By: Gladys Rodríguez, Executive Director of the Miracles of Love Corporation (CorMA)
The solidarity economy is a collective action project based on solidarity, cooperation between groups and self-management, among other efforts. It is a concept that values human beings and their work for the common good and where equity and balance with the environment are also highlighted. Churches and nonprofits are clear examples of social groups serving diverse communities that can embrace the values promoted by the solidarity economy to transform their ministries.
Leading a church or ministry in the time of Covid-19 is a great challenge and requires a great deal of faith to rest in the belief that God is present. The whole world has been upset by the Pandemic and has experienced in its own flesh the vulnerability and fragility of the human being. In the face of a population suffering losses in their income, health and instability caused by the Pandemic, leaders and pastors need to keep their ministries alive and provide more services with fewer resources. It is at this time that you must think "out of the box", diversify sources of income and evaluate models of self-management that allow funds to be raised to continue serving the community.
We are called to serve even during our own crisis; I have seen God's hand sublimely covering various ministries. Prayer, a committed team, and planning to align available resources with services are imperative. This requires an in-depth analysis of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats and then developing a plan aimed at achieving the goals set.
The concept of "solidarity economy" allows cooperation, mutual aid, the environment, and self-management to be integrated into the practice of serving disadvantaged sectors of society, especially during the Pandemic. An objective look at the ministry will allow you to identify all available resources and focus on developing what you have and what counts on rather than focusing on what you don't have, to help the community overcome its inequalities.
Our Ministries have a clear purpose of service and the greatest resource is called Jesus Christ. His model of service invites us to bring spiritual peace, healing, and love to our neighbor even in difficult times. In our hands is the responsibility to create innovative ideas to achieve sustainability that is aligned with existing resources and to draw new resources to support Ministries.
We invite you to watch the conference Models of Solidarity Economy in Times of COVID-19 (offered in Spanish) in the Latino MInistries Community in our platform MinistrElife (https://ministrelife.org/communities/1129).