CATEGORY: Community Organizing

A Safe Space to Gather

The two political parties asked First Presbyterian for our sanctuary that it might be a “safe space.” We agreed to share our space that we might all address our biases and pursue diversity.

Community Chaplaincy for Nones and Dones

Last September, the Presbytery of Detroit decided to take a plunge with me. Together, we created a new role for ordained ministry. I am the first community chaplain in the presbytery. More specifically, I am a Community Chaplain for Nones and Dones.

Balancing Leadership

Leaders often work with different types of people: those who are willing to do whatever is needed, those who eagerly commit to specific tasks, and those who are passive but will respond when asked directly and personally. All are needed for a successful action.

Victory! Now What?

It’s a victory! Hooray! So now what? In organizing, we know that a win only means that we have more work to do.

The Art of Meeting

What I have learned, though, is that it is possible to bring a group of people together on the phone or around a table for a productive and relational conversation, covering every point on the agenda, creating space for questions, and ending on time. It takes a combination of planning ahead, moderation, and, perhaps most importantly, being in relationship.

Challenges of Organizing a Movement

Our society is still segregated by race and class, but when we all join around a table, we live out the body of Christ. I see glimpses of heaven, the world as it should be, when we are in community around a table discussing door knocking, phone calls, listening sessions, and planning an action.

Activism vs. Organizing

Those first moments of movement were the most tense with protesters chanting, singing, and even yelling at the police. I wondered why some were yelling at the police rather than trying to start a dialogue with them. I realized that organizing had ruined me for activism.