What is Faith in Action?
Faith in Action is a coalition of congregations working together to effect systemic change in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham community. Bound together in strong relationships within and among our Covenant Congregations, associated groups, and beyond, we have the “people power” necessary to open minds and demonstrate significant public support for change on a given issue.
After listening to hundreds, even thousands of people, we democratically select one issue each year to address. A solution, however tentative, is researched and developed along with the decision-makers of our community. Once agreement and commitment is reached in relationship, we hold an annual Action Assembly to mark this sacred commitment.
Faith in Action is composed of Covenant Congregations with equal representation (2 Representatives) at our major assemblies. We are also composed of various committees which “do the work” to make Faith in Action happen.
Why is this important?
All of our congregations love and serve our neighbors through a variety of mercy ministries such as Open Doors, food banks, community meals, and People Helping People. We do this because our traditions, in their unique ways, proclaim a God who desires justice for all people. These acts of compassion are vitally important. At the same time, we know they are not enough.
We know our faith traditions are also calling us to deeper relationships and actions that create systemic change. This kind of change requires the positive power to open minds and transform complex governmental, economic, and social systems. This kind of “people power” comes through a deep listening that forms relationships. Thousands of people of faith in deep relationship with one another and the decision-makers of this community have the power to effect lasting, systemic change. Individual congregations cannot do this on their own. Any one religious community or denomination cannot do this on its own. We have to work together.
Is this political?
Faith in Action is a non-partisan, faith-based organization that speaks in the public arena. We have no common theological, political, or ideological agenda. We work annually on a pragmatic, workable, local issue that is selected by our members. This work does mean that we ask elected officials and other local government personnel to make changes to work toward justice.
What does this have to do with my faith?
That is a question only you can answer. Faith in Action has no specific creed. Rather, we recognize that all our traditions speak of a justice for human beings and the world desired by God, however God is understood. If your faith motivates you to seek justice, join us, on your own terms, in your own words.
Faith in Action is born of faith, but its goal is not to spread any particular faith or belief system. That’s what our faith communities do. Faith in Action is about working on a specific, local justice issue because our different faiths tell us that is a good thing to do.
Where is our money going?
Contributions primarily support our part-time Community Organizing Coordinator, who maintains the communications and logistics necessary to Faith in Action. They will also support the very limited administrative costs we incur (copying, website, meeting logistics). Our Covenant Representatives Assembly will draft our first annual budget later in 2016.
Are you a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for tax purposes?
We are in the process of seeking incorporation as a nonprofit in Virginia and then seeking 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS. We are working as quickly as we can to get this done.
How do I get involved?
Check with your congregation’s leadership to see if someone is already in touch with Faith in Action. If not, email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get right back with you. To become a Covenant Congregation, click here to see what that entails. Your congregation, through its own process, will need to decide to commit and select two Representatives.
If you would like to join a committee, click here for the list of committees and contact persons.