Advancing Our Faith at Work!
Please Join US October 3rd in Dallas Texas for this exciting event
Join me October 3rd at the Annual DFW Summit For Religious Freedom
IT'S TIME FOR THE 6TH ANNUAL DFW SUMMIT FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Below are all the details.
This year's Summit will be held at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum in downtown Dallas.
There will be 30 notable speakers and moderators will join 7 sessions to be held from 10AM to 7:30PM.
Topics will be of interest to employers and employees, attorneys, academics and students, Pastors, Priests and Imams and congregants of every religious tradition.
Grassroots citizens will learn how to defend their rights to exercise and free speech in every situation.
We hope you register to join us on Tuesday October 3rd. Please forward this email to your friends, congregants and associates.
Lunch, a light dinner, free parking and CLE credit will be provided to all who register for this in person event.
Summit flyer & agenda: https://dfwreligiousfreedom.org/Downloads/10749/Flyer-6th-Annual-DFW-Summit-For-Religious-Freedom-Final.pdf
Evening flyer: https://dfwreligiousfreedom.org/Downloads/10748/RF-6-pm-v4.pdf
Noon / legal flyer: https://dfwreligiousfreedom.org/Downloads/10724/Oct-3-Religious-Freedom-in-the-Workplace.pdf
30 second promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU7igot0h0E
bios for 30 speakers: https://dfwreligiousfreedom.org/Bios/2023
logistics & parking: https://dfwreligiousfreedom.org/Downloads/10725/DHHRM%20Know%20Before%20You%20Go
The Power of Belonging!
People have a strong drive to feel included and respected. It is a basic human need for community and belonging built into all people—in families, in smaller groups, in large crowds. Even at a rock concert, people feel a strong drive to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Who feels they BELONG at your church?
Take a little time for some self-assessment. Who is feeling a sense of belonging at your church? Who is thriving? What demographic is engaging, participating, and growing? Those are the ones who feel like they belong.
Now consider– how can you expand that sense of belonging? How can you communicate: this is for YOU? You want to be sure that it’s not only people who are already there–and already involved–that feel like they belong. What about the people who have just walked in the door? How can you create an environment that communicates to them: You belong here.
3 ways to expand belonging
1. Create a welcoming environment Consider your church from the point of view of a new person. You could even send in someone from out of town who knows nothing about your church, and see what kind of experience they had. Was it welcoming? Were they officially greeted? Did someone help them know where to go, what to do, how to get what they needed? Were they unofficially greeted… say by the people who happened to sit near them or passed them in the hall? Did people make conversation with them or invite them to anything? Consider how you can create an environment where people feel truly welcomed. The power of being welcomed is considerable in expanding belonging.
2. Acknowledge specific needs There’s nothing like acknowledging very human problems and needs to help people breathe a sigh of relief and begin to feel like they could see themselves here. Simple things like signage that tells new people where to find things like the bathrooms and children’s ministries, or ensure there is access and space for people of all sizes or with mobility constraints. Even in the announcements, offering some ways to get involved that recognize and meet needs can go a long way: a grief group, a recovery group, support groups for parents… basically supportive types of groups for anyone help us all feel like it’s okay to not be perfect here. Because we can belong.
3. Branch out into new endeavors Sometimes when you want to make a change at your church, you don’t need to try to get everybody to make that change. Rather, launch a new pilot group of some kind. Even if it’s something simple like, “We’re going to try a new type of small group. Who’s in?” Other groups can stay as they are, but by allowing people to opt into something new, you provide them with a chance to get in on the ground floor and take ownership instead of forever being the “new person.”
Belonging is powerfulExpand it as much as you can. We can experience God together in ways we cannot experience God alone. EVERYBODY is looking for the kind of community churches can offer when they’re healthy. We can offer a place where people feel they belong. We all feel a deep need to belong, but most of us don’t fully appreciate that need in others.
Many, many people are missing out on the important dynamic of experiencing God in community. How can we invite them in? Because they are longing for an experience of belonging. And when we live like Jesus taught us to live—and practice those behaviors in community—they produce a powerful sense of belonging for all those around us.
Fr. Greg ChaplainCare CGO Delivers a message on Chaplains in Texas Public Schools
New York Times Article on Faith At Work
Jennifer Miller is a freelance reporter who covers American cultural divides.
Sept. 22, 2023When Christy Childers moved from Austin to San Francisco in 2017 to start a marketing job at Facebook, she felt anxious about sharing her evangelical faith with her new colleagues. In Ms. Childers’s religious community, Silicon Valley has a reputation for being overtly secular and less than accepting of Christian beliefs. She now calls that view “unfounded.” Within a week, colleagues had invited her to a lunchtime Bible study and a happy hour attended by scores of Christians across the tech industry.
“I thought, ‘I can be out about being a Christian. I can do that here,’” Ms. Childers said.
During her three years as a brand manager, Ms. Childers’s evangelical identity became central to her work. She honed her managerial skills by leading the Christians at Facebook (now Christians at Meta) employee resource group. Weekly prayer meetings with colleagues led to what she called “real-time miracles,” like engineers suddenly fixing bugs they’d struggled with for months and solutions to P.R. crises. Company leaders also consulted her about the attitudes of conservative Facebook users.
In 2019, Ms. Childers founded Pray for Tech, a nonprofit that supports Christian prayer communities inside tech companies. The next year, she left Facebook to run the organization full time. She has since worked with Christian groups at 40 companies, where she’s observed a growing interest in supporting workers’ core identities, including their faith.
This corporate effort to create a sense of belonging at work grew after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, when many companies rushed to improve their diversity, equity and inclusion, or D.E.I., efforts. Employees from underrepresented groups were encouraged to bring their “authentic” or “whole” selves to work, and companies increased support for identity-based employee groups organized around gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Increasingly, faith is a part of this list. Human resources professionals, diversity consultants and scholars all say it’s become more common for employees to share their religious identities at work and to request the same corporate recognition and support given to other identity groups. Most major tech companies now have official faith-based affinity groups.
Fueling the effort are multiple Christian organizations including Pray for Tech; anti-discrimination nonprofits, like the Anti-Defamation League; and nonpartisan, multifaith nonprofits like Interfaith America and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.
“It feels like the train is moving and as imperfect as the D.E.I. vehicle is, hop on or hop off and get religion into the larger ecosystem,” said Simran Jeet Singh, executive director of the Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute. “It’s almost like, here’s a way for people of faith to say, think about us too.”
Twenty years ago, few secular companies recognized faith-based employee groups and those that did exist — whether officially sanctioned or not — were typically for Christians. Today, nearly 70 secular corporations officially fund them, according to the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, and scores more allow them to exist. Many groups are new since 2017, some have thousands of members and represent Christians, Muslims and Jews, along with Sikhs, Buddhists, Baha’is and even atheists.
Scholars call this a cultural shift. The secular office has long been “a neutral space, where there is separating out of religion,” said Helen Chung, an assistant professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Seattle Pacific University who studies faith-based employee resource groups. This is partly “a carry-over from the separation of church and state,” Ms. Chung said, and partly a way to keep the peace. “What are the two things you’re not supposed to talk about?” said Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. “Religion and politics.”
Inviting employees to bring their whole selves to the workplace means companies should be prepared to host some difficult conversations. “That doesn’t mean companies have to weigh in on Israel-Palestine,” Mr. Singh said. But, he said, workers of faith “have real issues that they’ll be bringing to the table, and you have to be ready to address them.”
A New Office CultureThe past few years have changed the way we work in profound ways.
- R.T.O. Around the World: Return-to-office patterns vary in different places based on factors like housing density, length of Covid lockdowns and cultural norms.
- The ‘Top Gun’ C.E.O. Era: Work is war — or so it can feel to certain executives. To meet the moment, they’re getting in a cockpit.
- Gen X in Charge: The original “latchkey kids” are grown up, in the boss’s seat and ready to make the rules. Don’t make a big deal about it.
- Flat Structures: Businesses that reject hierarchies in favor of a “flat” corporate structure rarely work. A new crop of companies is aiming to find a middle ground.
“Historically, religious institutions have provided people a context, a container to mark transitions in their lives and do some meaning making,” Ms. Chung said. “But some of that has lessened, and I think because of that, we look to recreate some structures for ourselves in the workplace.”
Employees who have joined workplace faith groups or otherwise integrated religion into their professional lives, often do so for emotional support. Ms. Childers’s organization, Pray for Tech, facilitates virtual inter-company prayer sessions, like one last March, where employees from Meta, Microsoft and Yahoo prayed for strength in the face of layoffs.
At PayPal, workers can submit requests to a “prayer portal,” asking that colleagues pray for them. “A lot of times it’s around a health diagnosis. Or a prayer for leadership and wisdom during difficult economic times,” said Becky Pomerleau, the company’s senior director of audit, who helped found both the company’s interfaith and Christian affinity groups in 2019.
Sukie Singh Gandhi, a technical consulting manager at Salesforce, said engaging with her Sikh faith at work helps her feel seen and respected as a religious minority. Ms. Gandhi is global vice president of Faithforce, a 5,000-member affinity group at her company, and part of the “Sikhs at Salesforce” Slack channel — positions she’s used to help out her Sikh colleagues.
Some Sikhs, for example, are required to carry a kirpan, a small ceremonial dagger that represents justice and courage. Yet they worry colleagues or security will misconstrue the kirpan as a weapon. After her colleagues raised these concerns on the Slack channel last year, Ms. Gandhi helped convene meetings with executives, security officials and employees to discuss the issue.
As a result of these talks, Sikhs who want to carry a kirpan at work now receive special notation on their employee badges.
Ms. Gandhi found this experience empowering. “That is who I am,” she said. “We shouldn’t be hiding.”
