The Council is charged with:
The Council, after conducting its research, reviews, and deliberation, will submit a written report of its recommendations. A new Council will be appointed by the President every year.
- Identify best practices and successful modes of delivering social services;
- Evaluate the need for improvements in the implementation and coordination of public policies relating to faith-based and neighborhood organizations; and
- Making recommendations to the President and the Administration on changes in policies, programs, and practices.
The last council wrote a report which can be viewed here. Their recommendations were:
Strengthening the Effectiveness of Partnerships
* Perform a strategic review of government-supported technical assistance and capacity building.
* Convene and encourage learning communities of social service programs and providers.
*Develop a strategy to partner with State, county, and city officials.
Strengthening Constitutional and Legal Footing of Partnerships
* Strengthen constitutional and legal footing of partnerships, and improve communications regarding White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Agency Centers.
* Clarify prohibited uses of direct Federal financial assistance.
* Equally emphasize separation requirements and protections for religious identity.
* State more clearly the distinction between “direct” and “indirect” aid.
* Increase transparency regarding federally funded partnerships.
* Improve monitoring of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements that accompany Federal social service funds.
* Assure the religious liberty rights of the clients and beneficiaries of federally funded programs by strengthening appropriate protections.
* Reduce barriers to obtaining 501(c)(3) recognition.
* Promote other means of protecting religious liberty in the delivery of government-funded social services.
According to the report, the last council was divided over "charitable choice," signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 as part of the Welfare Reform Package. President George W. Bush followed up by adopting and widely extended the basic charitable choice model through executive action. It appears that this the last council did not agree on charitable choice and so the report does not make official recommendations on that issue.
The White House website says that the new council was to be appointed in Spring 2010, but it seems to have been delayed for some reason for nine months.
Read it all here. Here is the list of 12 appointees, down from twenty-three that served last year:
National Association of Evangelicals President Leif Anderson and Nancy Wilson, head of the and Metropolitan Community Church - the nation’s largest denomination expressly serving LGBT Americans - are among the appointees to the panel, which was launched by President Barack Obama in 2009.
Lynne Hybels, wife if megachurch pastor Bill Hybels – who leads the Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago, Illinois – is also on the list.
The White House also named Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly and prominent Jewish organizational leader Susan Stern to the advisory council, which is officially called the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Stern was appointed to serve as chair of the council.
United Way CEO Brian Gallagher is also on the list.
Two other notable appointees are The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis. Jefferts Schori is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the first woman to hold that role. Trakatellis is the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.
Susan K. Stern, Special Advisor on Government Affairs to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals
Andrea Bazán, President of Triangle Community Foundation
Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Policy Link
Brian Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United Way Worldwide
Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Lynne Hybels, co-founder and Advocate for Global Engagement at the Willow Creek Community Church and wife of Bill Hybels.
The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly
Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of America,
Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
Reverend Elder Nancy L. Wilson, Moderator (Global Leader) for the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches
There were twenty-three people appointed to serve in the last council (2009-2010). They were:
- Diane Baillargeon, President and CEO, Seedco
- Anju Bhargava, President, Asian Indian Women in America; Principal Director, Global Synergy Associates
- Bishop Charles E. Blake, Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ
- Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association
- Dr. Arturo Chávez, President and CEO, Mexican American Catholic College
- Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President-Elect, National Council of Churches; Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Churches
- Fred Davie, Senior Director, The Arcus Foundation
- Nathan J. Diament, Director of Public Policy, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
- Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed
- Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Bishop of the Thirteenth Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church
- Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director, The Center for Muslim Studies, Gallup
- Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor Emeritus, Oliviet Institutional Baptist Church
- Dr. Frank Page, Pastor, Taylors First Baptist Church; President Emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention
- Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core
- Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., General Counsel, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Nancy Ratzan, President, National Council of Jewish Women
- Melissa Rogers, Director, Center for Religion and Public Affairs of the Wake Forest University Divinity School
- Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
- Reverend William J. Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
- Rev. Larry J. Snyder, President and CEO, Catholic Charities USA
- Richard E. Stearns, President, World Vision United States
- Judith Vredenburgh, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America