BCE Executive Director Robert Parham in file photo from April 2004.
I believe in straight talk. I think the readers of EthicsDaily.com expect nothing less.
In the past several months, I've talked straight with our readers about having acute leukemia. I've shared about my physical atrophy, my family's courage and my discovery of an unbeknownst, albeit large, beloved community of support. I've hinted that the journey to wholeness is a long one with no assurance of a positive outcome.
However, I've been fretting about offering more straight talk for fear that it would sound like pity talk. I don't like pity talk. I think pity talk is far too prevalent within the religious community. It's a form of emotional manipulation and a cousin of wolf cries.
Risking misinterpretation, I feel it's necessary to share straight from my heart with our readers.
The Baptist Center for Ethics' staff—Bob, Cliff, Jan and Meredith—have done an outstanding job in my prolonged absence and slow return. They raised the bar on our already high-quality services and resources. They continue to perform with excellence despite being short-handed.
I, on the other hand, haven't been able to do one of my primary jobs—ensuring the financial health of the organization. Until I'm in better health, I will not be able to do the traveling necessary to raise the funds needed to keep BCE financially strong.
Consequently, I'm dependent on the good and generous contributions from the readers of EthicsDaily.com who benefit from and know the value of what we do.
Here's our situation. After five months, BCE is solidly in the red and burning into our limited reserves.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's staff and coordinating council worsened our future financial prospects with their decision to cut our 2005-2006 funding by some $6,500.
BCE's funding is being reduced, while other partners like Associated Baptist Press and Baptist Joint Committee, which receive substantially more funding than BCE, retain their current level of funding.
We need to raise $27,597 to get out of the red and $3,250 to cover the future lost funding this year from CBF.
We need to raise a total of $30,847.
The best source available for such an effort is the readership of EthicsDaily.com.
If every daily reader contributed $100, then we would have the financial strength to turn up significantly our witness and work with even more high-quality resources.
If every reader gave $50, then we would gain an unparalleled degree of financial autonomy this year.
If every reader gave $25, then we would exceed our 2005 goal of contributions from individuals.
If every reader gave $10, then we would get out of the red for the first 5 months of 2005 and cover our lost funding from CBF.
I am asking our readers to consider the Antioch model of giving—each gave according to their ability (Acts ).
Some readers have significant financial means. Others have tight budgets. I hope all will give according to their means. We need all readers to give.
Secure, online donations may be made on our Web site (clickhere).
Checks may be mailed to BaptistCenter for Ethics, 4219 Hillsboro Road, Ste. 210, Nashville, TN37215.
Know that your donations are tax-exempt.
Robert Parham is executive editor of the BaptistCenter for Ethics.