We’re looking for a Fundraising Chair

Letter of Call and Application


Fundraising Chair for Regional Committee/Board of Directors

Letter of Call and Application (PDF)

The World Student Christian Federation-North America Regional Committee, the highest decision body of the WSCF-North America in between Regional Assemblies and board of a nonprofit organization registered in the State of New York, is looking for the Chair of Fundraising to join our leadership. We are looking for an individual who is highly motivated, willing to work with a team and on their own, and detail oriented. Working with the regional leadership team the Chair for Fundraising will have an opportunity to help enact social change, learn and lead with ecumenical partners, and assist in the development of Student Christian Movements.

The Fundraising Chair is responsible to support the Regional Executive, the Program Chairs and the North American Regional Committee in identifying potential financial sources for the region, writing grant proposals and appeal letters and planning a fundraising strategy for the WSCF. The chair of Fundraising is elected for a two years’ term.

Position: Chair of Fundraising
Organization: The World Student Christian Federation-North American Region, Inc.

Qualifications:
• Knowledge of the Mission, Values, and History of the WSCF
• Experience/Affiliation with a Student Christian Movement (SCM) or Church Youth/Young Adult Organization
• Experience serving on an executive level team Collegiate level or above Position

Description:
The Chair of Fundraising of the World Student Christian Federation is a volunteer position and serves as a legal board member of the Corporation. The Chair of Fundraising sits on the board together with three officers, two Global Executive Committee members, four other regional programmatic chairs, denominational at-large members and the Executive for North America as ex-officio.

Duties and Expectations:
• Responsible for chairing the WSCF-NA Fundraising Working Group and for helping implement regional and global fundraising strategies.
• Responsible for production of fundraising material for WSCF-NA events and programs
• Responsible for identifying intersectional working areas with other programmatic chairs
• Expected to attend all-conference calls and meetings of the board (in average online meetings every two months and one in-person meeting every 18 months)
• Expected to contribute to decision making of the board of the NARC.
• As a full member of the WSCF Regional Committee, the Fundraising Chair will be able to become involved in programmatic work of the WSCF, which includes Leadership Training Programs, Regional and Global events as well as regional and global thematic working groups (i.e Advocacy and Solidarity, Bible and Theology, Eco-justice, Interfaith Engagement, Racial Justice, Gender and LGBTQ rights, etc).
• Expected to contribute financially to the WSCF based on means.

The North American Regional Committee of the WSCF is responsible:
a. To provide a forum for the development of a North American Regional identity;
b. To provide leadership and support at the Regional level for work within the Region;
c. To support struggles for justice, liberation, and human fulfillment that are going on within the Region and to interpret these struggles to the churches in North America and to the rest of the WSCF;
d. To serve as a channel of communication among the various student movements in the Region;
e. To provide a means for expressing solidarity with the work of other movements and regions of the WSCF;
f. To initiate projects which involve concerns of member movements in both countries of the Region

Selection Process
The selection process will be handled by the WSCF-NA board, which will examine the applications and interview the shortlisted candidates. According to the NARC internal guidelines, members of the NARC should strive to reflect differing gender identities, sexualities, races/ ethnicities, denominational and geographic backgrounds and no more than two members of NARC may be 35 years or older and those over 35 must be part-time or fulltime student at the time of their election.

Application Due: November 15, 2017

Application information is including in the following document:
Application Form & Letter of Call (PDF)

The Un-Settling Work of Indigenous Solidarity: A North American Perspective

By Jacqueline Sookermany, SCM Canada

For four days this June a small group of students and WSCF/SCM staff members gathered in my resident city of Winnipeg, Canada for the Indigenous Solidarity Program, where we spent time learning about Indigenous culture from Indigenous members of the community and explored what it means to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous neighbours. Winnipeg is not a common travel destination and has a reputation for being cold and inhospitable for much of the year (with a nickname like Winterpeg there isn’t a lot of tourist draw), but with the highest provincial population of Indigenous people in Canada, and 40% of that population living in the city of Winnipeg, it is a unique space well suited for a conference of this nature. With the mix of cultures and communities in this small city has to offer, there are rich resources for learning about Indigenous culture, learning from Indigenous communities, and exploring the ways in which settlers and the Indigenous communities have come together to work toward reconciliation, as well as to hear from the communities where we, as settlers, have more work to do.

