UCAN Spiritual Formation Event 2012
UCAN held its first Spiritual Formation event on February 23rd which was hosted by longtime supporter and Governing Board member, Elena O'Connell and her husband Bill. Participants included various religious and social work organizations operating in the Chicagoland area.
The event featured UCAN's Reverend Tyrone Fowlkes, Director of Spiritual Formation who led a conversation on Transformative Philanthropy and the impact it has not only on the recipient but also on the donor. Reverend Tyrone explained how UCAN is embarking on a unique approach to addressing youth violence and trauma by integrating spirituality into its clinical philosophy. Reverend Fowlkes then introduced Catherine Chinnock, TPSN supervisor and member of UCAN's SP1RIT affinity group who spoke about how as a counselor she uses Spirituality in her work with youth as a nontraditional approach to therapy.
After Catherine spoke the participants were then asked to engage in dialogue on the relationship between spirituality and philanthropy - to explore a different understanding of philanthropy as something that goes beyond just giving money to a cause.
Reflections from participants included:
- I am inspired by UCAN's youth. My motto is, "Pay it forward and don't give anything that doesn't have value."
- A participant shared what her faith taught her about giving. She explained that Islam teaches to give with the lower hand and that the receiver receives with the upper hand. This means that the person who receives the money always benefits first.
- It is not only about giving money, we should become more involved than that. We should motivate ourselves and others to help those that need it. I for one believe that philanthropy is an obligation that we have to society; I believe in sharing what we are able to - with others.
- Philanthropy is a relationship between the donor and the recipient - it's not just financial.
- A UCAN's Youth Ambassador at the event, Christopher Williams explained how giving dignity to those that are in need is just as important as giving charity.
The evening closed with Zack Schrantz, UCAN's President and COO telling the group about UCAN's new CITY initiative, "CITY is both a place and an approach that is UCAN's bold solution to the violence crisis plaguing Chicago's communities."
For more information on UCAN's Spiritual Formation journey, visit our Spiritual Formation page. Thanks to all those who attended and participated.