I serve on several boards that relate in some way to matters of faith. Here's a rundown of them, just for your information:
-- I previously served on the Council of Advocates of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education but as of early 2022 I serve on the board. The center teaches the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance and genocide. It serves Kansas, western Missouri and the broader Midwest.
-- SevenDays Inc. This is the charitable organization started by Mindy Corporon after a neo-Nazi murdered her father and son along with another individual in 2014 in suburban Kansas City. Its purpose: "We overcome hate by promoting kindness and understanding through education and dialogue." I joined the board in January 2022.
-- Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care. This is the jewel 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. My 12 years of service on this board ended in 2021.
-- 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. As of Aug. 5, 2017, I'm an emeritus board member.
-- The Kansas City Interfaith Youth Alliance. This inter-religious organization for high school students and other young adults seeks to educate members about faith and provide opportunities to learn about the faith of others and participate in interfaith service projects. KCIYA dissolved in 2021, with some of its functions picked up by other organizations.
* 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. I was on the MAX board for several years but left it in May 2014.
* In addition, I'm an elder at Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Mo., was a trustee for more than two decades (though no longer) for the burial site in Mount Washington Cemetery of William Rockhill Nelson, co-founder of The Kansas City Star, and I'm a past president and former board member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.