In fact, many religious employees say they were closeted about their faith before “coming out” to colleagues. Michael Roberts, a Salesforce engineer, said it took him three years to come out as an evangelical Christian. Once he did, he became a founding member of Faithforce.
A few years later, at age 30, Mr. Roberts came out as gay. After learning that he was in a same-sex relationship, his longtime church rejected him. But his Faithforce colleagues had the opposite response. “They were amazing champions,” Mr. Roberts said. “That was a significant source of strength for me in that hard transition.”
Michael Roberts said it took years for him to “come out” as an evangelical Christian. He became a founding member of Faithforce and is now its global president.Credit...Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times
Difficult conversationsCompanies with faith-based affinity groups are quick to emphasize how deeply their employees respect one another. But as religious workers become more vocal inside secular workplaces, “one potential downside is that what’s safe and creates a more inclusive environment for one group might have an opposite or negative impact for another group,” said Katina Sawyer, associate professor of management and organizations at the University of Arizona, who studies workplace inclusion. “That’s not something organizations have necessarily thought about in great detail.”
The Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their religion, race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation. But recent Supreme Court decisions seem to have privileged religious freedoms, like exempting health plans at companies with religious objections from providing contraception under the Affordable Care Act or allowing a religious social services nonprofit to turn away same-sex foster parents.
In June, a unanimous Supreme Court decision made it easier for people to seek religious accommodations at work. Typically, such accommodations involve holiday time off or wearing religious dress. But Steven Green, director of the Center for Religion, Law and Democracy at Willamette University, thinks the ruling could open the door for other demands — like the ability to proselytize, which is a core tenet of some faiths. “Some religious public interest groups are creating a narrative that you must be able to bring your entire self into the workplace,” he said, “and that means your ability to evangelize, which has been inhibited.”
During a recent Pride month, members of some faith-based employee groups at a large tech company grew frustrated over their employer’s overt L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy. Some considered organizing a walkout. An adviser to the Christian affinity group, who requested anonymity to preserve his professional relationships, counseled the frustrated employees to consider how such an event would affect their L.G.B.T.Q. colleagues. The walkout never happened.
Mr. Grim, of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, recalled hearing about another incident in which an employee sent a mass email inviting staff to a Bible study. Mr. Grim says that the appropriate employer response should depend on the situation: If a supervisor sent the email, it could be considered coercive if it is viewed as mandatory or somehow consequential to an employee’s place in the company. But if a rank-and-file employee is permitted to send a mass email invitation to a baby shower or Pride parade, then Bible study should be fair game.
Not every company is prepared to grapple with these questions. It’s possibly why only 43 Fortune 500 companies officially recognize faith-based affinity groups, according to an assessment by Mr. Grim’s organization.
“We’re often approached by diversity professionals who are really versed in race, gender, sexuality, and they’re like, “Oh, I don’t get religion, and I’m not comfortable with it,” said Megan Johnson, senior director for strategic initiatives at the nonpartisan, nonprofit Interfaith America. “Especially when these groups might come up against that person’s own value set.”
In 2021, Rebecca Leeman was an organizational consultant at PwC in Manhattan, when a man wearing a skullcap was assaulted near the company’s Midtown offices. He had been on his way to a pro-Israel demonstration. Ms. Leeman said the company sent a mass email condemning the assault and even mentioned it during an all-hands meeting, but never used the word “anti-Semitism.”
“Because of the connections to Israel and politics, I think they were intentionally vague,” Ms. Leeman said. She felt the company needed to understand the very specific fear she’d been feeling about her Jewish identity in recent years.
She co-wrote a letter to Tim Ryan, then the company’s U.S. chair, requesting that PwC recognize a formal Jewish affinity group. The company responded swiftly. Within a few months, they’d authorized an interfaith organization with a Jewish group under its umbrella.
‘Feel-good stuff’ vs. shared identityCompanies like an interfaith approach to religion in the workplace, because it allows them to focus on education and sidestep potential conflict. Last December, PayPal hosted its first interfaith fair, complete with turban tying and henna painting. This winter, PwC will host a lunch and learn about workers’ different holiday traditions. Each spring, a handful of companies hold Ramadan “fast-a-thons” in which non-Muslims fast for one day alongside their Muslim colleagues.
At Dell, there is a single multifaith group with six religions represented but no faith-specific communities — at least none the company officially recognizes. “Those become divisive and exclusive,” said Vanice Hayes, Dell’s chief culture, diversity and inclusion officer. “We are all about making sure people don’t feel siloed.”
SKIP ADVERTISEMENTMr. Singh of the Aspen Institute agrees that an interfaith approach can help avoid polarization, but he worries the “feel-good stuff” can “fall really flat, because it’s too superficial.” He added that workers from minority faiths often want a space “to find their people on the basis of some shared identity and heritage.” That’s especially important, he said, with hate crimes on the rise.
In late 2022, the Anti-Defamation League started a Jewish Employee Resource Group Network to address growing inquiries from Jewish employees and D.E.I. officers. “Excluding Jews or bundling them in a much bigger group reinforces that signal that Jews are not vulnerable, aren’t a minority group,” said Adam Neufeld, senior vice president and chief impact officer of the A.D.L. “We think they are.”
Access to a like-minded community also provides the safety some workers need to step outside of it. Steve Teng, whose Austin nonprofit Pivot helps Christians start Christ-centered communities at work, said some people have been taught to think that entering interfaith spaces means they’re abandoning their own theology. “I tell them, don’t be scared,” he said. “When you receive ideas, you also get to share them. That’s dignifying people of every kind.”
Guest Author Denise Lee Yohn
Faith & Work Journey
If you’re going to bring your whole self to work, that should include your faith.
Mike Robbins, author of Bring Your Whole Self to Work, says that bringing your whole self means being able “to fully show up” and “allow ourselves to be truly seen” in the workplace. As Christians, our faith is core to our identity – so we can’t really show up and allow ourselves to be seen if we don’t bring our faith to work.
That doesn’t mean we have to go around loudly announcing that we are Christians. Nor do we need to obsess over sharing our faith with our colleagues. But bringing our faith to work does mean being honest and authentic about our beliefs and making our identity as Christians clear when opportunities arise.
Develop TrustWe need to bring our faith to work because we need to develop trust with the people we work with. When we withhold key information about ourselves, we put up a barrier that detracts from that trust. I’ve found that people would rather know the truth about who I am than only engage with me at a surface level. And, if I share about my identity in the right way, they appreciate my transparency.
Lead AuthenticallyPlus, if we are in a leadership position, being clear about our values makes us a more effective leader. In a recent piece for the Harvard Business Review, leadership expert Adam Bryant explains that people want to know who their leaders are and what they care about. He says, “You want to be predictable in the best sense of the word: someone whose values are unwavering and clear." As Christians, we value servanthood, humility, integrity, and love. If these values inform our leadership – and they should, right?! – then we should feel comfortable sharing about the ways they do.
Bless OthersAnd, bringing your faith to work is a great blessing to other Christians in your workplace. Christ-followers need to know they’re not the only ones at their work – they’re not alone. When you open up about your faith, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover colleagues who are Christians too. And when you discover you have a common faith, you can agree to pray for and lend a sympathetic ear to each other and support each other as you live out your faith at work.
Exercise Discretion Bringing our faith to work requires wisdom and discretion. We need to pick the right times and situations to share, as well as the right ways. We want to be sure that we do so in a way that creates a fragrant aroma, as 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 teaches us. When we identify as Christians with humility, gentleness, and openness, people may actually want to know more about us and our faith. Remember, we are to be salt (Matthew 5:13), not vinegar – so our interactions should always convey a pleasant flavor.
But still, bringing our whole selves to work may not always be well-received. Employers have a responsibility to create a psychologically safe environment for employees, but many don’t. So, being transparent requires taking some risks. But we can’t keep our faith hidden if we want to work with integrity and develop authentic relationships with our co-workers. And, as Christians, we have a greater source of security in our Heavenly Father who cares for us (1 Peter 5.6-7) and is with us in times of trial (Isaiah 43:2) – and we can draw upon the power (2 Timothy 1:7) and comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) of the Holy Spirit.
So, we should be bold and courageous and bring our faith to our work!
ChaplainCare CGO - Fr. Greg McBrayer - Video Invitation to National School Chaplain Association - Celebration Dinner - Frisco TX Sept. 21st - 5pm
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs SB763 into law allowing Chaplains into Public Schools
It was an honor to lobby and testify for this historic opportunity in Texas Schools.
Faith ERG Leaders of the Year, 2023
READ ON: https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/2/post/2023/06/faith-erg-leaders-of-the-year-2023.html
Katherine Leary Alsdorf (BA, Wittenberg; MBA, Darden School, UVA) founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Center for Faith & Work in New York City and served as Executive Director from 2002 - 2012. She established the intensive Gotham Fellows program, an Entrepreneurship Initiative to start new gospel-centered ventures, Arts Ministries, and numerous vocation groups. She now helps churches in other cities to establish faith and work ministries. She spent 25 years in the high tech industry in California and New York. She is co-author with Tim Keller of Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work.
READ ON: https://www.theologyofwork.org/resources/video/why-faithwork-is-important
How Can I Leverage My Business to Make a Difference in the Lives of People?
These were the occupations and activities of Jesus’s disciples. Have you ever wondered why these were mentioned in Scripture? It wasn’t simply to give us a little background to add character depth; it was to show how Jesus can meet us exactly where we are, utilizing our gifts and reaching our hearts in a way that we can understand.
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. - Matthew 4:19-20
Part of what makes this verse so memorable is that Christ used their occupation as a means of explaining the kind of impact they could have on His Kingdom. He amplified the importance of their trade by giving it a heavenly purpose. The same can be said for the way he calls Matthew, a tax collector, to give to others instead of taking away. Or Simon the Zealot, who he calls to love others instead of hating them. Even Judas, a thief, who he calls to speak the truth instead of lies.