Our group was a diverse mix of settlers born in North America (6 from Canada, 1 from the US) and more recent settlers (from the UK, Italy, and Nigeria), each bringing their own perspectives and experience from their personal, educational and professional backgrounds. The diversity of our group allowed us to expand our definition of what Indigenous culture and solidarity looks like and to make connections slightly beyond the North American Indigenous scope to look at Indigenous issues in Nigeria and issues facing the African-American communities in the US. These stories added depth to our discussions about what solidarity and activism looks like beyond our immediate context, while also showing the ways in which each community faces their own distinct struggles in overcoming colonization, corrupt power structures, and discrimination.

We began our conference learning about the land we would be calling home for the next four days, Canadian Mennonite University. Our first speakers, Annika Reynar and Michael Veith, shared the history of the land we were on with us, a history spanning from its original inhabitants– the Saulteaux and Cree Nations– and the earliest settlers of the Selkirk Treaty to the present day University and its adjoined urban farm. We also discussed the problems of placeness and story when taken out of context or prescribed unfit meaning; how truth can get lost when we lose the collectiveness of storytelling and history keeping and instead focus on our own perspective fragments of the whole. Starting our time together sitting on the University’s farm, hearing part of the story of how we came to be there, parts of the story that we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, set the tone for the rest of the week-understanding that our stories as settlers goes far beyond the spans of our own lives. In addition to our introduction to the land, the following morning we were graciously welcomed to the land by Elder Theodore Fountaine, who would later share his own story of residential schools, as well as his vision of what Canada’s reconciliation should look like.

Through the remainder of the week there was sharing from other conference participants including the journey of the Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights and a bible study focusing on reconciliation (from the text: 1Kings 21:1-1). We also heard from our other guests, such as Indigenous artist Heather Bjorklund, who led our group in Indigenous storytelling, drama, and dance exercises and Adrienne Leitch, who spoke to us about the documentary project she collaborated on, Reserve 107, which looks at community facilitated reconciliation efforts between rural Saskatchewan settlers and the Young Chippewayan Nation members whose land they live on. During our conversation cafe and Senior Friends event facilitated by Elder Fountaine, we heard about Elder Fountaine’s experience in Residential schools and how his time there
impacted his family and relationships throughout his life. He shared with us some reading from his book, Broken Circle, and told us about his vision for repairing relationships between Canadian settlers/government and Indigenous peoples. The conversation cafe was also a time for people to share their experiences, ask questions, and to showcase an art project featuring the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission embroidered onto Canadian flags. This session was very moving and it was an honour to listen and share with Elder Fountaine.

One of the most impactful experiences for me was walking with the Bear Clan Patrol- a group of community members who patrol Winnipeg’s North End every evening to pick up drug paraphernalia and check in with community members. We started our evening attending a weekly event called Meet Me at the Bell Tower- a community check in where North End community members rally together to end violence and poverty in the community. We were able to participate in a smudge and drum song there, before heading out on patrol.

Walking through a part of my city that I rarely go to, with people who are invested, passionate, and knowledgeable about their community was inspiring. Seeing how Bear Clan members make a conscious effort to reach out to every person they pass while on patrol and how trusted they are in their community as service members and friends was a prime example of what it means to be an active member of community and how we can create change through relationships and intentionality.

Sharing in these experiences and learning along side each of the amazing people who participated in the Indigenous Solidarity Program was a blessing. Being able to take on the role of listener and learner as part of my journey of activism and social justice work was so important, as these roles can sometime be put on the back burner. This experience renewed my commitment to stand beside and not in front of my Indigenous friends and neighbours, creating space for them to speak into our shared community and advocating for their leadership in solidarity work.

Celebration of WSCF Canada & Luciano Kovacs

You are Invited!

Come and hear about the work of the World Student Christian Federation in North America: an anti-oppressive ecumenical community of students and young adults from Canada and the USA, committed to the radical and prophetic words of Jesus Christ.

We will celebrate the work of Luciano Kovacs, North America staff, who is completing 10 years of work this year.

Join SCM Canada staff, ecumenical colleagues, friends and comrades for refreshments and conversation!

