Tuesday 2 July 2013

Team building

Carmarthenshire County Council's devotion (£1.4m worth of devotion) to the evangelical organisation, the Towy Community Church is well documented and the bowling alley (featuring toddler play area complete with licensed bar) is now open. Phase two, which includes the Church auditorium and various counselling or 'therapy' rooms should be underway before long, subject to funding. Where that funding will come from remains to be seen.

During the process, alarm bells rang when the then Leader of the Council, Meryl Gravell stressed the importance of this fundamentalist christian group in easing the pressure on the council's social care budget.

It looks like the evangelical theme is continuing, if on a slightly lesser scale. Information recently published shows the council's spending on social care training sessions and the organisations involved.
Amongst the data are two entries for 2012/2013, one is for 'Conducting effective one-to-one meetings' and another for 'Developing your team', at a total cost of £500. The provider of these team building sessions is named as a Mr Matt Bownds (Communications Skills Intervention), who also happens to be the Pastor of the Living Word Church in Carmarthen.

This particular organisation has a similar faith base to the Council's partners, the Towy Community Church. It follows the evangelical tradition that it's 'great commission is to make disciples';  Non-believers, in other words, sinners, will 'spend eternity separated from Christ, in hell'; and, of course, the literal belief in the Bible, 'which is completely trustworthy, true and without error'.

Perhaps it should be noted that as well as team building sessions for council staff, other members deliver assemblies in our Carmarthenshire schools.

On a related note, the Freedom of Information request appeared to be a bit of a 'round robin', perhaps a company on a 'fishing' expedition and went to many other local authorities. One of which was Ceredigion County Council who refused to reveal the names of the suppliers. They said; 'We are not able to provide you with the name of the personal details of the training providers due to confidentiality'. Given that the usually reticent Carms Council did give the names, it makes you wonder just how much grasp of the law, and consistency of its application, our public bodies have.


Anonymous said...

"Meryl Gravell stressed the importance of this fundamentalist christian group in easing the pressure on the council's social care budget." The start of privatisation perhaps!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone could ask this christian group to answer these questions:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus
21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev15: 19-24. The problem is how do I
tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev..1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse
and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with
people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum,
Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
(It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)