READ ON: https://christatwork.cc/make-a-difference/
Proud to be named the 2023 ERG Leader of the Year by the Religious Freedom
and Business Foundation at the Faith & Work Conference in Washington DC
Texas Lawmakers Vote to Allow Chaplains in Public Schools
to Combat Mental Health Crisis
To be eligible for the program, all chaplains will need to be endorsed by an organization recognized by the United States Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, or the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Religion News Service (RNS) reports a version of the bill already sailed through the state Senate last month, and the Texas House passed an amended version on Tuesday evening (May 9) in a vote that appeared to fall largely along party lines, with 89 voting in favor and 58 opposed.
State Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) told The Dallas Morning News the legislation is about giving school districts "every tool that we can in the toolbox" to combat mental health problems and other crises. He rejected Democrats' amendments to require parental consent and that schools provide a representative of every denomination. https://www2.cbn.com/news/us/texas-lawmakers-vote-allow-chaplains-public-schools-combat-mental-health-crisis
School Chaplain Bill Headed Toward Passage
The House passed Senate Bill 763, 89-58, on Monday evening. The bill was amended to include a certification requirement for potential school chaplains, as well as an assurance that candidates are not on a sexual offender registry. Amendments intended to broaden access to other faith traditions and narrow the program to larger school districts were nixed.
Texas requires one school counselor for every 500 students in Texas public schools. Most will have a master’s degree, two years in the classroom, and a valid school counselor certificate. Chaplains, which now have a newly created chapter in the Texas Education Code in Senate Bill 763, have none of those requirements.
READ ON: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/south-texas-el-paso/politics/2023/05/10/school-chaplain-bill-headed-toward-passage
Texas Schools Could Hire Chaplains as School Counselors Under New Proposal
On April 24, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 763 (pdf), authored by Republican state Sen. Mayes Middleton, in a party-line vote of 19–11.
“Chaplains are important parts of our communities, whether it be military, police, or fire, they represent God and our government institution,” Middleton said during the Senate debate at the state Capitol.
While the bill would not require schools to hire chaplains, it would permit districts to provide additional support resources for students, parents, and teachers.
“[C]urrently, chaplains serve about 8.3 million students in 23 countries throughout the entire world. These chaplains and these programs have proven and demonstrated their impact to provide stability in the classroom,” Middleton continued, adding that their training and deescalation techniques can help reduce tension and frustration for students.
READ ON: https://www.theepochtimes.com/texas-schools-could-hire-chaplains-as-school-counselors-under-new-proposal_5219740.html
WHY WORKPLACES AND ORGANIZATIONS NEED CHAPLAINSLuke McCollum will keynote the final session of Dare to Overcome on the morning of Wednesday, May 24, in Washington DC. His talk comes immediately as the two final tracks of the conference conclude: (a) Workplace Chaplains and (b) Global Dimensions of Faith and Work.
As a leader who has served at both the highest level of the U.S. Navy and corporate America, Luke will speak on his personal experiences with the chaplaincy and it’s role in helping teams become more resilient and high performing.
Luke is a seasoned senior Executive Leader with 30+ years leading large organizations in both public and private sectors. He has lived and worked internationally leading milestone events including building coalitions with allies and partners. He has launched new formats and platforms, enabled international expansion, including product and engineering transformation of omni-channel supply chain operations.
U.S. Senate confirmed to serve four years as leader of America’s Navy Reserve Force (Chief of Navy Reserve) as a 3-star Admiral, Luke led operational readiness, training, and sustainment of over sixty thousand personnel across the globe in support of national security objectives. He was accountable for strategy development, operational planning, and resourcing which included regular Congressional testimony.
Luke recently completed a 25 year corporate career with the retailer Walmart, where he served as a Corporate Vice President in multiple capacities including technology, international, and supply chain.
National School Chaplain Association Announces TX Proposal Awareness Campaign
Last Updated: Thursday, April 13, 2023 2:10 AM
National School Chaplain Association Announces TX Proposal Awareness Campaign Norman, Oklahoma--(Newsfile Corp. - April 13, 2023) - The National School Chaplain Association (NSCA) has launched an awareness campaign about the proposal to fund school chaplains in Texas. The NSCA believes that having a chaplain in residence diminishes incidents of violence, increases school safety, and improves the students' and teachers' mental health.
The proposed bill, SB 763, permits schools to hire school chaplains as guidance counselors, explains the NSCA. Funding for the said project will come from funds allocated for school safety and doesn't take away from existing programs related to the security of the schools and their students. The effective date for the bill is September 1, 2023.
Supporting this initiative, the NSCA is working hard to secure funding for school chaplains in Texas. They aim to put a chaplain in every school to bring prayer and spirituality back into the community, as many studies show the benefits of having a solid spiritual or religious foundation, including, but not limited to, better mental health, more respect for authority, and improved relationships with others.
From experience, the NSCA knows that chaplains create a safe space for students to access support, understanding, and guidance. This can be about school, family, relationships-anything weighing heavily on their hearts and minds, explains the organization. NSCA chaplains are trained to guide students with prayer and scripture, even those who are not Christians. The association's goal is not to convert students or to accept Catholics or Christians only, but to teach universal values like love, respect, harmony, and obedience.
"The National School Chaplain Association was established to promote school chaplains as legitimate and necessary members of school staff through national standards and certification. Trained and licensed chaplains provide counsel, education, advocacy, life improvement skills, and recovery training," a spokesperson said.
With the latest update, the NSCA continues on its mission to promote wider public awareness of the positive role of chaplains in academic environments.
More information is available at https://nationalschoolchaplainassociation.org/about
Honored to be testifying before the Texas Senate and House Subcommittees in support of bringing Trained Chaplains into Public Schools. May God Bless Texas for its desire to bring front line spiritual and emotional support to our teachers, counselors and students.
5 Takeaways from 7 Years of Bi-vocational Ministry
Let me take a step back for a minute so you can see the wider picture: in 2012, I started planting New Creation Church (Anglican) in Hagerstown, MD. We just celebrated our ten year anniversary this past November, and what a joyful day it was! In the journey from “living room church” to parish, I and my people learned many lessons – some things we did well, others, not so much. Whether you’re in bi-vocational ministry, seeking to go from bi-vo to full-time, or supporting a pastor who is, I think I have some worthwhile takeaways to share.
READ ON: https://anglicancompass.com/five-takeaways-from-seven-years-of-bi-vocational-ministry/
Honored to speak and be recognized among Faith and Civic Leaders by The CECS for Community Service
We stand. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” I proclaim, breaking the silence of the morning. Following Matins, Jake moves on to a gathering of his peers and I check-in with the chapel staff before meeting with local leaders to coordinate the day’s events.
READ ON: https://anglicancompass.com/the-parish-at-sea-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-navy-chaplain/
Intel, PayPal, DELL Technologies and Texas Instruments, as well as global Fortune 500 leader Accenture, each shared how they are using RFBF’s REDI Index to benchmark their journey towards increasing workplace religious inclusion.
In addition to participation from the companies’ various faith-based employee business resource group (EBRG) leaders – including from American Airline’s five faith-and-belief EBRGs and DEI Specialist Millicent Rone – American Airlines Chief People Officer Alison Taylor and Chief Diversity Officer Cedric Rockamore also participated.
READ ON: https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/2/post/2023/03/competing-to-do-good-corporate-faith-initiatives.html
Check out my interview on the Classic Anglican Podcast
Several years ago, I worked for a construction management firm in New York City. This was a short endeavor I embarked on before returning to teaching theology at my current school. I left my original position at a Catholic elementary school in order to provide a more secure financial future for myself and my fiancé at the time. While working there I experienced, for the first time, what it was like to wear ashes in a secular arena. In Catholic school, as both a student and as a teacher, it is simply expected that you will have the mark on your forehead.
READ ON: https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/an-ash-wednesday-experience-what-i-learned-by-wearing-ashes-in-a-secular-space
At the meeting, I was able to share the remarkable ways faith and interfaith employee business resource groups (EBRGs) at some of the nation’s largest companies are building corporate cultures where antisemitism and any form of religious hatred or prejudice have no place.
For example, American Airlines Abraham’s Tent initiative brings together members of their Christian, Jewish, and Muslim EBRGs to regularly discuss how their respective faiths approach different topics ranging from prayer to marriage to pressing social issues.
READ ON: https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/2/post/2023/02/business-has-resources-for-white-house-on-combatting-antisemitism.html
READ ON: https://anglicancompass.com/the-liturgical-home-saint-valentines-day/
American Airlines ERG Interfaith Summit - February 28th American Airlines Skyview8 Headqarters
Meet the ‘Lone Survivor’ priest and ‘Grunt Padre’ author who’s now the head chaplain of the Coast Guard
Now there’s a new distinction on Mode’s impressive service record: leading the chaplaincy efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard, the first Catholic priest to hold that important role in 12 years.
Yet Mode, 57, says his greatest mission is bringing the peace of Jesus Christ to the service members and civilians to whom he ministers.
“Peace is kind of my mantra,” Mode told CNA.
READ ON: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253550/meet-the-lone-survivor-priest-and-grunt-padre-author-whos-now-the-head-chaplain-of-the-coast-guard
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES CHAPLAINS PROVIDE SPIRITUAL BOOST FOR THE BIRDS
For more than two decades, the team has been guided by two very devoted chaplains who not only pray for the safety of each player but help to uplift them spiritually as well.
For nearly 22 years, Pastors Ted and Dawn Winsley of The Family Church in Voorhees have been the spiritual backbone for the Birds.
