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Weekly Review

Foundations Commit COVID Funds, Racial Reconciliation, ADF Intervenes for YAF, MinistryWatch and ECFA Database Changes

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Student Group Denied.  Congress passed the Equal Access Act 36 years ago to compel federally funded secondary schools to treat extracurricular student clubs equally.  But the conservative organization Young Americans for Freedom was denied recognition recently by Harrison High School in Westchester County, N.Y.  According to WORLD, “School officials turned it down three times, giving reasons ranging from its had outside affiliation to claims it did not complement the curriculum. The school recognizes 33 groups, including an LGBT alliance club, a baking club, and a chess club.”  The religious liberty law firm Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the Harrison Central School District Board of Education.  The letter said turning down YAF constituted viewpoint discrimination and violated the Equal Access Act and First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Dalton asked the school to recognize the group for the 2020-2021 year no later than June 16.

Ministries and Racial Reconciliation.  WORLD Magazine has published a helpful article on how Christian ministries are taking the lead regarding racial reconciliation in a number of American cities.  In the article, we meet Aaron Reyes, who leads the Austin, Texas, chapter of the Christian Community Development Association, whose mission includes helping Christians of different races build relationships with each other.  He says:  “We’re in a context of suffering and hardship, and the proper response for you and me is to take all that we are feeling and all the injustices we are perceiving or experiencing ourselves … and to lay them before the God who is in heaven.”  To read more, click here.

Five Foundations Commit Increased Covid Grants.  Five foundations have committed to increase their payouts $1.7 billion within the next three years, according to the Non-Profit Times.  The new funding will be mostly in the form of debt, not spending from endowmentsto help stabilize nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and social injustice.  The foundations participating in this week’s announcement are:  the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation ($100 million), Ford Foundation ($1 billion), W.K. Kellogg Foundation ($300 million), John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ($100 million), and, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ($200 million).  Each foundation will determine priorities of the distribution of new funds based on its grantmaking guidelines and priorities. The financial commitment is new funding above the previously approved budgets by each foundation’s boards.

On Today’s Podcast.  Each week, Natasha Smith (no relation!) and I bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  On today’s program, well-known pastor Tim Keller announced that he has pancreatic cancer.  Also on today’s podcast, non-profits are growing increasingly frustrated with Facebook.  And we hear about a doctor, whose conversion to Christ in 2014, transformed not only his life, but his work as a doctor as well.  You can hear the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast apps, or you can simply click here.

ECFA Changes.  The following organizations have had membership status changes in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.  ADDITIONS: Presence Point (Grass Valley, Calif.), Kaimuki Christian Church (Honolulu, Hawaii), Virginia Mennonite Missions (Harrisonburg, Va.), Narrow Gate Foundation (Duck River, Tenn.), Pomona North Foursquare Church (Pomona, Calif.), Calvary Church (Naperville, Ill.), Changed Choices (Charlotte, N.C.), Stadia:  New Church Strategies (Uniontown, Ohio).  REMOVALS:  PowerPoint Ministries (Dallas, Tex.), Lakeside Christian Camp and Retreat Center (Pittsfield, Mass.) 

MinistryWatch Rating Changes.  The following ministries have their profiles updated with the most recent year’s financial data.  The Financial Efficiency rating of each ministry is in parenthesis.  If this rating represents a change from the previous year, that change is noted:  Messianic Vision (3 Stars, Transparency Grade:  C)Mission Aviation Fellowship (1 Star, Transparency Grade:  C), Mission Possible (Up from 2 to 3 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A)Ninos de Mexico (2 Stars, Transparency Grade:  C), Service Over Self (3 Stars, Transparency Grade:  C)Slavic Gospel Foundation (Down from 3 to 2 Stars, Transparency Grade:  C)Touching Lives (Up from 3 to 4 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A), YUGO Ministries (4 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A)Eternal Word Television Network (2 Stars, Transparency Grade:  D), Faith for Today (5 Stars, Transparency Grade:  D), Fellowship of Companies for Christ (4 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A) 

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Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.