Author: Barb Gorzinski

#Giving Tuesday: A big day for generosity

Take a break from shopping. Make a real change in the world. Today is a day of world-wide loving-kindness and generosity. Unleash your warm, caring heart!


Help us raise $5,000 in the next 24 hours by making a generous gift to Associated Ministries today.

Associated Ministries unites people of  faith and goodwill to build stronger communities.

Your contribution to Associated Ministries advances the goal we all share: ending local homelessness. 

“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that–warm things, kind things, sweet things–help and comfort and laughter…”  

–Frances Hodgson Burnett

Let your generosity and caring shine on #GivingTuesday! 

Give today.  















The Community is Watching: Will Congregations Step Up?

By Mike Yoder, AM Executive Director

The headline on the front page of the Tacoma News Tribune on Tuesday, Nov. 7 declared: “Faith-based Groups Need to Do More to Battle Homelessness” (read it here). The article by columnist Matt Driscoll shared that the City of Tacoma is beginning to recognize the role that faith communities could play in addressing the homelessness emergency. With that in mind the City recently loosened some rules to make it easier for organizations to establish an emergency shelter within their facility, but to date, no church or nonprofit has applied for a permit to do so.

This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that local officials are, at last, rightly recognizing the unique and valuable role that congregations can play in addressing an issue like homelessness. Indeed, faith-based organizations have always been on the frontlines meeting the needs of the vulnerable and marginalized throughout history.

But such contributions can be easily forgotten or unrecognized. A hurting community is now asking us, either fairly or unfairly: “What have you done for me lately?” And that may be the bad news, because for many faith communities the answer is, sadly, not as much as we’d like. Certainly, we recognize finances are limited for some congregations which struggle to meet their own needs. But there are other resources that many churches possess that could be deployed in a time of crisis such as this.

What would it take for your faith community to step outside the box and consider a new way to serve; perhaps providing emergency shelter, or maybe partnering with another congregation that is? What if members of your congregation deployed themselves throughout your community to add energy and capacity to efforts already underway that serve the homeless?

Every day at AM we are blessed to learn about meaningful efforts already being done by faith communities throughout Pierce County. I shudder to think of how much worse off we’d be if these congregations were not already doing so much to love their neighbors and care for those in need.

But in a time of crisis, our hurting community sees underutilized church buildings and under-involved church members and rightly asks: are you willing to stretch your concern and commitment even further at such a time as this? More importantly, what do we hear God calling us to do? Many of our desperate neighbors are praying that we people of faith will be willing to do even more.

A great place to foster your faith communities’ involvement in addressing homelessness is at AM’s Community Quarterly Meeting. The next gathering will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 4:00-6:00 pm at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4818 E. Portland Avenue, Tacoma. At each meeting, attendees are educated about homelessness, gain understanding about effective interventions, and discuss potential projects and solutions. Please join us!

Why Lead the Way Home?

When we ask you to join us at the Lead the Way Home Breakfast it truly is an invitation. Not just to breakfast (Cheesy egg scramble, potatoes O’Brien, sausage, pastries, fruit skewers, by the way). Not just to enjoy the company of friends, though there will be plenty of time to do that.

You are invited to join the cause of ending family homelessness in our community.

Nothing means more to us than showing you how to help one more family move from homelessness to safe, stable housing.  

Change the life of a mother and her children who are living in their car as winter comes. You can lead the way to safe shelter and a stable life. To a consistent school schedule with a rich environment for learning. To a meaningful job. You can lead the way home!

Homelessness is a crisis in our county. We are committed to making it a thing of the past. We’re counting on you to accept that challenge and join our commitment. Because you have a big heart, and it loves the chance to help other people.

The Lead the Way Home Breakfast is where you can start.

Please join us. Be inspired by stories of faith, courage and transformation. Make a new story you can tell others. A story about how you helped families step out of poverty and homelessness and move into a life that offers hope.

Admission is to the breakfast is free. Your investment in ending homelessness will be magnified many times over through the lens of loving kindness.

Reserve your free tickets by October 27th.

You are invited!

Meet our amazing Rapid Rehousing team

Our Rapid Rehousing team–Team Leader Ivette and amazing team members Mary, Kelsey, and Will–explain in this video a little of their approach to helping people with housing services. In 2016, they helped 375 households go from homelessness back into affordable housing rapidly and permanently. 

“We accept individuals and families who are referred by Coordinated Entry. We also assist with some move in costs and very short-term rental assistance. Using the Housing First model we address homelessness and then provide resources to meet other needs clients have.”

“In our program, we meet the clients where they are in life. This program is all about what the clients want and need. They are in charge of their destinies and know their situation better than we do. Families receive referrals to employment services, mental health services, and resources to gain tools for self-sufficiency. Empowering clients to take control of their lives is the key to our Rapid Rehousing Program.”

Landlord collaboration is vital to the success of the Rapid Rehousing Program. Read more about the incredible landlords the team has worked with and honored through regular Community Pillar Awards.

You can “Lead the Way Home” for homeless families

Join us at the Lead the Way Home Breakfast for a morning of inspiration and learn about our vision to end family homelessness in our community.

Reserve your FREE tickets by October 27th

AM Executive Director Mike Yoder, along with former Director David Alger and other special guests, will share stories of faith, courage, and transformation.

Discover how you can help families step out of poverty and homelessness and move into a life that offers hope.

November 2, 2017

7:30am – 8:30am

Foss Waterway Seaport 705 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA

(free parking available in the adjacent lot)

The Lead the Way Home Breakfast is a fundraising event; while the breakfast is free you will be asked to make a generous donation to this worthy cause. Proceeds benefit Associated Ministries and its programs that serve homeless families and individuals.




Supporting church libraries (and the people who love them) for 50 years

Celebrate church libraries and meet the people called to the ministry of offering church libraries in and for their congregations.

In 1967, a group of church librarians met at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), just south of Tacoma, Washington, to form a new organization, which they named the Pacific Northwest Association of Church Libraries (PNACL) The goal of the organization is to maintain and promote church libraries.

On Friday, July 14, church librarians from all over Washington, Oregon and Idaho will be back on that campus to celebrate the 50th anniversary of PNACL’s founding.  They will attend the 50th annual two-day conference, which this year is hosted by the South Puget Sound Chapter of PNACL.  The South Puget Sound chapter has members in the Tacoma and Olympia areas and meets six times during the year.

Despite the media’s claims that most people no longer read print books, church libraries continue to flourish. PNACL currently has 137 members. Most of those church librarians are in seven PNACL chapters in the three states, but there are a few at-large members. PNACL supports its members with quarterly newsletters, book reviews, books and other materials, a list of authors available for speaking events, and help for congregations that are interested in starting or weeding out books to restart an old church library.

Many church libraries are hidden away in a basement. They acquire books by donation and are usually supported by volunteer librarians who are called to the church library ministry. Dee Hoff, a member for 27 years, believes that working together as a network helps churches manage their libraries more effectively. The PNACL has developed interesting ways to promote church libraries, such as summer reading programs, book discussion groups, and supporting other ministries of the church. Roberta Larson, a past President of PNACL, also believes church libraries offer support to people who attend church but don’t particularly want to join the church itself. They are able to check out books to help them explore their faith or provide inspirational stories to help them through difficult times.

Speakers at the conference will discuss such topics as library technology, funding of libraries and library promotion.

Several long time members will be in attendance to share their memories of early days, including first-hand accounts from a couple of ladies who were at the first conference.

Authors will be on hand to discuss their books and participate in an “author shuffle” so conference goers have some individual time to talk to authors.  You can get a preview of some of the authors by visiting their websites:

Elizabeth Lonseth, who has written two memory care booklets, also will be one of the conference speakers.  Her topic will be Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care Resources.

Conference registration costs $175, which includes two days of presentations and activities, overnight accommodations, three meals and refreshments. For further information, go to the website or contact: Dee Hoff, 253-582-7328 or Cheryl Addams, 360-918-8950.

June Quarterly Community Meeting

What a great Community Quarterly Meeting we had last week!  Thanks again to Rev. Eric Jackson for hosting us!
Special thanks also goes to Tiegan Tidball from the City of Tacoma, Mike Yoder, Executive Director for Associated Ministries and Mark Merrill, Executive Director for Shared Housing Services for presenting.  Everyone did a great job!
Here are links to the materials we reviewed at the meeting:
City of Tacoma Temporary Aid and Sheltering
Slides for June Meeting
To keep everyone encouraged and energized, I would like to share a few results from the breakout sessions.  We had three breakout groups this quarter: Catholic Community Services’ Family Housing Network (FHN), Shared Housing Services, and the City of Tacoma, which explored ways the faith community could get involved to support the Emergency Declaration.
Catholic Community Services’ Family  
Housing Network Workgroup
The Family Housing Network Workgroup agreed to make some homeless kits filled with useful items for families experiencing homelessness. There was also emphasis on getting the word out in the community about this awesome program, so the workgroup is planning to have Alan Brown, the Director of Family Housing Network, present during scheduled community meetings.
Shared Housing Services Workgroup

The Shared Housing Workgroup took a similar path. They too wanted to get the word out about this great opportunity for the faith community. This workgroup plans to do more outreach in neighborhoods, congregations, neighborhood councils as well as some community gatherings.