The husband and wife are the team's chaplains for the coaches, players and their significant others.
"Many of the players weren't prepared for this level of access, this level of freedom. This ability to do whatever comes into their mind," said Pastor Ted Winsley.
READ ON: https://6abc.com/philadelphia-eagles-super-bowl-2023-pastors-ted-and-dawn-winsley-the-family-church/12760343/
How the Navy Chaplain Corps Safeguards Marine Readiness
“Spiritual readiness is the ability of a warfighter to accomplish their mission with honor,” said Lt. Cmdr. Austin Grimes, chaplain, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It derives from one’s deeply held religious and philosophical commitments – the north star of one’s conscience.”
The Religious Ministry Team for the 13th MEU, currently deployed in the Indo-Pacific region, provide spiritual guidance to assist Marines and Sailors in their pursuit toward spiritual stability and progression.
“Being a chaplain is less of a job and more of a calling,” said Grimes. “Some spend decades working as civilian clergy and then feel a calling to be spiritual leaders for Marines and Sailors.”
READ ON: https://www.marines.mil/News/News-Display/Article/3280196/how-the-navy-chaplain-corps-safeguards-marine-readiness/
A call to empathy: Police chaplains help community navigate grief and tragedy regardless of religion
Law enforcement chaplains work as an important intermediary. As a key piece of a team of first-responders, their job is to comfort family members or survivors who may have lost a loved one while deputies and officers work a scene. They also work with police officers individually, offering confidential mental health support and counseling. During their shifts, they ride along with police officers during their rounds, and it is their job to help lessen the impact of what bearing witness to trauma and tragedy can do to officers.
READ ON: https://news.yahoo.com/call-empathy-police-chaplains-help-124400700.html
Why Set Up Faith-Oriented Employee Resource Groups?
If this was all that faith-oriented ERGs accomplished, it’d be worth the effort. But there’s more. In nearly all companies, these ERGs also serve as significant bridge-builders — channels of connection and collaboration across faiths. They accomplish this unifying and reconciling role in ways that do not dilute or compromise participants’ personal commitments.
Both roles can be positively transformative.
READ ON: https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/2/post/2021/04/why-set-up-faith-oriented-employee-resource-groups.html
Why Should Companies Acknowledge the Faiths of Their Employees?
Solution: The Intel Corporation’s Craig Carter shows that when companies have cross-faith groups that offer love, excitement, equality, and commonality, employees feel valued and companies benefit. Presented at the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s 2022 Dare to Overcome conference at The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business in Washington DC.
According to Pew Research, 84% of Americans either claim to have a religious background or identify as atheists or agnostics. Faith does not matter to the other 16%.
Pew Research determined that the amount of people from all around the world affiliated with faiths, except for atheism or agnosticism, may increase from 83% in 2010 to 87% in 2050.
84% of black people, according to Pew Research, view their faiths as significant. The same goes for 70% of women, 68% of hispanic people, 62% of white people, and 60% of men.
By respecting the faith of employees, leaders could create an authentic culture within their companies and, according to a Harvard Business Review, receive 50% higher performance from their teams. Employees could express 76% higher engagement, 106% more energy, 74% less stress, and 29% higher life satisfaction.
READ ON: https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/2/post/2022/07/why-should-companies-acknowledge-the-faiths-of-their-employees.html
Multifaith leaders urge unity in aftermath of Monterey Park shooting that left 11 dead
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (RNS) — The pews at St. Stephen Martyr Catholic Church were emptier than usual Sunday morning (Jan. 22) as news spread that a gunman responsible for killing 11 people at a nearby Monterey Park dance studio remained at large.
Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where 72-year-old Huu Can Tran opened fire, is less than half a mile from the church, and some parishioners skipped Mass out of fear the gunman “might pop up in a place where a lot of us are congregating,” said the Rev. Joseph Magdaong, who pastors St. Stephen Martyr.
In response to the shooting, Magdaong will celebrate a special Mass on Friday “to pray for the victims and for all of us to be strong and to have the faith that we need to be able to heal and make sense of this tragedy.”
Magdaong was among the Christian and Jewish leaders who attended a candlelight vigil Monday night at Monterey Park City Hall to accompany residents as they mourned the 11 slain victims, who were in their 50s, 60s and 70s. The death toll rose to 11 on Monday after one of the people who was wounded died.
READ ON: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/multifaith-leaders-urge-unity-in-aftermath-of-monterey-park-shooting-that-left-11-dead/ar-AA16H0S6
Spiritual Health is as Important as Physical Health, New Report
A new initiative from McKinsey & Co. identifies spiritual health as one of four interconnected components of overall health.
The McKinsey Health Institute’s report last month, The secret to great health? Escaping the healthcare matrix, found that healthcare systems focus almost entirely on physical health, with more than 90% money spent on healthcare going toward treating physical disease or physical symptoms. However, most people consider that mental, social, and spiritual health are as important as physical health and that they are deeply interconnected.
Significantly, McKinsey goes beyond the World Health Organization’s definition of health, which includes physical, mental and social, but not spiritual* health.
Indeed, as organizations seek to keep workforces healthy and productive, an area needing more attention is spiritual health.
READ ON : https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/2/post/2023/01/spiritual-health-as-important-as-physical-health-according-to-new-mckinsey-report.html
Are Your DE&I Efforts Missing This One Critical Component?
If you want employees to bring their whole selves to work—as most companies say they do—it's important to acknowledge that faith is an essential part of many people's identity.
By Denise Lee Yohn January 3, 2023
If you're wondering why your diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts are falling short, it might be because they're missing one of the most critical components of diversity: faith.
According to a new poll conducted by HarrisX on religion and business, American workers are generally supportive of efforts to help religious employees bring their "whole selves" to work. The research also revealed that 80 percent of business leaders think it's "good for company culture" to encourage employees to be open about their faith.
And yet, most companies' DE&I approaches overlook faith. A study by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation found that only 37 Fortune 500 companies (7.4 percent) publicly report having faith-oriented employee resource groups (ERGs). While a higher portion of companies (40 percent) refer to religion on their main diversity landing page, many only do so as part of their general nondiscrimination statement.
If your company is among those that lack institutionalized support of religion or faith in your workforce development efforts, you and your fellow leaders might be underestimating the importance of doing so to achieve authentic, comprehensive and impactful DE&I. Consider that a Marist poll found that 71 percent of Americans consider themselves to be spiritual. And nearly two-thirds (63 percent) say that religious teachings are a source of moral guidance.
So, if you want employees to bring their whole selves to work—as most companies say they do—you must acknowledge that faith is an essential part of many people's identity.
Perhaps you hesitate to draw attention to what appears to be a personal, sensitive issue. After all, we've all heard we're not supposed to talk about religion, sex or politics. But most companies embrace sexual orientation as an important component of DE&I, and business leaders are becoming increasingly comfortable taking stands for themselves or their companies on political issues such as abortion rights and immigration. So, it no longer makes sense to exclude faith from the business conversation.
How to Support Employees' Faith, Spirituality
To ensure your company includes religion in its DE&I efforts, encouraging faith-based ERGs is a good starting point. ERGs have become an effective way for companies to promote a respectful and inclusive culture while also bolstering employee recruitment and community engagement. So, sanction the creation of a faith-based ERG(s). Or, if you already have one, promote employee involvement and provide the resources and support needed for it to flourish.
Supporting faith-based ERGs is only the starting point—and perhaps the easiest step—to ensuring robust and thorough DE&I efforts. Cultivating a culture that embraces faith alongside other diversity dimensions requires substantive work, such as providing support for spiritual care and development.
Workplace chaplains would play a valuable role in delivering holistic care for corporations, as they do for sports teams, hospitals and the military. Also consider reimbursement for faith-based leadership development programs, faith-based mentoring/coaching and even faith-based mental health counseling.
Beyond engaging specific DE&I tactics, you must promote a culture of psychological safety around expressions of faith—expressions that range from participating in religious observances and practices to conforming to religious norms in dress and appearance, as well as simply discussing faith in conversations.
Supporting faith in conversations is particularly important because people of faith may hold beliefs that run contrary to the seemingly dominant views on topics such as abortion or LGBTQ issues. Others—especially company leaders—should not assume that everyone agrees with them. Through training, role modeling by leaders and sharing success stories, you can help employees understand how to create space for safe and respectful conversations and contribute to a culture of psychological safety.
Moreover, you can cultivate psychological safety by eliminating unconscious bias. While you may be working on unconscious bias in gender, age and ethnicity, you should also add faith. Start by simply acknowledging that faith is a dimension that can subconsciously affect the way individuals feel and think about others around them and result in discrimination. Then, include faith in training that helps people manage their biases, change their attitudes and behaviors, and track their progress. Sometimes, basic education about different faith traditions can be eye-opening.
Finally, make sure to examine company processes (such as hiring algorithms and interview panels), policies (including health care and leaves), and practices (like meeting scheduling, rewards and recognition) to see how they should be changed to reduce faith-related bias.
Promoting DE&I is hard work, and adding faith may seem like an unnecessary or even unwanted complication. But to neglect or reject it will hold back your diversity efforts overall. After all, your stakeholders—customers, employees and community leaders—are looking for your company to go beyond lip service and virtue signaling. The best way is to do the hard work, focus your efforts on factors at the core of people's identity and take a leap of faith—literally.
Denise Lee Yohn is a brand leadership expert, keynote speaker and best-selling author of books such as Fusion (Nicholas Brealey, 2018) and What Great Brands Do (Jossey-Bass, 2014).
INCLUSION DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION INITIATIVES EMPLOYEE RELATIONS RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATIONS
By Jonathan A. Segal* | Guest Post on our blog series, Authenticity & Connection.
