I do not normally use this blog as a tool for fundraising. I have been challenged to make an annual plea. This is that exception.
Next year DOOR begins its 25th year. Back in 1986 we were using typewriters, rotary phones, and snail mail wasn’t a recognized term. Today all out staff has laptop computers, cell phones that do everything and snail mail is mostly a quaint way to communicate.
In 1986, DOOR saw 175 participants. By the end of 2010 we will have hosted over 40,000 folks in 25 years.
In 1986, the “D” in DOOR stood for Denver, today the “D” stands for Discovering. The “OOR” has remained consistent – Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection.
In 1986, DOOR had one location, Denver. Today we host programs in six locations – Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Hollywood, Miami and San Antonio.
In 1986, DOOR did one thing, host folks from Christian perspectives who were coming to urban Denver to serve for a week. Today we continue to host short-term groups, but programming has expanded greatly. This year we have 36 young adults spread across five of our cities living in intentional community exploring a call to ministry. During the summer months we hire 40 youth, college, and graduate students to help lead our Discover program. Many of these people are emerging leaders from the urban communities in which we are located.
One of our core understandings is that heaven looks a lot more like the city than a garden. This comes from our reading of scripture, the biblical story starts in a garden, but ends in a city. Inviting people to the city is a little like inviting people to heaven. It is in the city where our participants very often experience God’s call on their lives.
When you contribute financially you become a partner in a ministry that has, is and will continue to call a generation of young people to authentic Christian living.
Now is the time to support urban ministry. Even as costs continue to rise, we have held the participant fees to the 2009 rates. In spite of rising costs, we hold to our commitment to have each city staffed with local full time city directors and pay a living wage. We depend upon their year round relationships, their continued presence in the city and their sense of community gifts and needs.
We have increased our commitment to local leadership development. Our national board of directors re-directed the proceeds from all merchandise sales into a special development account. We partner with Volunteers Exploring Vocation to fund a special initiative of local summer staffers to give scholarship or special funds to each staffer that successfully completed a grant application and participated in a weekend together.
We have sought more grant funding. We have been selective in seeking foundations with the same philosophy of giving as our philosophy of ministry. We are not asking for funds that will in any way deter us from our mission and stated ministry goals. Instead we remain focused on highlighting God’s presence and work in each of our cities.
As you consider where to donate, we ask that you consider putting DOOR on that list as well.