SDOP supports The Alumni Group’s ministry to men in recovery
The Self-Development of People Committee (SDOP) of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. was developed as a compassionate response to the plight of the underprivileged around the world. The ministry personifies the church’s 150-year mission to give the poor the means to fulfill their potential. In 2009, there was a “marriage made in heaven” when SDOP met and embraced The Alumni Group’s ministry to men in recovery. The ministry of the SDOP is to glorify God, as is TAG’s key purpose.
SDOP and The Alumni Group (TAG) are kindred spirits, sharing the mutual goal of fostering self-sufficiency. “One of TAG’s main goals is to make people self-sufficient. It is about putting people in a place to be sufficient by helping them with things such as school, social skills and saving money,” shared Kent Henry, president of The Alumni Group. The two ministries met providentially at the Eastside ministry in Chester a few years ago, and SDOP encouraged TAG to apply for funding to help with their house they were renting for ministry purposes. The Alumni Group has since secured funding at the local, synod and national levels, totaling in excess of $40,000 over the past few years.
“The house was the biggest milestone so far,” Henry reflects. TAG was able to pay their rent with the generous assistance from SDOP for the past couple of years. In the late spring of this year, they were able to purchase their home and are paying the mortgage through the plentiful support of the SDOP. “Our biggest need is money, but the SDOP is about more than that. They are about all things that promote self-sufficiency,” said Mr. Henry. During the process of getting funding, SDOP asked a lot of questions about TAG’s ministry commitment and goals. “They knew we were committed and the bottom line was to glorify God,” Henry added.
TAG consists of a twelve member core group, including the board of directors. “It is a very well-rounded group. We have a wide variety of gifts that work together,” said Mr. Henry. The Alumni Group oversees the accounting and distribution of funds through the office of Treasurer. Financial reports are submitted monthly with all receipts accounted for and checkbooks fully in order. TAG operates with integrity and a firm commitment to help the men it serves to reach their full potential in Christ.
In addition, The Alumni Group also seeks to “pay it forward” by referring other projects to the SDOP ministry. So far, they have referred two other projects to them. SDOP has resources they want to share with ministries that coincide with their mission to empower the underprivileged to be all that God has made them to be. SDOP has been a tremendous asset to TAG, and they want other non-profit organizations to also benefit from the wealth of resources and support they have received.
- Denise Henry
Denise Henry is a freelance writer and member of Grace Fellowship Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where she serves on the music ministry.
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