Last year, a company wanted to celebrate the holidays but without risking offending anyone in the process. Out of an abundance of caution, they did not have a “holiday” party. Instead, as recommended by a consultant, they had a “December dinner.”
Per that same consultant, they did not have a Christmas tree. Instead, they had a “Seasonal Evergreen.”
There are other examples. But, I think you can see the movie.
The company took the issue very seriously but they ended up looking very silly instead. They did not want to offend anyone but they ended up offending almost everyone.
We cannot tell our employees we want them to be their authentic selves but then tell them to check their faith at the workplace door. For many employees, faith is an important part of who they are.
Inclusion relative to faith means everyone and that includes Christians. And, how an employer handles Christmas sends a small but still symbolic message about the inclusion of those of the Christian faith.
So, please, don’t attempt to eliminate Christmas from the holiday season. Acknowledge Christmas but also acknowledge other holidays, too.
It is more than okay to have a holiday party and specifically mention Christmas in connection with it. Just mention other holidays too, such as Hanukkah, Bodhi Day and Kwanza.
Please, have a beautiful Christmas tree. But have a Menorah and Kwanza harvest basket, too.
And, yes, you can wish someone a Merry Christmas if you know they celebrate the holiday. Frankly, if you know someone celebrates Christmas but wish them Season’s Greetings instead, it feels a bit uncharitable to me.
I very much appreciate when someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah because they know I am Jewish. An important part of my family, culture and me is acknowledged in the process.
But some think: it is very hard to acknowledge all faiths so it is better to acknowledge none at all. The focus on the perfect is the enemy of the good.
Further, it is possible to cast a wide net of inclusivity relative to faith during the holiday season. And so I shall try.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, may the peace and happiness of Christmas be yours.
For those of you who observe Bodhi Day, may it be a blessed day.
For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, I will be lighting a candle with you to celebrate our resilience.
For those whose seasonal holidays I did not mention, they—like you—are no less important and I respect your faith, too.
For those of you who celebrate holidays at other times in the year or are of no faith but good faith, I wish you well just as well.
The December holidays provides us with an opportunity to focus on religious inclusivity and that includes Christmas. What we do now sets the tone for the year to come.
Erase Christmas from your workplace and all your subsequent efforts relative to the religious inclusivity will be for naught.
Merry Christmas to my Christian friends.
* Jonathan A Segal is a partner at the Duane Morris Law Firm. He also is the managing principal of the employment group’s training arm, the Duane Morris Institute. Previously a litigator, Jonathan’s practice focuses on avoiding discrimination, harassment and retaliation and increasing diversity, equality and inclusion. Jonathan has a particular passion for preventing religious bias both as a legal and cultural matter and for promoting religious inclusivity. With the alarming increase of antisemitism, preventing and addressing this form of hate has become core to Jonathan’s practice. Jonathan has provided training to federal judges for more than 20 years, is a frequent speaker at business, HR and other conferences, and has had published on 3rd party platforms approximately 500 articles/blogs.
American Airlines Christian EBRG Christmas Display at American World Wide Fight Operations Control Center IOC
Religion the forgotten dimension of workplace diversity
9 Nov, 2022
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Evaluating Workplace Religious Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Using the Kaizen HC Model of Religious Inclusion
By Dr. Ed Hasan, Washington, DC
Should a public servant be allowed to wear a crucifix at work? What about a kippah or a hijab?
These are deceptively simple questions that have been hotly debated throughout the world—in fact, the question of whether or not police officers should be allowed to wear religious dress has resurfaced in the Netherlands where it continues to be disallowed. So often the answer depends on one’s own religious conviction or lack thereof—and the conversation can descend into a quagmire of personal beliefs and perceptions about the role of neutrality in the public sector.
At the heart of these conversations is actually the concept of belonging: Who gets to show up as their full selves at work? And, how do we know the answer to that question?
It is undeniable that religious affiliation is a central influence on people’s identities. Despite this, religiously diverse people have been all but forgotten in workplace efforts around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. This means that organizations that embrace the importance of workers bringing their full identities to work when it comes to gender and race are ignoring a critical component of identity: religion. At the same time, according to a new Deseret News/HarrisX survey, 80% of business leaders say employees’ being open about their faiths is “good for company culture.”
So while many leaders see the importance of faith at work and are open to religion-related programming, religiously diverse people and religious identity aren’t being integrated into formal structures and DEIB initiatives the same way race and gender are. (It’s not all on business leaders. Only 54% of non-leaders agreed that faith is good for company culture—many seemingly due to a fear of repercussions or tension with colleagues.) Often, the result is that workers are forced to hide their religion. Employers would never require a worker to hide their race or gender–that would be unimaginable. Why, then, should we expect employees to hide their religious identities?
To become an organization that reaches DEIB maturity, it is imperative to embrace religious identity alongside other identities—and to do so formally and with as much dedication as any other identity.
But how does an organization, its leaders and employees, and society at large know how successful we are at including religious identity at work? How do we know what to do next?
Dr. Ed Hasan, Washington, DC Built upon both scholarship around religious diversity and work with organizations seeking to become more inclusive, the Kaizen HC Model of Religious Inclusion helps organizations, leaders, and workers evaluate religious inclusion practices and determine what the path ahead might be. There are four levels to the model:
Level 1: Avoidance – Organizations at this level do not recognize the need for religious diversity in the workplace. Most Level 1 organizations are homogenous and avoid the subject of religion or promote only one religion, often the dominant societal religion. Avoidance might look like refusing to discuss religious accommodations with employees whose needs are deemed strange or are different from the dominant religion, for example.
Level 2: Compliance – Organizations that reach this level meet existing legal requirements, but go no further. Level 2 organizations are guided by a desire to avoid lawsuits and associated costs. For instance, to be compliant, an organization may say that employees who are Muslim women are allowed to wear the hijab at work, but in reality, that employer might not actually hire any Muslim women who wear the hijab. Just because the bare minimum is being done to meet legal protections doesn’t mean religious people are actually being protected.
Level 3: Emerging – Organizations that reach this level seek to make their workplaces safe for people of all religious backgrounds (or none) and see the benefits of including religious diversity among other DEIB efforts. Level 3 organizations are content with their internal work and do not seek to push the external conversation further. This may result in a broad expression of religious “tolerance,” but it doesn’t necessarily create belonging—a concept organizations at this level still find elusive. This can translate to microaggressions between coworkers who may not share religious identities.
Level 4: Transformational – Organizations that reach the final level ensure that religiously diverse people aren’t just safe and included, but also belong at the workplace as religious people. For Level 4 organizations, religion is an integral part of their DEIB strategy and programming—including employee resource groups. Furthermore, organizations at this level advocate externally for religious freedom in society and the workplace. A compelling example of a Transformational organization is Chobani, the yogurt maker, which has time and again advocated for all their employees to be their full selves–inclusive of religious identity and refugee status. In the case of CEO Hamdi Ulukaya this has looked like speaking publicly about the importance of hiring and supporting religiously diverse employees, advocating for the rights of all workers inclusive of religious identities, and much more. The Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index also provides insight into the companies that are most faith-friendly workplaces, many of which could be described as reaching Level 4, including American Airlines, an organization which utilizes ERGs, provides chaplain care, and makes accommodations available for religiously diverse employees, among many other efforts.
You might be tempted to jump in and use this model immediately to decide if your organization is doing a “good” or “bad” job at religious inclusion. You might even want to change everything at your workplace. While that energy is commendable, it’s best to slow down, take a deep breath, and reassure yourself that this isn’t black and white. This model is not meant to be one size fits all or to give any organization a stamp of approval. Instead, the Kaizen HC Model of Religious Inclusion is a living tool that works in concert with other frameworks, initiatives, and philosophies to help you chart the path ahead.
Most importantly, this framework can help you identify organizations at the level you’re reaching for, what work they’ve done around religious inclusion, what they’ve learned through the process, and how they moved from one level to another. In Embracing Workplace Religious Diversity and Inclusion, we explore several organizations and the specific scenarios they have faced, even rating them on the scale, so you can become fluent with the tool and its application.
Regardless of where your organization falls on this model, don’t panic or give up. Organizational cultures evolve and change—using this model, you can help shape your culture to become all the more inclusive of religiously diverse people.
Want to learn more about the Kaizen HC Model of Religious Inclusion and about the business, moral, and legal cases for inclusion? Pick up Embracing Workplace Religious Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Ed Hasan’s in-depth exploration of the current state of workplace religious diversity and inclusion where the Kaizen HC Model of Religious Inclusion is first introduced.
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Vandergriff Award 2022
to American Airlines for it positive community impact in Texas as well as Globally through DFW International Airport
Decline in Religion A National Health Concern
DECLINE IN RELIGION A NATIONAL HEALTH CONCERN 17 Sep, 2022
By Brian Grim, Ph.D., and Melissa Grim, J.D.
Study: Decline in religious affiliation in the U.S. is not only a concern for religious organizations but constitutes a national health concernA new projection by the Pew Research Center suggests that if recent trends in religious switching continue, Christians could make up less than half of the U.S. population within a few decades. Under one scenario that Pew models, the religiously unaffiliated population could be in the majority by 2070.
While this is not good news for organized religion, the findings should concern all Americans because the decline in religious affiliation in the U.S. is not only a concern for religious organizations but constitutes a national health concern, based on our study of the connection between religion and health.
The study, Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse, reviews the voluminous empirical evidence on faith’s contribution to preventing people from falling victim to substance abuse and helping them recover from it. We find that 73% of addiction treatment programs in the USA include a spirituality-based element, as embodied in the 12-step programs and fellowships initially popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous, the vast majority of which emphasize reliance on God or a Higher Power to stay sober.