City of Tacoma Workgroup

The City of Tacoma Workgroup came up with some pretty creative ideas about how the faith community can get directly involved to support the Emergency Declaration on Homelessness, including safe parking, permanent housing solutions such as rehabbing derelict houses or purchasing tiny houses, and exploring policy changes such as screening practices for rental applications.

The goal of the Community Quarterly meeting is to create an energizing space in Pierce County for people of faith and goodwill to share knowledge and act on strategies to end homelessness. 
Please plan to join us for future gatherings.  Upcoming Community Quarterly Meetings:
  • Thursday, Sept. 21st from 4-6 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 7410 South 12th Street, Tacoma, WA 98465.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5th from 4-6pm at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4818 East Portland Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404. 

AM Community Resource Guide new update

We’ve done a fresh update of the AM Community Resource Guide and it’s now available on our website. You can download the pdf here. You’ll notice we ask for contact information before you download the document. We do that only to add your contact to the list of people who are interested in the Resource Guide so we can send you word of any subsequent corrections or of publication of the next update. Occasionally, we may ask you for feedback about how you use the Guide and what we can do to make it easier to use. 

If you are from an organization or service that is listed in the Guide and you notice an error or information that should be changed, please email with your suggestions so we can keep the Guide as current and user-friendly as possible.

An Interview with “Ask Without Fear for Christian Ministry” author Marc A. Pitman

Marc Pitman is a true believer.  He’s an international leadership coach and fundraising trainer and helps nonprofit board members and staff get excited about asking for money. He believes in the ability of nonprofit organizations to do immense good in the world and he’s a Christian believer who sees fundraising as a ministry. He launched a new book, Ask Without Fear for Christian Ministry, on March 20th

Q: Marc. you’ve done a lot of things in your life and helped thousands of nonprofits. Why did you decide to write the Christian ministry book?

Marc: That’s a great question. It’s pretty exciting for me because I got my start in fundraising raising money for Christian causes. So this has always been behind the content in the other Ask Without Fear!® books. Ministry has always been what motivates me. My faith is very influential in my life. I love, I love, I love being a follower of Jesus and I feel like this book allows me to share all of that. It’s taken so long to write, in part, because I just love people. With my other books, I’ve been able to help so many different people from so many different walks and faiths and countries. I am honored to be able to help so many and take that privilege seriously.

Q: How do you approach Christian groups about raising money?

Marc: I’ve wanted to be very careful. When I pastored a church for 4 years, I was very careful to talk about money regularly but I was very careful about how I talked about money from the pulpit. There have been so many prominent bad examples of Christians talking about money. So I’ve been trying to be very strategic. Actually, this book has been a work in progress over two years now. I probably am more vulnerable in this book than in my other books. People feel like they know me from reading the other books but with this one I really feel like I put even more out there.

Q: Who, is the person you hope will pick your book off the shelf? What do they look like? Who is the reader you wrote for?

Marc: (laughs). Ha! It’s like that Michael Jackson video, “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.” Remember that one? Where the faces keep morphing and the hair sprouts out and it goes down. That is the image that just came to mind because the person that will benefit most from this book really isn’t a demographic as much as a calling.

Whether they’re in a church or at a large, multi-national relief ministry, or a missionary raising their own support. Or even if they’re somebody at a church that just sees a need and wants to fill it. The person that’s going to really benefit from this book is someone who got into ministry to do good and thought the money was going follow. They were told that if you follow God’s call, everything else will work itself out. And it’s not. What they didn’t realize is that they had to be just as intentional with fundraising as any other aspect of the ministry. Because people don’t just “get” that they’re supposed to give.

Q: Does the framework in your book speak to unique characteristics of Christian audiences and ministries?

Marc: This book is written for people surprised by fundraising. It tells them it’s going to be okay. And that there is a strategy fully in sync with the Bible they can follow. Even that, if they let it, fundraising can be a fulfilling part of their ministry, not just a “necessary evil.”

