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Friday, October 4, 2013

Local Government, Clergy Forge Partnership

Local Government, Clergy Forge Partnership

October 4th, 2013
pottercoclergymtgStriking a balance between taxpayer-funded services for those in need and charitable work by churches, volunteers and community organizations is always a challenge – made more difficult by government budget cuts. Potter County took a step to bolster the partnership by hosting a gathering of local social service agencies and clergy at Cole Hospital’s Wellness Center. Some 15 agencies and a dozen churches were represented.

The vehicle that’s forging the new approach is known as Potter County LINK and the focus was on services available to residents 60 or older and the disabled of any age. LINK Coordinator Barb Kiel, who organized the session, was encouraged by the outcome. “It went very well and the pastors’ evaluations were positive and encouraging,” she noted. She said pastors welcomed information on services that could benefit their parishioners. “This will help them as they minister to others,” Kiel noted. “Some clergy members suggested a gathering of this sort should be held annually, which we will consider.”

Kiel represents the Potter County Area Agency on Aging, which is a lead agency for LINK, together with Potter County Human Services, Community Resources for Independence, and Life and Independence for Today. People in need are often confused or overwhelmed by the social service system. As a result, in some cases those needs are unmet. Clergy at last week’s session came away with a greater understanding of the government programs and the potential to integrate their pastoral care with social services. More information on LINK is available at 1-800-753-8827.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea. As long as they don't use the county court system as a recruiting tool for the Assemblies of God religious indoctrination/cult, better known as Teen Challenge. That's the role of church, not state.