In the study, we introduce and flesh out a typology of faith-based substance abuse treatment facilities, recovery programs, and support groups. This typology provides important background as we then move on to make an economic valuation of nearly 130,000 congregation-based substance abuse recovery support programs in the USA. We find that these faith-based volunteer support groups contribute up to $316.6 billion in savings to the US economy every year at no cost to tax payers.
While negative experiences with religion (e.g., clergy sex abuse and other horrendous examples) have been a contributory factor to substance abuse among some victims, given that more than 84% of scientific studies show that faith is a positive factor in addiction prevention or recovery and a risk in less than 2% of the studies reviewed, we conclude that the value of faith-oriented approaches to substance abuse prevention and recovery is indisputable. And, by extension, we also conclude that the decline in religious affiliation in the USA is not only a concern for religious organizations but constitutes a national health concern.
Remembering Our Spiritual First Responders Modeling Our Faith At Work
searching for their loved ones.Of all the memories Msgr. John Delendick has from September 11, 2001, perhaps none stands out as vividly as being handed the helmet of a fellow priest who was killed at the World Trade Center.
That priest, like Msgr. Delendick, was a New York Fire Department chaplain, Fr. Mychal Judge. The Franciscan friar was the first official casualty on 9/11, which occurred 18 years ago today.
“That day, I don’t even know the order of what all happened,” Msgr. Delendick told the Tablet, the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. “Someone just handed me the helmet and told me he was killed, and they had him laid out in a wake at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street,” which is just blocks away from where the North Tower once stood.
On Sept. 11, 2001, a bright, crisp Tuesday morning in New York, with not a cloud in the sky, Msgr. Delendick had just finished celebrating Mass at St. Michael’s Church in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, where he was pastor. Hearing the news, he jumped in his car and drove as close as he could get to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, but then, because of the emergency response from all over New York City, he was forced to walk the rest of the way to lower Manhattan.
The Tablet reported:
He remembers running into FDNY colleagues, including first deputy commissioner William Feehan, who was later killed in the collapse. He remembers giving absolution to a cop who ran to him amid a dark cloud of debris and smoke, asking for the sacrament of confession.
Msgr. Delendick, a longtime FDNY chaplain who’s now pastor of St. Jude Church, in Brooklyn’s Canarsie neighborhood, said that the hardest thing about that day “was people asking him if he had seen their friends, fathers, brothers and sons—firefighters and first-responders to the attacks—and not knowing how to respond,” the Tablet said. “It wasn’t until after returning from Ground Zero that Father Delendick and many families would realize that their friends and loved ones had died.”
The priest stayed on the scene, ministering where he could. He got back to his rectory at 2 o’clock the next morning, September 12. It could be said that that’s when his work was about to begin. In the coming months, he would visit Ground Zero often, accompanying families in their search for loved ones. As a fire department chaplain, he would also be called on to celebrate or at least be present for the funerals and memorial Masses of FDNY personnel found in the rubble. The department lost 343 firefighters who were trying to rescue office workers when the towers—first the south and then the north—collapsed.
“It’s just, you get so many of these funerals, and it just gets to you after a while … I love the job, but I also hate it,” Msgr. Delendick told the paper.
Others have died since then from illnesses thought to be directly related to the environmental hazards produced by the towers’ destruction. In a solemn ceremony earlier this month, the fire department added the names of 22 such firefighters and recovery workers to the FDNY World Trade Center Memorial Wall inside its Downtown Brooklyn headquarters.
Fr. Joseph Hoffman, pastor of St. Barbara parish in Brooklyn, who is also a fire department chaplain, said that working with the FDNY is “like serving another parish,” according to the Tablet. He said he is honored to work with the men and women who serve.
“I ask families to remember that death is never the end—that it is easier in the hands of God, who transforms death into life,” Fr. Hoffman said.
Equinix Host the WeConnect conversation about Chaplaincy Ministry July 27th
American Airlines Takes Top Spot on First-Ever Corporate Religious Diversity Index Opt-in Survey23 May, 2022
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IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Washington DC: American Airlines is the most faith-friendly workplace among the Fortune 500, according to 2022 Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) IndexAmerican Airlines is the most faith-friendly corporate workplace among the 500 largest companies in America, according to the 2022 Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index.
The other top faith-and-belief friendly companies among the U.S Fortune 500 include the Intel Corporation, Dell Technologies, PayPal, and Texas Instruments, taking the second through fifth spots. Equinix, Target, Tyson Foods, AIG, and Alphabet/Google round out the top ten. Other top faith-and-belief friendly companies are American Express, the Ford Motor Company, and Intuit, tying for the eleventh spot in the latest edition of the annual REDI Index.
Among the U.S. Fortune 500, Ameriprise Financial Group, Cigna, Meta Platforms (Facebook), Securian Financial, CVS Health, Goldman Sachs, Aramark, Clorox, and Salesforce scored in the top 25 on the REDI Index.
Global Fortune 500 companies also opted in to the REDI Index survey this year, including SAP and Accenture, both making the Top Faith Friendly list, with Accenture scoring within the top 10 companies overall. Also, smaller companies including Italy-based TeaPak, a Yogi Tea partner, and Utah-based Qualtrics both opted in to the survey and scored highly on the REDI Index, showing that companies of all sizes are joining this workplace religious inclusion benchmarking initiative.
These companies will be honored at a gala dinner ceremony this evening in Washington DC at the Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business, co-sponsoring with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, the 3rd annual National Faith@Work ERG Conference, Dare to Overcome.
This is the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s third annual benchmark assessment of corporate America’s inclusion of religion as an integral part of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. It is the most comprehensive report on the state of religious inclusion in U.S. and global corporations, and it provides specific information about religious DEI practices being implemented in companies today.
This year’s assessment breaks new ground in two ways. First, RFBF researchers carefully assessed all U.S. Fortune 500 corporate diversity websites. Previous years looked at the Fortune 100 and 200. Second, this year’s assessment included an opt-in survey in which corporations at the forefront of workplace religious inclusion shared best practices.
General Fortune 500 Findings:
• 202 companies (40%) mention, refer to or illustrate religion on their main diversity landing page
• 37 companies (7.4%) publicly report having faith-oriented ERGs
Key Survey Findings Among Top Faith-Friendly Fortune 500 Companies:
• Company-sponsored, employee-led, faith-oriented employee resource groups (ERGs) give religious employees an official voice in the company
• Companies with such ERGs commonly encourage and support ERG chapters worldwide
• These ERGs often lead strategic company & community allyship and service initiatives
• Companies enthusiastically share best faith@work practices with other companies (incl. competitors) through direct consultations, seminars, roundtables, and/or conferences
• Literacy training on religious DEI is seen as a benefit to a wide range of stakeholders, contributing to positive workplace cultures and a better understanding of customers & markets
• Companies commonly provide staff access to company chaplains or other forms of spiritual care
• Companies embracing religious DEI have clear procedures for requesting religious accommodations and for reporting instances of religious discrimination
• Companies often match employee donations to faith-based charities
DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT: Measuring the Fortune 500’s Commitment to Workplace Religious Inclusion
ABOUT THE REDI INDEX
The Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index developed by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) is a benchmarking measure of a company’s commitment to including religion as part of its overall diversity initiatives.
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American Airlines Receives 2022 REDIndex Award In Video Below
American Airlines Recognized as Top Faith Friendly Corporation
American Airlines Integrated Operations Center
American Airlines Named Top Faith-Friendly Workplace in the Nation
Due to Interfaith Ministry Programs Stacey Doud
American Airlines (AA), based out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), made history this month as the number one faith-friendly workplace among Fortune 500 companies in the nation. The airline clinched the top spot via the 2022 Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Index, and the AA Interfaith Family was honored at a gala at the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation’s (RFBF) 3rd annual Faith@Work ERG Conference in Washington D.C. on May 23 – 25.
This annual event focuses on Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and chaplains that are blazing trails within corporate America. The Conference brings these groups and employees together so they can interact and share strategies and Best Practices, with the goal of improving and expanding interfaith programs across the nation and the globe.
The REDI Index is designed to examine diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives among the top companies in America and has become the most thorough and comprehensive report about religious inclusion among U.S. and world corporation workplaces.
This is the first year that the RFBF has looked at Fortune 500 companies. The analysis for the inaugural year considered only Fortune 100 corporations, and the second annual index analyzed Fortune 200 businesses. In this third year, all corporate diversity policies and websites for those on the Fortune 500 list were examined.
Findings from the Index show that employees who are religious feel that they have an “official voice” at work via ERGs that are company-sponsored and are led by fellow employees. Having a place to practice religious rituals while at work often leads to higher job satisfaction and employee retention.
American Airlines allows employee-led faith gatherings, hosts interfaith events, encourages community outreach partnerships, and provides Prayer Rooms and ablution stations on its campus, as well as the use of Holy texts from all faith expressions in these spaces.
One of the trailblazers in this "faith in the workplace" movement at American Airlines is Anglican Priest Father Greg McBrayer. Father Greg has worked as a Chief Flight Controller at American’s Integrated Operations Control Center for over four decades. He has been leading the charge as a pioneer in the advancement of faith in the corporate world for more than 20 years. Father Greg was instrumental in getting prayer rooms and ablution stations into the plans for the new Headquarters Campus of American Airlines.
“You just cannot compartmentalize the things that are your core values, and if you’re a person of faith, that’s going to include your faith. That’s the core of everything I bring into my workday. As a Christian, I’m going to do the very best I can for God every day. And people in corporate America want that,” said McBrayer.
American also hosts quarterly events they call “Abraham’s Tent,” since Abraham is a central figure in the Holy texts of the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths. These meetings encourage employees from different religious beliefs to gather and discuss the differences and similarities of their faith traditions. These gatherings help foster understanding and bring down silos of misunderstanding for people of different faiths or those of no faith.
