“Who can I trust these days?” – that question is often asked of me as pleas for assistance from charities and churches fill our mailboxes this time of year. A recurring joke on Anglican.Ink is my plea to talk about corruption in the Church of South India. Kevin Kallsen wards off these stories with the observation that there will be a new scandal next week. Sadly, this is true – and it isn’t restricted to India.
I have reported on corruption within the Anglican world from almost every continent – nothing bad to report yet about the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic stations, though. If you page through this news site you can find a rogues gallery of crooked archbishops, bishops, priests, missionaries and fraudulent charities — who target liberals and conservatives in the Anglican world.
So, who can you trust? Who gives value for the money received? I do not hold myself out as a rating agency – and there are many wonderful charities out there who are doing fantastic work. So an absence of recommendation is not to be interpreted as a criticism — rather, here is where I send my money to further the work of the Lord.
I tithe to my parish – I do it through a payroll deduction, so I don’t have to go through the struggle of writing a check and resisting the temptation to keep the cash for better days. If you can set up a standing order or debit to support your parish please do.
Begin by tithing to your church and then what you give above that consider this to be your charitable giving. It is easy for me to say this now that I am in my 50’s – I couldn’t do this and didn’t do this when I was younger.
Those places I support above my parish giving are ministries whose leaders I know personally, whose financial integrity is beyond question, and who are doing the work of Christ in the world. They are (in alphabetical order):
Global Mobilization Ministries – Canon Alison Barfoot – missionary support in Uganda
Engaging the Adventure – The Rev Loren and Linda Fox – mission work in Thailand and SE Asia
Friends of St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church – this is the parish in Gustavia in the French West Indies where I serve as priest in charge one month of the year.
Love for the Least – the Rev. Jerry and Stacy Kramer – mission and relief work in Kurdistan
Operation Mobilization – Anne Patz is a member of my parish who for the past eight years has worked in Hamburg Germany as a missionary among prostitutes and refugees. She is a commissioned missionary of the Diocese of Central Florida and the most courageous woman I know – she rescues women from the mafia who have been trafficked into sex-slavery.
ZANE – Charitable assistance to the elderly and disabled children in Zimbabwe
If you are looking to make a difference with your giving this year – I can vouch for these groups. They are honest. They are transparent. And they are doing the work of the Lord.
This is not an exhaustive list. Merely my list of faith based groups whom I support. In the comments tell me who you support and why. Have you had any experiences with these groups? If so let us know.