Faith-Based Resources: Resource Directory
Balm in Gilead
Web site: http://balmingilead.org/
The mission of Balm in Gilead is to improve the health status of people of the African Diaspora by building the capacity of faith communities to address life-threatening diseases, especially HIV and AIDS. Their work has enabled thousands of churches to become leaders in preventing the transmission of HIV by providing comprehensive educational programs and offering compassionate support to encourage those infected to seek and maintain treatment. For the past 18 years, Balm in Gilead has mobilized The Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, which engages Black churches to become centers for education, compassion, and care in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Their Web site contains many resources on HIV/AIDS, sermon development on HIV/AIDS, a list of their programs, an online forum, facts on HIV/AIDS, and a list of upcoming events.
California Church Impact
Web site: www.churchimpact.org
California Church IMPACT represents the interests of progressive Christians before the legislature and government in Sacramento and provides e-mail alerts about important legislative issues. In recent years, IMPACT has advocated for those who can't afford high-priced lobbyists at the state capitol: low-income mothers, hungry children, elderly immigrants, and the homeless. The group also works on issues such as welfare reform, expanding access to health care, gun violence, civil rights, and the protection of religious liberty. The organization develops programs and publishes study guides on issues of justice, compassion, peace, and tolerance. The California Council of Churches and IMPACT also publish a Webzine/Blog (www.SpeakfromtheHeart.net). Their Web site contains reports, handbooks, study guides, newsletters, and action alerts.
California Council of Churches
Web site: www.calchurches.org
The California Council of Churches serves as a prophetic witness to the Gospel by educating faith communities to pursue justice, equity, and fairness in the treatment of all people, in particular society's most vulnerable. The Council represents 21 Protestant and Orthodox denominations and more than 1.5 million church members throughout California. The Council lifts up issues of concern to California's faith community, such as hunger, homelessness, health care, child care, violence, civil rights, economic and environmental justice, and religious liberty.
Catholic Health Association
Web site: http://www.chausa.org/
The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) supports the Catholic health ministry's mission, ethics, and advocacy. As the nation's largest group of not-for-profit sponsors, systems, and facilities, the ministry is committed to improving the health status of communities and creating quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. CHA provides excellent information that frames the issue of uninsurance, as well as the importance of having accessible health care, from both historical and faith-based perspectives. The group also sponsors a campaign called "Covering the Nation" that is focused on advocating for universal health care.
Catholic Health Initiatives
Web site: http://www.catholichealthinit.org/
Catholic Health Initiatives, another ministry of the Catholic Church, is both a direct service provider and an advocacy organization. The group’s Web site describes their community involvement and advocacy efforts.
Center for Healthcare Reform (CHR): St. Joseph Health System
Web site: http://www.stjhs.org/
CHR seeks to extend the Catholic health care ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by improving the health of people in the communities they serve. The CHR joins people of all faiths in a movement to create health care policies and practices that are fair and just. Resources available on the group’s Web site include a program of prayer with suggestions on how to incorporate this program into sermons, as well as tips on political action and on helping enroll children in health programs. (Please also see: “Our Healthcare Future”)
Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)
Web site: http://www.childrensdefense.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage
CDF is a nonprofit organization committed to giving every child a healthy, safe, and fair start in life. Their resources include a “Children’s Sabbath Manual,” available for a small fee, that provides easy-to-use lesson plans, clip art, ideas for hands-on service and advocacy efforts, as well as worship materials for Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahá´í, Unitarian Universalist, and other faith traditions.
Cover the Uninsured Week: Faith Planning Center
Web site: http://covertheuninsured.org/faith/
Cover the Uninsured Week (a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) is an annual, week-long campaign designed to mobilize people across the nation to let Congress know that health care must be their top priority. The campaign’s Web site provides a link to the Faith Planning Center, an extension of the campaign that has numerous helpful resources. These resources include bulletin inserts; information fliers; suggestions on how to organize congregations around health care issues; an official “Call to Care” signed by the National Interfaith Advisory Board; and materials for prayer and study for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith leaders.
Covering Kids & Families
Web site: http://coveringkidsandfamilies.org/
Covering Kids & Families is a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on reducing the number of uninsured children and adults through enrollment in Medicaid or SCHIP. The initiative is a collaborative project with involvement from both secular and faith-based organizations. There are many helpful resources on the group’s Web site, including an Interfaith Toolkit, a guide to successful strategies, and a list of ways to get involved in the campaign.
