The first insert in the bulletin is a Rappahannock Clergy Association (RCA) / Community Needs Assessment. You might ask what is the RCA? An article entitled Rappahannock Clergy Association that appeared in the Rappahannock News on September 18, 2014, explains this way:
“Washington Baptist Church has long participated with other local churches in everything from shared worship on special occasions to joint study programs like Vacation Bible School. Now, Pastor Walt Childress is working to expand on those efforts by forming a Rappahannock Clergy Association (RCA).
“While we each have our own worship and ministry ways, there are still many things that we can do together as God’s people. The RCA is open to all clergy in the county.”
As the article continues, it points out that:
“The group’s first meeting — with County Administrator John McCarthy and Social Services director Beverly Dunford — is 10 a.m. today (Thursday, Sept. 18) at the church, and will focus on the need for foster care.”
The Beverly Dunford mentioned in the article is quite likely (I always leave room for my own research error) the same Beverly Dunford, who was listed in the PeopleInc. Annual Report 2014 as a member of the Board of Directors for People Incorporated. Both as the Social Services Director for the County and as a board member for PeopleInc., it would seem that Ms. Dunford would be very interested in learning that the RCA is canvassing the County in search of social “needs.” So, the results from RCA Community Needs Assessment passed out in the Sunday bulletin could represent a great windfall of social “needs” that would eventually end up on the doorstep of the County Social Services Office.
My wife and I are sure that it was purely a coincidence that on February 6th some folks in Rappahannock County, including members of St. Peter’s, received an email from a representative of PeopleInc. stating the following:
There is an important Community Needs Assessment on the www.peopleinc.net webpage. Please take a few moments to complete the survey and to encourage anyone in you think may be interested to do so, as well. We appreciate your help. This input will help plan programming.
The transmission of the PeopleInc. email and the appearance of RCA needs assessment in the St. Peter’s bulletin occurred within 48 hours of each other. It must be noted that the two assessments do not cover the same set of needs. The RCA assessment confines itself to problems for the elderly, while the PeopleInc. assessment is more broad ranging in its questions. Despite their differences, however, it would not seem to be a stretch to imagine that the results from both assessments will end up on the desk of Ms. Dunford.
The advent of the Rappahannock Clergy Association is, in some ways, reminiscent of the early stages in the founding of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE). The coalitions are being made and the case for social “needs” is being brought forward to the local government. My wife and I cannot help but recall that one of the training documents available on the VOICE Website was Rules for Radical Pastors.
So, as seniors, my wife and I are looking forward, quite literally, to the “free ride” we might get from the County thanks to the RCA and PeopleInc. On the other hand, I suspect we will see an increase in taxes that will be necessary to pay for that “free ride.”
We would suggest that the Community Needs Assessment form also include a Category of Service item Number 19:
Acknowledging that Rappahannock County has no jurisdiction over and funding for salvation of souls, how would you most want the RCA in general and your pastor in particular to assist you in your spiritual life and well-being?
There is more to this story, but for now we will let the matter rest.