The airline also respects religious beliefs about things like the COVID-19 vaccines. While employee exemption applications were reviewed carefully, American never fired or laid-off workers who did not receive the vaccines due to religious beliefs.
American was represented at the Conference by Rev. McBrayer, Executive Leadership, DEI Leaders and Global Leads from numerous ERG faith groups at American Airlines.
“This recognition has been a labor of love for me personally. The work began many years ago following the tragic impact 911 had on my life and our industry. It was out of the ashes of that life-altering event that God redirected the flight plan for my life and ministry. I feel blessed to have been used by God to bring voice and visibility to the importance of being able to bring your whole self to work.
"I have to thank American Airlines for providing the support our faith-based EBRG (Employee Business Resource Groups) need to bring about healthy change. I thank the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation for hosting this annual conference, which now has the world’s largest corporations gathering together to learn from one another, but most of all I thank God.
"This movement is reshaping the landscape of corporate America and the entire world. I feel blessed to have been on the frontline and to have been part of it all,” McBrayer said about the honor.
Looking back on the unusual development of his career, McBrayer said, “The greatest reward I get is getting up every morning and getting to say, ‘you know what, God is going to use me today at American Airlines to do Kingdom work.”
American Airlines Named Most Faith-Friendly Fortune 500 Company
(RNS) — American Airlines isn’t a religious company, but if you wander around their corporate buildings you might stumble onto an ablution station for Muslim purification rituals, a Jewish employee group meeting or even Father Greg McBrayer, a collar-wearing Anglican priest who is both chaplain and chief flight dispatcher for the airline. Today, after decades of religious diversity efforts, American Airlines was recognized as the most faith-friendly Fortune 500 company in the U.S., topping a tech-dominated list that also included Intel, Dell and PayPal.
The 2022 Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Index (REDI Index) measured the religious inclusion of the Fortune 500 companies and found that 40% highlight religion on their main diversity webpage, while 7.4% publicly share about their faith-based employee resources groups (ERGs). This year, American Airlines outpaced Intel and Texas Instruments, last year’s top scorers, thanks to its religious diversity trainings, established spiritual care programs and eagerness to share best practices with others, according to the report.
The REDI Index was initially launched by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation (RFBF) in 2020 to spotlight religious diversity in corporate spaces. This week, the RFBF is hosting its annual Faith@Work Conference for Fortune 500 companies in Washington, D.C.
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Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, told RNS that corporate momentum around religious diversity is continuing to accelerate. “On average, I have a new company every week reaching out,” said Grim. He added that, while companies like American Airlines, Intel and Texas Instruments have been involved in religious diversity work for decades, corporations have only started publicly promoting these efforts in the last few years. Ford Motor Company, a sponsor at this year’s Faith@Work Conference, has had its interfaith network for more than 20 years, but this conference is the “first time they’ve ever shared what they’re doing outside the walls of their company,” according to Grim.
The REDI Index report highlighted other standout religious diversity initiatives, such as Cigna’s many religious celebrations (including Kwanza, the pagan festival Yule and the Zoroastrian festival Ghambar Maidyarem), Intel’s eight faith/belief-based employee resource groups (including ones for agnostics/atheists, Sikhs and Baha’is) and Tyson Foods’ 100 chaplains.
RELATED: Religious diversity: Corporate obstacle? Or asset?
This was the first year the REDI Index expanded to include Fortune 500 companies; previous iterations looked at the Fortune 100 and 200. The RFBF also incorporated an opt-in survey this year that allowed companies to elaborate on their achievements in 10 areas of religious inclusion and support, including the presence of chaplains, religious accommodations and whether they match employee donations to religious charities.
Companies were also encouraged to submit descriptions of initiatives not covered in these categories, such as American Airlines’ Abraham’s Tent events. These interfaith gatherings are regularly hosted by religious leaders who address a topic (“the afterlife,” for example) from their faith perspective. According to McBrayer, the longtime American Airlines chaplain, these events break down silos between faith groups and nurture a more collaborative work environment.
“You just cannot compartmentalize the things that are your core values,” McBrayer told RNS. “And if you’re a person of faith, that’s going to be your faith. That’s the core of everything I bring into my workday. As a Christian, I’m going to do the very best I can for God every day. And people in a business want that.”
RELATED: Intel leads tech-dominated list of religiously inclusive workplaces in 2021
FaithNewsScience & Tech
Most Faith-Friendly Large Company In America? American AirlinesThe Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Index (REDI) was initially launched by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation (RFBF) in 2020 to spotlight religious diversity in corporate spaces. It looks for mentions of religion on corporate diversity webpages and literature, the provision of chaplains, and the offering of faith-based employee resource groups.
Last year, Texas Instruments and Intel took the top two spots. This year, it was American Airlines. At American Airlines, you’ll find employee-led gatherings, specialized resources for counseling, and even practical items like an ablution station for Muslim employees at the company’s Fort Worth headquarters.
There’s also people at American Airlines like Greg McBrayer, whom I covered at in 2019. Not only is he the Chief Flight Controller for American Airlines, he’s also an Anglican priest. Speaking to RNS, McBrayer said:
“You just cannot compartmentalize the things that are your core values. And if you’re a person of faith, that’s going to be your faith. That’s the core of everything I bring into my workday. As a Christian, I’m going to do the very best I can for God every day. And people in a business want that.”
American Airlines’ hosts voluntary meetings it calls Abraham’s Tent. Abraham is a central figure in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith and these interfaith gatherings bring together employees from different faith traditions to discuss issues like afterlife, creation, or miracles.
What is not mentioned in any report but what I think merits mentioning is the manner in which American Airlines aggressively courted employees to seek religious exemptions when it came to COVID-19 vaccines. While United Airlines warned employees against suddenly “finding God” and closely scrutinized religious exemption applications, American Airlines welcomed them and never sidelined employees who chose to avoid the vaccine based upon religious conviction.
> Read More: “God Is Going Use Me Today At American Airlines To Do Kingdom Work”
CONCLUSION Texas-based American Airlines has been named the most faith-friendly Fortune 500 company in 2022. In providing multiple opportunities for those of faith (and those who lack faith) to come together, American Airlines hopes to create a more cohesive work environment that promotes respect and understanding.
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Faith and Business Talk at the BYU Business Society Spring Luncheon April 21st
Some US companies are embracing religious diversity as good for people and for business.
Religious diversity: Corporate obstacle? Or asset?
April 1, 2022
By Kathryn Post
For decades, there has been an unspoken ban on religious discussion in the workplace. And no wonder: Deeply held beliefs, not to mention religious dress or practices, can become a powder keg in corporate lunchrooms no less than at family gatherings.
But thanks to the nation’s expanding religious diversity and the recent surge in workplace diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, the business world’s unofficial taboo on religion might be waning. A growing contingent of businesses have begun talking about religion as an asset, rather than a divider.
Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith Youth Core, said that in the last three years he’s seen an exponential increase in the number of companies coming to IFYC to consult on religious diversity. Since 2019, “one phone call a year became 12, 15, 20 requests a year,” said Patel. “Walmart, Alliance Bernstein, Edelman, Starbucks … A whole set of places, from banks to PR firms to retail, reached out to us and asked us to engage on religious diversity questions.”
Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, told Religion News Service that “every week” he hears from a new Fortune 100 company asking how to approach religious diversity in the workplace. “There’s been a massive change in the past three to five years in some of the world’s biggest and best companies towards embracing religion as part of their overall diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives,” said Grim.
Some recognition of religious diversity is as simple as serving kosher or halal food in the company cafeteria or offering floating holidays, so days off don’t revolve exclusively around the Christian liturgical calendar. For years, companies have offered faith-based employee resource groups, or ERGs, that allow workers to organize around their religious identities.
But some companies are going further, sponsoring religious literacy trainings and hiring interfaith chaplains for in-office counseling or spiritual support.
The companies’ motivations aren’t solely benevolent: There’s a business case for religious diversity that’s connected to overall diversity efforts and to what employees want out of their workplaces.
“Markets and market potentials are driven not only by what marketers try to get people to buy, but by these cultural and religious factors and values,” Grim said. “So businesses realize that to work in tomorrow’s marketplace, understanding religion is really important.”
Paying attention to employees’ religious practices can allow them to feel more valued, develop better working relationships and ultimately to be more productive, Grim added. This can be an edge in a globalizing workforce: While institutional religion is declining in the U.S., a 2015 study from Pew Research Center projected that globally, the world’s religious populations are on the rise.
Younger American generations continue to become more religiously diverse; they’ll expect employers to accommodate religious differences. According to a 2020 study from the Public Religion Research Institute, the median ages of white Protestants, white Catholics and Black Protestants in the U.S. are all in the 50s. In contrast, the median ages of unaffiliated people, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims are in the 30s.
Patel observed that religious awareness can also appeal to clients. “If you’re a Starbucks in Dearborn, Michigan, where there’s a significant Muslim population, why wouldn’t you open at 4 a.m. during Ramadan?” asked Patel, who notes that many Muslims rely on IHOP for their pre-dawn breakfast during the month of fasting.
“Why wouldn’t you be the place where Muslims are going for their final cup of coffee before the day of fasting begins?” he asked.
Some companies have been promoting religious diversity for decades. Intel started its Christian employee resource group in 1995; Texas Instruments followed in 2000. But Grim said even companies that embraced ERGs early are renewing their emphasis. Craig Carter, who heads an alliance of faith- and belief-based ERGs at Intel, told RNS that the company has continued to add such ERGs, including atheist/agnostic and Baha’i groups, and last year added one for Hindus.
