I serve on several boards that relate in some way to matters of faith. Here's a rundown of them, just for your information:
* Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care. This is the jewell of non-profit hospices in the Kansas City area. Our great staff offers both in-home care as well as a 32-bed hospice house. The photo here is of the front entrance of the Hospice House at 12000 Wornall Road in Kansas City, Mo.
* Hermitage Spiritual Retreat Center, Pittsburg, Mo. This is a small, ecumenical retreat facility that offers Christian hospitality to people who need to find some alone time, some down time, some reflection time. Our on-site resident manager and spiritual director is W. Paul Jones, a Catholic priest and Trappist monk.
* The MAX (for Mutualaid eXchange) Insurance Company. This company, rooted in the Anabaptist tradition, provides not just property and casualty insurance for individuals and churches but it also tithes its profits (and commits 1 percent of its premiums) to be able to provide mutual aid ministry to people in need. Its home offices are in Overland Park, Kan., a Kansas City suburb, with a subsidiary in Canada. As a reciprocal insurance company, it provides homeowners, auto and other insurance to its members, who may join simply by signing an application stating one's agreement with the core moral values of the company. Prior to early 2010, people buying insurance had to be members of Anabaptist churches, such as Mennonite or Church of the Brethren. Now membership is open to a much wider group.
* The Kansas City Interfaith Youth Alliance. This non-profit organization, inspired by the Interfaith Youth Core, works with young people to help educate them about how adherents of different religious traditions can better understand each other and live in harmony.
* In addition, I'm an elder at Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Mo., a trustee for the burial site in Mount Washington Cemetery of William Rockhill Nelson, co-founder of The Kansas City Star, and a past president and former board member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.