Fundraising really is part of ministry. Stephen Covey used to say, “when you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other end too.” So when you picked up the ministry stick, you picked up the other end, the “needing to resource the ministry” end.

But people don’t necessarily tell you this. It’s not something that’s typically well taught. The framework in Ask Without Fear for Christian Ministry has been tested over more than 20 years and have been proven to work. They’ve also proven to be accurate with Scripture, which is really nice because there are a lot of things out there that say they work but they aren’t necessarily things that we want replicated in our ministries. We want to be people of integrity.

Q: I sense with you, with this book, there’s an alignment between your path and the work that you’ve been doing. How does that change the way you’re speaking about the book?

Marc: Well, there is a deep joy in talking about this book. There’s also a tension because I’m aware that I have been blessed to have a wide range of people that are benefiting from my teaching. I’m honored that Islamic Relief USA had me in to teach them about public speaking and that I was just teaching 110 Chasidic rabbis on Long Island, New York. I love that atheists and Hindus and Wiccans and agnostics are inspired by my work.

I love being the ambassador, exploring differences. So the tension is that I don’t want to unnecessarily remove people from finding help that they need with fundraising because they see there’s a Christian fish on this book.

Q: An interesting aspect of your book is you talk about references to fundraising being in the Bible. Can you say more about that?

Marc: I was able to bring together pieces of this book from my blog, my sermons, and my fundraising training. On my site, and on the YouVersion app, I had the “Fundraising in the Bible” study. I looked at stories of asking for money that are in the Bible. Like Moses asked for money from people who had just been rescued from slavery. Moses made a pretty bold ask! And others like David and Hezekiah and Nehemiah and Paul. And to share that along with the best world class research that’s going on. I’ve been privileged to be on the Rogare Fundraising Think Tank with the University of Plymouth in the UK. So I’m also exposed to cutting-edge, solid academic research. Part of what I love to do is blend the Biblical, the practical, and the academic together because they’re not at odds with each other at all. It’s exciting to see this stuff really resonate with people.

Q: What are you going do to celebrate the publication of this book?

Marc: Part of my personal mission statement is releasing people, helping people find the joy in life. For me, the joy is with a capital “J.” It’s Jesus. I don’t feel like I need to talk about that all the time. It’s more of a Saint Francis of Assisi thing, “Preach the gospel everywhere; use words only when necessary.” I don’t feel like it I need to micromanage someone’s walk. That’s not it. I really love meeting people where they’re at. So whether it’s serving in the community or working with my kids, I just love being able to see people grow and thrive and excel.

Q: Thank you so much for sharing a bit about why you’re excited about your latest book, Ask Without Fear for Christian Ministry!

Marc: Thank you! It’s been a pleasure.

You’ll find a great framework for fundraising for your ministry in Marc’s book. Many people who respond to God’s calling set off on the journey before they create a plan to fund it. The mission is to do good, help people, and spread God’s Word, but without a funding plan they run out of resources long before they reach the finish line. Often the task of asking for money can be easy to push aside and even seem outside of God’s call. Marc guides you with stories and a solid approach that will help you get excited about asking for support for your ministry.

BTW, you can buy the book on Amazon. Don’t forget to use AmazonSmile to do double-duty…your purchase will trigger a cash donation to Associated Ministries from AmazonSmile.

Interfaith Women’s Conference: Attendees Want MORE!

Over 400 women attended AM’s premier Interfaith Women’s Conference “Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity” on March 4th.  With more than 24 speakers and workshops offered, 50 vendor booths, and a day filled with options for yoga, meditation and sacred spaces, this conference had a bit of something for everyone.  But one thing was certain.  By gauging which workshops filled up the fastest and by survey feedback received from participants, attendees want more.  Their focus?  Listening, dialogue and action.

“Compassionate Listening”, “Peacebuilding – How to Dialogue with Friends of Other Faiths”, and “Sacred Activism” all sold out quickly.  Imagine a community where we listen, talk and then act, all with a shared goal of building stronger relationships and communities.  Women who attended this conference have plans to do just that.  How can you and your faith community do the same?

Associated Ministries will be looking at ways we can assist in keeping the momentum going post-women’s conference.  Stay tuned for more information about upcoming interfaith gatherings and local workshops to address ways we can come together across faith lines to build bridges of interfaith unity.  If you would like to be involved in the planning of future interfaith events, please contact Community Engagement Coordinator, Wendy Morris at or 253-383-3056 ext.

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