The ERGs are increasingly not there to please employees alone. Google’s Inter Belief Network, an ERG launched in 2017, plays a role in adapting Google’s products for religious audiences, including “Doodles” (Google’s alterations to its homepage logo) for Christmas, Hanukkah and even the Taoist/Buddhist Ghost Festival. The Buddhist chapter helped improve the translation of Tibetan religious texts for Google Translate.
Siraj Akhtar, a Texas Instruments employee since 2000, told RNS via email that the company’s conscious hospitality toward Muslims and other religious groups leads employees to invest in the company long-term. “For Muslim employees the idea that you don’t have to hide your faith or your practices, but can openly display them, is very appealing,” said Akhtar.
He pointed to the serenity rooms that are found in all of Texas Instruments’ major buildings. “Having a place where you can perform these (daily prayers) right where you work is something that sets TI apart and has been a huge influence for many who have joined the company.”
Chaplains are another way to weave religion into the corporate sphere. Greg McBrayer, an Anglican priest, is both American Airlines’ chief flight dispatcher and a company chaplain. “I’m not there to proselytize or convert people, I’m there to support them in moments of need,” he said. McBrayer sees himself as a “spiritual first responder” who can bring the “ministry of presence” to any difficult situation, regardless of the spiritual perspective of those involved.
At Tyson Foods in Arkansas, Chaplain Kevin Scherer oversees Tyson’s roughly 100 chaplains, including a Muslim as well as chaplains from most Christian denominations, who serve team members from more than 80 countries.
“Good chaplaincy doesn’t operate from the starting place of the chaplain’s religious faith orientation, but by being present and asking good questions to understand the religious diversity of the team member they’re taking care of,” he said. All of Tyson’s chaplains are equipped to minister in a pluralistic setting, he added, including to people who are not religious.
RELATED: Are today’s seminarians tomorrow’s corporate leaders?
Despite recent leaps in the accommodation of faith, religious diversity efforts lag far behind other kinds of diversity measures. “It’s not even close to where race, gender and sexuality are,” said Patel. “But it’s grown. If race, gender and sexuality were at a 5, and now is at a 9, religion work was at a 1, and now is at a 2.5.”
Leaders’ fear of exacerbating workplace divisions still casts a shadow, experts said. Some are also concerned that, done poorly, religious diversity initiatives can tokenize members of different belief groups without changing workplace culture.
Carolyn Chen, author of the new book “Work Pray Code,” said faith-based ERGs can provide important spaces for religious minorities in what is often an unnamed but normative white, Christian culture. “Yet when you provide these spaces, it can be like, you check the box and you’re done. It can be a way of dealing with diversity, giving people a space without changing the status quo,” Chen said.
Carter said he is frequently asked whether formalizing different religious groups at Intel causes problems. “Having or not having a formal faith ERG does not stop or start a person from having their personal beliefs,” Carter said in an email. “They will always be there. Recognizing they are there helps the employee feel included, valued personally, and that they can be real at work.”
For those wary of religious diversity, Patel says it’s better to address it head-on. “Religion is divisive, and I imagine there are a number of C-suite-level people who are not going to touch it,” he said. But these days the alternative to a proactive program, he said, is likely to “let conflict or bias land on your desk.”
National Medal of Honor Museum Unveiling Special Event at American Airlines
Registration is open for the RFBF National Faith@Work ERG Conference 2022
American Airlines sends 63 WWII Veterans to Peral Harbor for 80th Anniversary
I was truly blessed to provide the departure benediction and be part of this historic anniversary event
American Airlines Names Christian Employees Resource Group - EBRG of the Year
An American Hero Comes Home - Army Chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun - Medal of Honor - Venerated Saint
A Moving Video of an American Hero Coming Home to Sainthood
Father Kapaun received the Medal of Honor and is in process to be venerated a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church. His remains were recently identified and arrived at DFW Intl. Airport this morning from Hawaii to transition to his Kansas home. Pictured is the water cannon salute of call sign flight, Shepherd II, arriving in the same Boeing 777 that we flew Pope Francis in as Shepherd I in 2015.
his very moving event takes on a whole different meaning if you will take the time to view the video links below which tells Fr. Kapaun's remarkable story. Special thanks to Randy Stillinger, American Airlines and all who made this very special day possible.
God bless you all, and may God bless America!
Fr. Greg McBrayer
911 A Day Like No Other; Ministry Redefended!
The Birth of Corporate Chaplaincy at American Airlines
Click to attend the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation 911 Event Special ZOOM Event 9-9-21
Senator James Lankford & Senator Chris Coons Discuss Religious Freedom and Business with Dr. Brian Grim
The Case for Faith's Impact on the Bottom Line In Business
Click Photo to learn more about the 2022 RFBF REDI Index
American Airlines Christian EBRG (Employee Business Resource Group)
recognized by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundations 2021
REDI Index as the second most faith inclusive of fortune 100 company's.
Christian EBRG Global Leads and DEI team receive REDI Index award 2021
Airports Step Up Mental Health Assistance as Passenger Anxiety Soars
ATL & DFW Airport Chaplaincy Directors talk about impact on travelers.
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Chaplaincy at Work: the "Final Frontier" of Missions
Congressional and Corporate Chaplains: First Reaponders to America's Crises
Annual North Texas Field of Honor Event for our Military and First Responders
Fr. Greg and the American Airlines Honor Team - Honoring a US Army Medal of
Honor Recipient Ron Rosser transitioning through DFW to his final resting place
DFW Rambler Article - Ministry Guides Airline During Covid-19 Crisis
Ministering in a Pandemic at American Airlines
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, EBRGs have gone above and beyond to offer resources to those in need. For instance, Generation Now is holding a virtual trivia fundraiser to support the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The participants answer trivia questions and for every correct answer, they’ll donate grains of rice to the WFP. The initiative will run through April 24.
Winston Lam, Senior Specialist in Inclusion and Diversity says the impact is being felt across American. “We have 170 EBRG chapters throughout the system at 19 domestic stations and 11 international stations. Some events are specific to our hubs, like DFW and PHL, but many like the fasting fundraiser and virtual Do Crew have been designed so team members everywhere can participate.”
Members of the Muslim EBRG are skipping their lunch and donating it to the American Airlines Family Fund so team members experiencing hardships have food for themselves or their families. Visit Jetnet and search for the American Airlines Giving Portal to follow their lead and support this initiative. Those donating are asked to type in “fasting fundraiser” in the notes section when they donate.
Along with monetary donations, the EBRGs are offering spiritual support. The IOC is hosting a Monday Morning Prayer Convocation every week sponsored by the Christian EBRG. Named and anonymous prayers are welcome. Father Greg McBrayer is also available for counseling and spiritual guidance around the system.
The Professional Women in Aviation (PWA) EBRG in PHL partners with MANNA, an organization that provides nutrition to aid patients who are fighting serious illnesses. They are looking for volunteers who are willing to spend three hours a week writing notes of encouragement for sick patients. The PWA is also trying to leverage unused amenity kits to support students who are a part of City Year, a non-profit organization focused on educational equity.
If you are looking for ways to give back, be sure to regularly check the events calendar to see where and when volunteer opportunities are taking place. Now more than ever, EBRGs are proactively finding ways to make a positive impact on team members and their communities. The effect of their work will be felt by all involved for many years to come.
Interviewed by the RFBF President on the differences between 9/11 and COVID-19
Ministry Redefined: Ministering at American Airlines through a Global Pandemic
Our Easter Prayer Cross has been filled twice as start this unique Holy Week
Click on the link below for a recent article published by ramblernewspaper
Click on the link below for latest article on inaugural Faith@Work conference
By Morgan Solomon-Maynard on November 5, 2020Mental health and substance use challenges look different for each person affected. No challenge or diagnosis is exactly the same, and some mental health challenges can be difficult to recognize. It can be easy to generalize or make assumptions, but realities vary, and these challenges can impact more than you may think.
Studies show that mental health in the United States is worsening among all age groups. While this is because of a number of factors, one fact stands out: Many people are not receiving the treatment they deserve. Stigma around mental health and lack of access to care are driving many people away from getting the care they need.
Over the years, a great deal of work has started to reduce the stigma of mental health and there’s been progress in making these conversations feel “normal.” Today, as COVID-19 has impacted all of us in different ways, discussions around mental health are becoming increasingly common, and more people are reaching out for help.
Check out these statistics to better understand what mental health and substance use challenges look like in 2020:
- In late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.
- One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
- Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
- Depression alone costs the nation about $210.5 billion annually.
- The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S. and the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
- More than 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness.
- Transgender adults are nearly 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
- The most common mental illnesses in the U.S. are anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults (18.1% of the population).
You can help. Get trained in Mental Health First Aid today. As a trained First Aider, you will be able to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in your community.
You can #BeTheDifference.
The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and The Catholic University of America are hosting first ever national conference of faith oriented Employee Resource Groups Feb. 13-14, Washington DC.
Follow The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation at https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/
American Airlines Works to Keep Passengers Safe
DFW Airport — Most people who travel by air simply get on a plane, read a book, have a drink and trust the plane will land safely. But there a great deal involved behind the scenes that passengers rarely see. Reverend Greg McBrayer, a chief flight dispatcher with American Airlines (AA), a chaplain and the…
DFW Airport Chaplaincy recognizes major supporters with Ministry of Presence awards
The DFW Interfaith Chaplains held their annual Ministry of Presence Awards in the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport on December 13. These awards recognize the men and women who have gone above and beyond to keep the Chaplaincy open and available to DFW Airport travelers who may need spiritual comfort.
Power of Prayer: DFW International Airport Interfaith Chaplaincy
DALLAS-FORT WORTH, Texas (KLTV) - At the start of the holiday travel season, countless East Texans will be among the passengers navigating crowds at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Despite the airport being one of the busiest places on Earth, people are finding their faith inside one of the five DFW Airport interfaith chapels.