M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

It is no secret that our world today is full of hurt. Even as we reel from headlines that show devastation on the Israel-Gaza border and sustained destruction in Ukraine, we often have only to turn our heads slightly to see pain and suffering closer to home. Loved ones lie in hospital beds and neighbors suffer the illness of addiction on our streets. Our world is in need of healing: physical healing of wounds and illness, relational healing of individuals and groups at odds with one another, and personal healing of traumas and patterns of destructive thought.  

At the Murdock Trust, we believe that healing is administered every day at the hands of nonprofits in our region, many of them motivated by faith-based values. As a faith-friendly funder (approximately 30% of nonprofits we partner with are faith-based), our annual Leadership Now conference is dedicated to pouring into these particular leaders who find themselves at the intersection of Christian convictions and the common good. This year, we were thrilled to welcome nearly 250 nonprofit executive directors of faith-based organizations for two days of inspiration, learning, and connection.  

The conference theme was The Power of the Gospel in Healing, drawing on the rich history of healing ministries – hospitals, relief organizations, hospice centers, and more – fueled by Christian beliefs. Because healing comes in many forms and every sector of society has an opportunity to administer it to the people it serves, there were artists, theologians, business leaders, pastors, college presidents, and more in the room. Their shared commitment to a vision of a flourishing society was palpable.  

We were grateful to be joined by an outstanding lineup of speakers: 

Esau McCaulley, author, contributing writer at the New York Times, and professor at Wheaton College, spoke about the importance of the stories we tell and their power to administer healing from generational wounds, racism, and other traumas. 

Jon Foreman, award-winning solo artist and lead man for the band Switchfoot, gave a powerful evening performance of songs that speak to the miracle and power of healing. 

John Mark Comer, founding pastor of Bridgetown Church and teacher at Practicing the Way, spoke on healing from wrong done by us, wrong done to us, and wrong done around us.  

Curtis Chang, author, podcast host, and faculty at Duke Divinity School, reframed anxiety as an opportunity for spiritual growth and encounter.  

Romanita Hairston, our very own CEO of the Murdock Trust, spoke of the power of a healing community and the need for those who can lead with love in our in-between, borderland moment in time.  

Recordings of all talks are available at our Conference Resources page. As we enter the final days of 2023 and look ahead to the new year, we hope these words empower and encourage leaders across our region to seek opportunities to administer, receive, and celebrate healing in all its forms. We are exceedingly grateful to partner with nonprofits that do this good work every day.  

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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

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