September 21, 2017, 7-9 p.m.
Christie Gardens
Recreation Room, Lower Level
600 Melita Crescent, Toronto

RSVP – andersonbetsy528@gmail.com or 416-656-6064

WSCF highlighted by UN in Faith-based Organization Spotlight

The United Nations Inter-agency Task Force on Religion and Development is providing a new series of ‘FBO Spotlights’ on faith-based organizations who have UN NGO accreditation; have worked with UN entities; have active programmes promoting and supporting human rights in countries; and are working on Sustainable Development Goals-related efforts.

This month, they are shedding light on the World Student Christian Federation.

Here is the write up:

The World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) is a global community of Christian students and young adults as well as other members of the academic community dating back to 1895. WSCF is  the oldest and one of the first and foremost International Ecumenical Student organizations of the world. WSCF has more than 100 national members known as SCMs (Student Christian Movements) across the globe in six regions. The WSCF Inter-regional Offices are based in Geneva and Manila, Philippines and the six regional offices are based in Asia (Hong Kong), Africa (Nairobi), Europe (Trento, Italy), Latin America and Caribbean (Buenos Aires), Middle East (Beirut) and North America (New York). WSCF has  consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC), the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Human Rights Council and UNESCO.

The WSCF is a global community of Student Christian Movements committed to dialogue, ecumenism, social justice and peace. Our mission is to empower students in critical thinking and constructive transformation of our world being a space for prayer and celebration, theological reflection, study, and analysis of the social and cultural process, solidarity and action across boundaries of culture, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.  The WSCF is called to be a prophetic witness in Church and society. The vision is nurtured by a radical hope for God’s reign in history.

The WSCF focuses its work through programs and cross-cutting strategies as identified at its General Assembly held in Bogota, Colombia in February/March 2015 on the theme “We are Many We Are One, Sent Out to Build God’s Peace”. The five programs are Eco-Justice (economic, ecological, climate justice for the whole inhabited world), Higher Education, Identity Diversity and Dialogue with a focus on Human Sexuality, Gender and LGBTQ Rights, Overcoming Violence and Peacemaking with a focus on the Middle East and Interfaith Dialogue and Solidarity. WSCF’s Strategic Areas include Biblical and Theological Analysis, Advocacy and Solidarity, Ecumenical Transformative Diakonia with a focus on Migrant Justice, Capacity Development and Movement Building.

Upcoming WSCF projects include:

  • A WSCF-North America Indigenous Solidarity Program to be held in Winnipeg, Canada on June 15-19
  • An Interfaith Youth Conference on Peacemaking and Overcoming Violence in the Middle East to be held in Cairo, Egypt on August 1-5, 2017
  • An interfaith, intergenerational and intersectional feminist theology conference to be held in Edmonton, Canada on October 20-22, 2017
  • An Inter-regional Leadership Training Program on Identity Diversity and Dialogue with a focus on theology and LGBTQ rights to be held at venue to be determined in Asia in the November/December 2017

 

Indigenous Solidary Conversation Cafe featuring Theodore Fontaine

 

Theodore (Ted) Fontaine is a member and former chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. He graduated in civil engineering from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1973 and went on to work in the corporate, government, and First Nations sectors, including eleven years with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs as an advisor and executive director.

This powerful memoir documents the physical, psycho-logical, and sexual abuse he experienced at the Fort Alexander and Assiniboia Indian Residential Schools in Manitoba during the 1940s and ’50s. The story’s hopeful ending sets an inspirational example for generations of First Nations following a similar path.

Theodore is a regular speaker and media commentator on Indian residential schools and has presented his best-selling memoir, Broken Circle, to more than 350 audiences in Canada and the United States. He continues to break new ground by supporting survivors and by seeking reconciliation directly with those who were perpetrators of his abuse. Theodore lives with his wife, Morgan, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Indigenous Solidarity Trip: June 15-19

Indigenous-Solidarity-Trip-Small

Organized by WSCF-NA in partnership with SCM Canada, the Indigenous Solidarity Trip will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from June 15 – 19. Around 15-20 students and young adults from across Canada and the United States will be immersed in issues of racial justice and right relations, Indigenous solidarity, Indigenous theology and theologies of settlers’ solidarity, economic and eco-justice for indigenous people, mass incarceration of Indigenous people in Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools in Canada and other relevant topics.

