are you otherwise involved in a Church retreat?
>> D
>> Deb Tegtmeyer
>> Executive Director
>> Licking County Coalition for Housing
>> (740)345-1970 x 212
>> <winmail.dat>

Faith Works 10-28-17

Faith Works 10-28-17
Jeff Gill

The other Luther

Katharina von Bora is not going to get as much mention as I'd like to see her get tomorrow.

Not in my Sunday sermon for Reformation Sunday, not in many others, I'll guess. October 31 is the 500th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther's 95 theses, his list of statements in dispute of certain doctrines of the Christian church of his day, so from 1517 to 2017 we have a significant event in the history not just of Western Christendom, but of world civilization.

Martin Luther began his protest of central authority and closely-held belief systems five centuries ago, and in the half-millennium since we've seen Western thought shift to a more individualistic, privacy-oriented, personal way of looking at thought and faith and responsibility. Some might even argue we've gone too far down that road, and I'm sure there will be a few sermons on that subject tomorrow.

But when this Augustinian monk and theology professor started asking questions about repentance, penance, and forgiveness . . . and turning on his own authority to the Bible to read passages like "the just shall live by faith" in a new light, he opened up a path for individual believers "to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

Luther changed how Christians read their Bibles, aided by the new technology of printing which made Bibles more available to everyday people, and with his translation of the scriptures into German he inspired English translators like Wycliffe and Coverdale, leading to the King James version in our own language.

For more about all of this, check out the comprehensive website where you can get lost for hours (trust me).

What you have to hunt around to find, though, is more about Katharina von Bora. A well-born young girl sent to a convent for an education, who chose to become a nun, but who caught the fervor of the growing Protestant Reformation around her and married Martin Luther at the age of 26.

They had twenty years together, and six children; she cooked his food, brewed his beer, started businesses like a fish hatchery that helped pay the bills during the tumult of the times as her husband wrote and preached and led his growing movement — but he also respected her opinion, her thoughts, her mind. He called her his "My Lord Katie" without irony, and turned to her as a collaborator in his household, his work, and his writing.

Scholars are still slowly putting more pieces together of how Lord Kathy inspired her husband: almost all we know of her is from what Luther wrote, and how his students would occasionally note her asides in their recording of the master's "Table Talk."

When Luther died, he made Katharina his sole beneficiary and guardian of their children. Today, that sounds utterly normal; that itself is one small sign of how her role and their marriage has influenced Western norms in the centuries since. Suffice it to say that Luther's will was unusual in its day, and much remarked upon, as was the nature of his marriage during his life.

The Protestant Reformation changed not just religion, but how we think and relate to each other in the world that grew from those changes 500 years ago. Katie von Bora played her own significant role in those transformations, and is well worth honoring today, along with that fellow she chose to marry.

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County; he's not Lutheran himself, but he speaks Lutheran fairly well for a non-native. Tell him your tales of Reformation at, or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.