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The Ohio Good Community Project
Faith-driven intermediaries, unlike secular ones, uniquely serve individuals and communities by emphasizing inward spiritual transformation as a necessary component of whole life flourishing. Personal transformation by faith is a defining part of humanity that sustains pro-social and ethical impact and becomes a force multiplier for thriving communities generation after generation. In recent years, this work has been accelerated by large, multi-year grants from the Fetzer Institute and Lilly Endowment.
The implementation of this community-flourishing-acceleration project is ongoing but has been significantly accelerated in 2022 by a generous multi-year grant from the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
“The Fetzer Institute is helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. They work with thought leaders to develop programs, research projects, convenings, and funding collaborations in the sectors of faith, spirituality, democracy, education, and organizational culture.”
Fetzer leadership has just completed a strategic master plan that is devoted to motivating the work of long-term, result-gaining applied theory in community flourishing like,Weiant’s GOOD Community model.
Identifying and building the capacity of existing city and county community catalysts (essentially leaders who organize local intermediary networks) is a key part of Weiant’s labors. He and others are tasked with connecting and equipping Ohio’s Christian Leaders and their communities through qualified catalysts. To do so, he has created essential resources that offer aid and a shared bridge to practitioning and emerging GEN Y & Z catalysts.
The Good Citizen guide includes over 50 essential Bible references relating to the role of good government and the relevance of defined good character virtues to effective personal and organizational self-governance. The guide provocatively demystifies the thesis of true “dual-citizenship” and provides strong logical arguments and tools for Christians (particularly GEN Y & Z rising leaders) to better reconcile and integrate their national citizenship and their Kingdom-citizenship convictions.
The tools outlined in Good Citizens allow users space for mentored self-assessment and reflection. Specifically, one tool, Uncommensense, is a framework of 20 robustly defined character ethics. The assessment asks for user honesty and (eventually trusted peer review) with the hope of observing ethics displayed positively in one’s life as well as identifying self-deceived areas to focus improvement efforts over time.
Good Citizens serves as a perfect Christian prequal to the project’s follow-on series also authored by Weiant called The Civil Society Tutorial. The Tutorial includes three sequential study guides written in the language of conscience that appeals to faithful, secular and NONE groups. These guides are entitled:
These field guides are brief and illuminate the sole pathway for renewing civil society culture in a pluralistic American culture that serves all our neighbors. Living the virtues of Scripture authentically and consistently is the “secret sauce” of trust-sustaining relationship, so essential to community-building over time.
In the first six months of the Fetzer Institute supported initiative, The Ohio Good Community project re-edited, branded and published it’s essential resource series, earned the partnership of the Ohio Governor’s Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives as a key statewide advocacy partner, organized and began systematic exchanges among a cohort of 10 practitioning Ohio city and county representative community catalysts, located a GEN Y project leadership successor team, and hosted 100 community catalysts at the Ohio Statehouse allies Match 17, 2022 to a day-forum for best-practice exchanges (see images.)
Outcomes of the first annual forum included the 20th anniversary celebration of the Ohio Faith-Based Office and Governor Mike DeWine’s robust commitment to support faith-based intermediaries, the roll out of a statewide faith-friendly flourishing community shared index or “dashboard metrics” trail project.
Meet the Team
Chip Weiant earned his B.A. in Public Policy Analysis at Miami University and did graduate work in public policy at the University of Rhode Island focusing on the moral implications of public policy on free enterprise, individual liberty and human flourishing. Mr. Weiant also leads the National Better Business Bureau’s Center’s for Character Ethics Project and is addressing both passive and absentee-fathering challenges in the Heartland through his DADLAB Father-Focused, Parent Strengthening Project.
Weiant strives to renew cultures of trust by leveraging leadership character and organizational ethics assessment, training and best practice advocacy within existing networks of American institutions. Chip’s portfolio of work includes the publishing and dissemination of UncommonSense, the EthicalEnterprising Framework and The Civil Society Tutorial series which earned the Sir John Templeton Freedom Award in Ethics in 2008.
Caleb Ingram is the Executive Director of Declare Dayton, which serves as the convening body for congregations and ministries engaged with the Ohio Good Community Project. Caleb is passionate about seeing lives changed and cities and communities revived with hope through Jesus Christ. After working in local church ministry for a number of years, he has now been serving full-time with Declare since 2016 to unite the body of Christ to worship and serve together.