Canada’s recent conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission came with 97 recommendations for reconciliation for the Canadian public to pursue. Three in particular pertained to the church. In response to this reality, and in alignment with the WSCF NA’s thematic pursuit of racial justice and Indigenous solidarity, we have proposed to have an allies learning trip in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As this area hosts a high population of Indigenous peoples, as well as considerable allies and reconciliation efforts, it is a ripe space for learning.

The program will include a mix of educational activities (conference-style keynotes, workshops and working groups), exposure outings, biblical and theological reflections on the theme, and recommendations for advocacy work on Indigenous solidarity. The program will involve students active in local universities and seminaries as well as young adults from congregations located in the area. Partnership with activist organizations such as the Mennonite Church Canada, Christian Peacemaker Teams and the Indigenous Family Centre will be integral to the program. Participants will also engage in Indigenous solidarity activities and in turn, once back home, will educate others regarding Indigenous issues, promoting activism and advocacy locally and nationally.

What? Indigenous Solidarity Trip
When? June 15 – 19
Where? Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Treaty 1 Territory, home of the Ojibwe, Cree and Metis Nations
What? Workshops will include: Colonization in Canada, Addressing Privilege, Playback Theatre,  UNDRIP’s work with Bill C262, Visits to Indigenous Family Centre & Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Ceremony at the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre (UCC)
How? Please apply by filling out the Registration Form. Applications should be in by May 25.

Senior Friends’ Gathering Reflection

Alice Hoaglund attended the Senior Friends’ Gathering in Berkeley, CA on March 24. Here is her reflection from that experience. 

From the time Peter Haresnape, SCM Canada General Secretary welcomed me, throughout the 8 hours when Luciano Kovacs bade me goodbye, I had the warm  feeling of being among Federation friends Friday, March 24, at the Senior Friends gathering in Berkeley.  This is a short time to compare one day with 60 years ago when I had the privilege of serving two years as European Secretary, WSCF, living in and traveling from Geneva, Switzerland, following several years in the student Christian movement in the U.S.  The current theme of the LTP conference, “Resisting Empire,” sounded like the intensity and commitment which characterized the Federation long ago.

Timeliness was another commonality which I felt as we gathered then and now for regional and international conferences.  The global outlook was broadening for us as we spoke of conflicts we faced between different parts of the world.  The 50’s weren’t that far from World War II so we could still experience the attitudes that existed among nations. This made the Federation such an important movement for bringing reconciliation as a key concept in our discussions.  The subject of sexuality was definitely a different,  though not unfamiliar, conversation. The theme of a 1952 Student World quarterly was “Man and Woman.”

Ecumenical  was a current subject then on local and national levels.  Related to this was the founding of the World Council of Churches in 1948.  Not forgotten was the amazing history preceding it, the birth of the WSCF in l895. This did not seem important to students, maybe not then nor now.  For us old-timers, it is something we don’t want the Movement to forget.  In the changing world of our day the need of interfaith understanding and common goals is part of our vocabulary.  This term during one of the workshops  added to the timeliness of the discussion.  At the same time, the grounding of local SCM’s in Bible study and worship remains basic.  I am sorry I missed the study of Exodus 32 at the beginning of the LTP conference.  Our international office in Geneva brought us in close cooperation with a Roman Catholic World Service organization.  Our staff bookkeeper Yusef was a devout Russian Orthodox.

The words on Peter’s T-shirt struck me as a banner theme for the life of the Federation.  Now if I could only recall exactly what they were?  Easier to remember are the lines at the close of Luciano‘s correspondence, “In Christ, In Solidarity,”

Alice Hoaglund

Transforming young adults into Christian leaders

By Linda Bloom
Originally published at umc.org

This week, Jacey Johnson, a United Methodist working on a Master of Divinity degree, will get a taste of what community organizing is all about — from both a theological and practical perspective.

The 24-year-old student at United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington is among the participants attending a leadership-training program organized by the Student Christian Movement-USA and its parent body, the World Student Christian Federation-North America. The participants come from the United States, Canada and a few other countries.

While the focus is on promoting social justice in today’s world, Johnson is part of a strong United Methodist connection that dates all the way back to the federation’s founding in 1895. John R. Mott, a U.S. Methodist layman who later won the Nobel Peace Prize, was one of six founders and also served as the federation’s chief executive.

The March 23-26 gathering at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, is the fifth annual such event, said Luciano Kovacs, the North American branch’s regional secretary.

