Faith-rooted organizing brings people together to create change (Alban Weekly): Community organizing is in many ways about empowering people and achieving democracy, but faith-rooted organizing takes a very different approach from that of its secular counterparts, says the Rev. Peter G. Heltzel, the co-author of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World.”
“In faith-rooted organizing, we’re calling on people to build relational power from the deepest wells of our faith,” he said. “Instead of appealing to people’s self-interest, we call people to live out their dream connected to their community’s dream and God’s dream.”
What is faith-rooted organizing? We are great at gathering people to get our praise on and hear the word of God proclaimed from the pulpit. Faith-rooted organizing is bringing people together to create systemic change in our communities and world in a way that is completely shaped and guided by our faith. The term “faith-rooted organizing” was coined at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, when the Rev. Alexia Salvatierra was executive director and the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr. was chair of the board. Alexia and I wrote the book as a primer on organizing for faith leaders around the country.
Christians have always been moved by our faith to do justice and have been at the forefront of many of the historical movements that sought to build a better world, including the abolition movement and the civil rights movement. From Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth to Martin Luther King Jr. and Fannie Lou Hamer, African-American faith leaders have organized for racial and economic justice. So our call is to get outside the church, go out into the community and share the love of God with the people of God in concrete ways.
Rector’s Corner: On Sunday, we will be having a Joint Worship Service at 9:30am. After the Service, we will stay in the Sanctuary and proceed with our Annual Vestry Meeting. I appeal to every member of our parish to please attend our Annual Vestry Meeting. This is an important piece of our parish life. I believe through your active participation, we will be able to fulfill our common ministry and grow our parish congregation. For me, growth involves the present membership of our parish through a continuing understanding of our calling as baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. And, growth also means bringing people to Jesus Christ. Thank you so much.