Episcopal Health Ministries
Web site: http://www.episcopalhealthministries.org/
The mission of the Episcopal Health Ministries is to promote health ministry in Episcopal congregations. The group serves the Episcopal Church by educating leaders for Episcopal health ministry and parish nursing; supporting those engaged in health ministry in Episcopal congregations through membership opportunities; providing resources to local congregations, diocese, and provinces; and collaborating with other faith communities, institutions, and health organizations. Their Web site includes information on educational opportunities, their "Body and Soul" newsletter, and a list of congregational partners and affiliates.
Faith and Politics
Web site: http://faithandpolitics.org/
Faith and Politics is a non-partisan institute whose focus is on emphasizing the role of faith in encouraging elected officials to embrace the common good over political gain.
Faith-Based Initiatives in Rural Areas
The Rural Assistance Center provides information through this Web site about access to the most basic services, like health care, in rural communities across America. More specifically, in recent years there has been a downsizing of health cares services and providers in rural areas. This Web site offers tools, funding, documents, contacts, FAQs, and news for those living in rural America.
Faith Beyond Walls
Web site: http://www.faithbeyondwalls.org/
Founded in 1999, Faith Beyond Walls creates opportunities for faith communities to have a meaningful, measurable impact on the quality of life in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Since 2001, Faith Beyond Walls has mobilized more than 2,000 volunteers, including individuals, congregations, faith-based institutions, organizations, and schools. The group envisions St. Louis as one of America's leading cities where faith communities get together to get things done; where families, neighborhoods, and the greater community have improved health, housing, and well-being; where interfaith partnerships reduce racism, poverty, and violence; and where more faith-based institutions participate in sustainable community outreach and neighborhood revitalization projects.
Faithful Reform in Health Care
Web site: http://www.faithfulreform.org/
Faithful Reform in Health Care has the mission of expanding the depth and breadth of support for health care reform within the religious community, educating people of faith about the issue, and activating the prophetic voice to promote affordable health care for all in the United States as a moral value. In order to fulfill that mission, FRHC will work to develop health care reform messages that are grounded in theological understandings and scriptural narratives, and by cultivating an environment in which faith-based health care reform efforts work collaboratively in their communications, education, and advocacy activities. Their Web site is very extensive and includes devotional materials, workshops materials, advocacy tools, as well as other materials.
Health Ministries Association
Web site: http://www.hmassoc.org/
Health Ministries Association is a group of professionals and lay people who encourage and support each other in the development of programs that integrate care of the body, mind, and spirit. They believe that by sharing information, guidelines, and resources, they also assist and encourage individuals and faith communities as they develop whole-person health programs, use community resources, and educate others on the interdependent aspect of health of body, mind, and spirit. Their Web site includes a list of faith-based resources, as well as information on a speaker’s bureau, upcoming conferences, continuing education information, and a list of their chapters.
Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care: Health Care Justice Faith Caucus
Web site: http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/FaithCaucus.htm
The Faith Caucus is a network of religious leaders and faith organizations in Illinois that is committed to improving health care. Their most recent campaign, “Health Care Sabbath,” which took place on September 15-17, 2006, provides a useful model of how to raise awareness about the injustice of health care disparities. Advocates can order a copy of the toolkit created for the event through the group’s Web site. The toolkit includes a background section detailing the importance of the issues, resources for study, worship and prayer guides, and advocacy ideas.
International Parish Nurse Resource Center
Web site: www.ipnrc.parishnurses.org
Deaconess Parish Nurse Ministries and the International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) foster physical, emotional, spiritual, and social harmony leading to healthy and healing relationships with God, family, faith communities, culture, and creation. They accomplish their mission in two ways: in the St. Louis metropolitan area, through support of quality parish nurse ministries, and in the United States and abroad, through education, consultation, and research to support the growth and development of parish nursing. The IPNRC Web site includes information on how to start a parish nurse ministry, sample curriculums, discussion forums, upcoming events, related links, and links to books and resources.
Mental Health Ministries
Web site: http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/
Mental Health Ministries produces resources designed to reduce the stigma of mental illness within faith communities. Their Web site includes many resources, including the group's DVDs, videos, and books on mental illness. It also contains a page with links to other organizations that focus on mental illness.
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Web site: http://www.gsadvocacy.org/
The National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd advocates for issues of peace, justice, and fair access to health care, among several top priorities. The resources on the group’s Web site include weekly action alerts, tips and advice for advocates, voter resources, faith-based resources, and comprehensive background information on all of the issues they work on, including universal health care.
National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)
Web site: http://www.nae.net/
NAE serves the evangelical community in several ways, including providing strategic planning. The group recently put forth an “Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility,” which asks evangelicals to make health care a priority issue and to exercise their civic duty in voting and advocating for a more responsible and open health care system based on Christian ethics.
NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Web site: http://www.networklobby.org/issues/health_care.html
NETWORK is a progressive Catholic organization that lobbies and advocates for social justice causes, including universal health care. The group works in coalition with both secular and faith-based organizations to establish a system that guarantees health care for all. (Please also see “Our Healthcare Future”)
Our Healthcare Future: The Dialogue
Web site: www.ourhealthcarefuture.org
Our Healthcare Future is a national grassroots effort that is a collaborative project of NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, the St. Joseph Health System, the Georgetown Medical Center, and Allegany Franciscan Ministries Inc. In addition to hosting online discussions on the current state of the U.S. health care system and future directions for reform, Our Healthcare Future also provides the tools and resources for local community leaders to host their own “Dialogues” on these issues and to discuss solutions in a local setting.
PICO National Network
Web site: http://www.piconetwork.org/
PICO is a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban, and rural communities. One of the issues the group works on is bringing quality health care to all. PICO California is particularly dedicated to advocating for quality health care.
Religious Action Center: Union for Reform Judaism
Web site: http://www.rac.org/advocacy/issues/issuehc/
Religious Action Center is the social action portion of the Union for Reform Judaism. Their Web site discusses their position on policy issues such as health care, lists press releases detailing their involvement in various issues, and provides links to relevant and helpful Web sites.
Web site: http://www.samaritancentral.org/
The mission of Samaritan Ministry is as follows: “Our church should be a beacon of light and hope, by way of Christ, to anyone who suffers from or has family or friends who suffer from this disease [HIV/AIDS].” Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Samaritan Ministry focuses on providing care for people with HIV and AIDS in the area. Their Web site includes a devotional guide, a list of upcoming conference, and an online newsletter.
Web site: http://www.sojo.net/
The mission of Sojourners is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Sojourners carries out its mission by doing the following: publishing "Sojourners" magazine, SojoMail, and other resources that address issues of faith, politics, and culture from a biblical perspective; preaching, teaching, organizing, and public witness; nurturing the community by bringing together people from the various traditions and streams of the church; and hosting an annual program of voluntary service for education, ministry, and discipleship. Their Web site includes many resources, ranging from discussion guides to online sermon preparation guides and action alerts.
The Southern Institute on Children and Families
Web site: http://www.thesoutherninstitute.org
The Southern Institute on Children and Families focuses its work on improving the well-being of children and families, especially those with lower incomes. The organization generates greater awareness of the problems these families face and equips community and business leaders, along with policymakers, with the knowledge they need to help them make informed decisions. The Southern Institute's Carolina Nutrition Alliance project was geared toward faith outreach and process improvements in the Food Stamp Program. Through this initiative the Southern Institute utilized methods and activities that can also be applied to health care. The organization also was involved in the creation of a toolkit, Guide to Working with the Faith Community, in its role as National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Covering Kids and Families initiative. This kit can help facilitate interfaith participation in the effort to enroll eligible children and adults in public health coverage.
United Church of Christ (UCC)
Web site: http://www.ucc.org/health/
The United Church of Christ is a long-time advocate of universal health care. Their Web site provides links to the church’s resolution on universal health care, as well as helpful documents such as “The Face of Inadequate Health Care May Look Like Yours and Mine!” and “Health Care Justice: The Time is Now!”
Council for Health and Human Service Ministries of the UCC (CHHSM)
Web site: http://www.chhsm.org/
CHHSM is the largest component of the UCC Health ministry. It is comprised of more than 80 corporate members, all affiliated with the United Church of Christ, that operate facilities and programs that provide health care, as well as services for children, people with disabilities, and seniors. CHHSM works closely with Lutheran Services in America (www.lutheranservices.org), especially on advocacy issues. The CHHSM Web site includes links to several advocacy alerts that summarize current health issues and how these issues can affect people’s everyday lives.
United Methodist Committee on Relief
Web site: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which is the humanitarian relief and developmental agency of the United Methodist Church, is involved in health care ministries in the U.S. as well as Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Ministries include HIV/AIDS programs, community-based primary health care, and community health care grants. Their Web site contains integrated solutions that they offer to communities in the U.S. and abroad. It also contains the work they do, particularly in relation to emergency responses, health, hunger, immigration, and refugees.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
Web site: http://www.nccbuscc.org/
USCCB is a coalition of bishops of the Catholic Church from across the United States and the Virgin Islands who are dedicated to a social justice ministry. They have resources on a wide array of issues, including health care. The “Domestic Issues” portion of their Web site provides information on a variety of health resources, such as issue briefs on key policy issues, samples of letters of support written to members of Congress on different health issues, and action steps for involvement.
[Return to top]
[Return to Faith-Based Resources Home]