Through this ongoing program, young adults “reflect theologically and biblically as well as social-politically” on the different themes explored by the federation, he explained, and learn how to foster ecumenical dialogue in their own regions.

The various trainings offered through the World Student Christian Federation-North America also are a project of The Advance, the voluntary giving program of The United Methodist Church.

Annie Solis, who lives in the Peruvian Andes, first became involved with the federation and the Student Christian Movement in 2014. A member of the Methodist Church of Peru and its Working Group on Climate Justice, the 33-year-old attended a preparatory meeting in Lima, Peru, for the U.N. climate summit in Paris and later spoke at a training on ecojustice organized by the World Student Christian Federation Latin America and Caribbean region.

In March, Solis was part of a 12-member delegation from all regions of the federation to the 61st U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The federation holds accreditation at the United Nations.

“Being part of a global delegation allowed me to know more about what the Christian students are doing and facing in their own contexts, either at school, work and faith communities, and their particular challenges regarding gender equality,” she told United Methodist News Service.

Solis finds gender injustice to be a “global burden” even in faith communities. However, she said, “we can take the first step discussing this issue in our communities and inviting our young friends to this conversation promoting a call to action toward healthier relationships and equal participation of men and women of all ages.”

READ FULL ARTICLE AT UMC.ORG

Reflection: Romans & Resistance

By Brandon Cook

As I write this I recognize that it is not enough. There is too much to protest. Too much to call out against. Our clothes are already in tatters and the ash is running into our eyes, and yet there are more miles to march. I wish to examine a simple thing in many ways because it feels small and unimportant, but it is the small beliefs that we build on. They become actions. It is easy to let the small things pass us by before it is too late.

After President Trump signed his executive order halting our refugee program and banning travelers from seven countries, I witnessed many people highlight the injustice using scripture. Supporters of the President threw scriptures back, including Romans 13:1: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God (NRSV).”

They accused Christian protestors of abandoning God’s chosen president. To say that this verse is taken out of context is a gross understatement. To claim that it means that all Christians should be absolutely obedient to whatever authority is placed over them, not only ignores the context of this verse in Romans, but also the core messages of the Gospel.

History repeatedly has shown up that those with evil actions and intents often rise to positions of power in our society. One cannot look at Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears and claim that it was right not to oppose the suffering created. America, along with other nations, has allowed evil to be perpetrated in the name of security, economic growth, Manifest Destiny, and greed. The Christian relationship to government and authority should not minimized to “Obedience is God’s command”.

Romans 13 continues by explaining that the role of the authority is to be “God’s servant of good (V. 4).” This is where our obedience as Christians lies. Authority, when it furthers the Kindom of God, whether intentionally or accidently, demands obedience. Those who name themselves as authorities and demand that Christians abandon what is good, never bear divine authority. Paul Achtemeier puts it this way, “If then a government claims for itself the kind of devotion proper only to God and demands that its subjects that they preform evil rather then good, and if it punishes those who disobey such demands to do evil, that government no longer functions as a servant of God and therefore is no longer to be obeyed as such (205).” To acquiesce to others because they claim authority is to abandon the authority that God placed on us.

So, where do our guides to what is good come from? This is one of the true beauties of this passage: It is surrounded by love. Literally. Chapter 12 is a litany of the virtues of a Christian, which famously begins, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” It instructs each person to “Let love be genuine (v 10)” and to “Extend hospitality to strangers (v. 13)” It concludes by condemning vengeful acts and anger, saying “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads (v 20)”. Chapter 13 boldly claims, “The commandments … are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law (v 9-10).” Romans 13:1 is not isolated from these verses, but is dependent on them. When Christians approach the world through love, we can discern when God is calling us to follow.

Those who resist in this time do not do so out of jealousy or bitterness. We stand boldly and proclaim that just as we have been transformed by God’s love, we are transforming through love. I long for a day when obedience is warranted, in this administration or any other. But so long as evil is done is my name, I will resist. So long as refugees are denied shelter, clean water is threatened, and patients are denied healthcare, I will resist. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “It may be that the day of judgement will dawn tomorrow; in that case, we will gladly stop working for a better future. But not before (16-17).”

Achtemeier, P.(1985). Romans: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. John Knox Press (Louisville, KY)
Bonhoeffer, D. (1997). Letters & Papers from Prison: The Enlarged Edition. Touchstone (New York, NY)