A Special Report For Our Visitors & Supporters
— November 2014 —
Prepared by Jody Baxter, founder of The World Prayers Project
Where We Are Today -- 15th Year Anniversary
Launched in December 1999, the World Prayers archive has been serving the global community for 15 years — without stop. Every day. Every moment. Every second. Sending, receiving and archiving prayers from almost every nation in the world.
Today World Prayers is visited by millions of individuals from all walks of life, ages, and nations, including K-12 classrooms, universities, colleges, seminaries and libraries around the world. Since its beginning, World Prayers has earned an international reputation among educators as a trusted and unbiased academic resource for comparative studies and research.
Though education is vitally important to our purpose, World Prayers is also offered as a humanitarian resource for individuals, families, and communities in need. For this reason, there are now thousands of health care providers and hospitals referring their patients and patient families to World Prayers, along with hospice workers, prison, and military chaplains, and social caregivers and practitioners of every faith; even those with no predefined faith at all.
Prayers By Martin Luther King Jr.
After a year of letter writing and phone calls, The King Center in Atlanta has generously renewed their permission for our continuing use of four prayers by Dr. King. Dr. King’s prayers have been an important part of our compilation since 2003. Though these prayers represent only a tiny portion of our growing archive, The King Center's permission renewal is an important endorsement of our work and a great sign for the future of World Prayers.
Though we are unable to pay for permissions, many extraordinary authors, poets and religious leaders around the world are contributing their prayers and poetry to our public collection (for example: Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Sister Joan Chittister, Maya Angelou, Coleman Barks, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Jane Goodall, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Sogyal Rinpoche, Ellen Bass, and John O'Donohue just to name a few).
As more and more prayers are contributed to our compilation, the richer and more meaningful the World Prayers archive will become.
World Prayers Advisory Council
Our spiritual Advisory Council continues to play an important role in the success of World Prayers, not only by providing credibility and guidance for our organization, but also through their loving embrace of our many precious visitors.
As of November 2014, Venerable Stephen Carlier has accepted our invitation to join our Advisory. His personal experience and unique perspective is a welcomed addition to our continuing work.
Since the inception of The World Prayers Project, we have long drawn on the infinite wisdom, compassion and inspiration emanating from the Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist traditions, of which the 14th Dalai Lama is its most well known and influential figure.
Ven. Steve Carlier (Thubten Sherab) was born in the UK and has been studying Buddhism since 1977. He first met Lama Yeshe, the founder of FPMT, and Lama Zopa, its current head, in 1978. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk by Lama Zopa in 1979 and received full ordination from Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche the following year. He studied for eleven years at Nalanda Monastery in France, and from 1993 to 2004 was one of only a handful of Westerners who followed the Nalanda (India) tradition of studies at Sera Monastery in India.
Since 1978 he has been a student of the revered abbot emeritus of Sera Je monastery, Geshe Jampa Tegchog. Fluent in the Tibetan language, Ven. Steve has served as this great master's interpreter as well as other visiting monks. Ven. Steve is a revered Sangha member at the Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, CA.
New Publishing System
Given that our long term goal is to expand World Prayers to 5 times its current size, we must first build a new web-based editing and publishing system capable of allowing volunteer editors around the world to collaborate on the research and preparation of prayer content.
This missing piece of the technological puzzle remains our greatest overall need. If we want to continue our growth, we must resolve this challenge.
We initially tried to accomplish this with volunteer programmers but the project proved too large and complex. We’ve now determined that we need to hire an outside Application Developer to undertake this important work.
We estimate the development costs of the new database to run between $15,000-20,000.
If you would like to see World Prayers grow — then please give as much as you can. Your support is essential to the expansion of the archive.
How Your Donations Are Used
As a volunteer-driven nonprofit, we do not have any paid staff. Everyone involved with the project works for free in their spare time. Therefore, no donations are ever used for wages or salaries.
However, the project does incur annual operating expenses for which donations are absolutely essential, including:
- Web hosting fees
- Domain registrations
- Internet access
- Phones & mail
- Banking, tax reports & accounting
- Secure online donations provider (Qgiv)
- Corporate filings
- Legal issues
- Hardware & software
- Outside professionals (occasionally required)
- New editor’s database (a onetime expense of $15,000-20,000)
Since we do not receive funding from any outside organizations, the World Prayers Project depends solely on public support without which World Prayers could not exist.