An Open Letter to CFC Friends


March 2006

URGENT: Dear Friend of the Center for Faith and Culture (CFC), Culture Watch and Dick Staub.

I am writing about something I believe with all my heart needs to happen, but will not become a reality without your help.

Recently, I read a quote from Ethan Hawke, a well-known actor and emerging novelist with a finger on the pulse of his generation’s issues. In “Ash Wednesday” his central character is James Heartsock, a young man struggling with faith and love, who says of his spiritual situation: “Now if someone asks me if I believe in God, I shake my head like I couldn’t give a shit, but the truth is, I do. I just don’t know what to do about it.”

This is a common cry of a generation leaving organized religion (only 16% of 18-22 year olds are involved in formalized religion) and then bombarded with a cacophony of confusing spiritual messages in culture. We need to help them find God.

Just as C.S. Lewis interpreted the Christian faith to a so-called Christian nation during WW II, I’ve explored creative ways of communicating faith today. It is no secret there is an active conversation about the spiritual going on in culture. Since the 1960’s I’ve been observing, listening and thinking about the issues raised by popular culture. I’m particularly intrigued by the opportunity provided by what I call thoughtful creatives, those writers, musicians and artists who have something important to say and who say it well. Two important strategies have emerged.

First, rather than asking seekers to join our conversation, we should find ways to enter theirs. Today’s cultural conversation about the spiritual offers just such an opportunity. Second, if we want to converse with today’s seeker, we need to combine traditional broadcasting, new technologies like podcasting and grassroots in-person communications.

It is time to launch CFC Media.

Since we started CFC in 1998 our ultimate aim has been to produce an intelligent, imaginative, hospitable media exploration of the spiritual in contemporary life. I believe the time has come. In just a few months, with your help, I will lead a team into the cultural conversation in three ways:

1) CFC will produce a weekend 2-hour syndicated radio broadcast designed for thoughtful seekers. It will originate from a Seattle pub and feature an interesting round table of guests, religious and irreligious, drawn from the ranks of professional movie, music, book, cultural critics, local theologians of faith and culture and artists, filmmakers and writers.

Seattle is the most un-churched place in the country yet considers itself spiritual. Seattle’s population is culturally engaged, hosts the largest film festival in the US, is home to Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project (EMP) and reads more than any other city in the country! What better place to originate a national cultural conversation?

2) CFC will produce a daily podcast & interactive web site to educate seekers who are motivated enough to seek further knowledge.

3) CFC will host a series of by-invitation intimate retreats, selecting and equipping a cadre of fully committed creatives and communicators to be more effective as a loving, transforming presence in culture

To transform these ideas into reality I have drafted a plan with an extremely talented team and together we are ready to implement these CFC Media ventures as soon as funds are available. (A one-page executive summary or a draft of the 18-page plan is available upon request to prospective donors).

We are praying for some timely Media Founder donations from kindred spirits like you. To launch this ambitious plan requires a total of 365,000 dollars in new tax-deductible donations by this September.

As a benchmark our Board is seeking a minimum of 50,000 dollars donated by March 31, 2006. This date is critically important and obviously only days away. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

In future years we plan to secure the bulk of our funding through Foundations and Earned income. To launch our media venture though, we are relying on donations from you and others.

Because you have been a faithful friend, I am asking you to do two things.

1) Please Pray for CFC every day from now until March 31, 2006. Ask God to speak to those who are supposed to support this vision regarding how much they will contribute and when

2) Consider Making a Donation as a CFC Media Founder (By March 31, if possible). Our plan calls for 365,000 dollars in NEW GIVING, which will probably require some extraordinary contributions in larger amounts, but we cannot launch these media initiatives without donations of all sizes. (Specifically we are seeking 2 gifts @ 50,000, 2 @ 25,000, 16 @ 10,000 and many, many smaller gifts.

Please mail your generous contributions to: The Center for Faith and Culture, PO Box 77385, Seattle, Washington 98177

Thank for your prayers, ongoing interest and, as God leads, faithful financial support in the days to come. Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends.

Dick Staub
President, The Center for Faith and Culture
“Illuminating the bridge to God through creatives & the culture they create.”

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    ‚©CRS Communications 2006

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