First Edition - Seeds of Vision eNewsletter
As communities of faith engaged in the hard work of lifting up the least among us, there is so much that we can learn from one another. It is our humble hope that Seeds of Vision will help make that possible by providing a platform for ecumenical social service agencies from across the East North Central region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin) to share their knowledge and experience.

Our faith calls upon us to serve the poor and afflicted in our midst. By coming together and sharing the work that we do - both our challenges and our successes - perhaps we can all find new ways to help those in our community who are crying out for help.

While it might seem odd to release a newsletter right now that does not address the COVID-19 crisis, it’s also important to remember that eventually this crisis will end. And in some ways that perhaps makes it the best time of all to reflect on the work that we do, to learn from others, and to ask ourselves how we can do better. May this short collection of articles help inspire such thoughts.
Ecumenical-Social-Services Agency Profile
Christian Ministries of Delaware County
Christian Ministries operates the only low barrier men’s shelter in Delaware County, Indiana. Their food pantry serves 10,000 people a year, and they also have a family shelter, an emergency assistance fund, and a thrift store. 

They receive financial support from a quarter of the churches in Delaware County, encompassing an extraordinarily diverse range of denominations and faith traditions.
Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allan County
A Baby’s Closet
A Baby’s Closet , a program of the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allan County , provides mothers with access to a wide range of necessities to help them care for their children, including cribs, car seats, diapers, and baby formula. 

What makes A Baby’s Closet unique is that the mothers purchase their items with vouchers obtained by keeping their pre- and post-natal care appointments.
Joe Micon's Tips for Fundraising
Dos & Don'ts of An Effective Fundraising Letter
Joe Micon was the Executive Director of Lafayette Urban Ministry for 30 years. 

During that time he has written almost 180 fundraising letters, netting close to $35 million for LUM. In this article he shares a few Dos and Don’ts of the main fundraising letter tips that he has compiled over the years.
Meet an Executive Director
Jonathan Rocke, Peoria Rescue Ministries
Jonathan Rocke is the Executive Director of Peoria Rescue Ministries in Peoria, Illinois. 

During his four years with the agency he has worked hard to develop a strong theological foundation for their work. 

Jonathan Rocke has transformed the agency from a service-as-relief organization to one that helps their clients move towards self-sufficiency, and shifted the agency culture from compliance and control to gospel and grace. 
Policy Article - Advocacy for Families & Children
Minimum Wage = $7.25 in 21 US States
Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have minimum wages that are higher than the $7.25 established under federal law. In many states, however, the fight to raise the minimum wage goes on.

A full time minimum wage worker is still well below the poverty line and, using the much more accurate Self-Sufficiency Standard , would have to work more than 120 hours a week to support a family of three. 
While this policy article highlights legislation from Indiana, we would love to hear what legislative issues are affecting clients in your communities. If you have a legislative or policy issue that you’d like to see highlighted in a future newsletter, please email it to
Invite Your Colleagues - Grow Our Network
If you know of other ecumenical social service agencies in your area who should be receiving Seeds of Vision , please send their contact information to .

If you would like to see your agency, or one of your programs, featured in Seeds of Vision , please email Josh Prokopy at . We would love to work with you. We’ll conduct a brief telephone interview before drafting an article and sending it to you for your approval.  
Connect with your colleagues on social media by joining the Seeds of Vision Facebook Group. To join, click HERE.