Sunday, February 14, 2016


When the local church announced that it would be hosting sessions on Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) during Lent, I had an instinctive negative reaction. The short description of ABCD contained terms like "sustainable development", "community", and "environment", all favorites of the Marxism progressivism to which our bishop and many of our clergy adhere. (Just to be clear, your humble blogger supports to varying degrees these activities on an individual basis; when featured prominently together, however, they signal common cause with a political group that is not mine. See dog-whistle politics.)

But there was a pleasant surprise: the first session did not bash capitalism and did not advocate an expanded central government to correct society's wrongs. According to Episcopal Relief and Development [bold added]
Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach that catalyzes change and development based on utilizing the existing gifts and capacities of people and their communities. The ABCD model discourages development brought in from an outside source, but rather energizes change and development from within.
(Image from
ABCD seeks to make changes to the community based on existing individuals, associations, institutions, physical assets, and connections. The traditional model of starting with wants (for example, affordable housing) seeks outside help, which becomes permanent and creates dependency.

In other words ABCD says, let's start with our assets to see what we can do, not list our wants to see what we can get. I'll attend the next session to see where this goes.

No comments: