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Responding to Racism in the Church during COVID – Resources

Sunday, August 16th, 2020

There has been intense discussion this summer about racial/ethnic bias in police practices, including discussions in city councils and county government. However, there has been less attention to structural racism in the church. While systemic racism is best addressed with intense face-to-face dialog, here are a few resources to begin the conversation in the context of COVID. (more…)


More Resources During the Pandemic – Spring 2020

Friday, May 15th, 2020
  • The organizers of Ecumenical Advocacy Days have posted this list of national events:
    Ways to Engage During the Quarantine
  • An overwhelming list of congregational resources have been created – many of them available through denominational offices – in response to the pandemic. Here’s just one:
    48 questions to ask before reopening your church
    ( kenbraddy.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/48-questions-to-ask-prior-to-reopening-your-church-3.pdf )


Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Earth Day videos

Friday, May 15th, 2020

The Green Faith working group has put together a list of climate change video resources to explore in honor of Earth Day. Feel free to share any others you find with your community! (more…)


Resources for Public Policy Advocacy during the pandemic

Friday, May 15th, 2020

(How Quakers redesigned FCNL’s Spring Lobby Weekend in response to COVID-19)

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Spring Lobby Weekend – March 30-31 on Climate Change legislation:

  • plenary and breakout sessions were presented on-line, and recordings are posted.
  • there were also virtual meetings of local groups to plan lobbing visits, and virtual lobby visits with Members of Congress after the program presentations.
  • See details here

Also see FCNL resources on virtual meetings with Congressional offices.


Webinar Series on COVID-19 and Social Justice Issues

Friday, May 15th, 2020

(United Methodist Church — Church and Society)

The weekly series, called “Pre-existing Disparities Revealed,” explores how the pandemic intersects with topics such as systemic racism, the carcel system, and access to food. “COVID-19 revealed societal injustices that already existed. This pandemic has magnified familiar societal, political, and economic disparities—now with the added urgency of a public health crisis,” said Aimee Hong, Senior Executive Director of Education and Engagement.”

Webinars will occur every Thursday, starting May 21 at 2 PM ET. Topics include:

  • May 21: Systemic Racism and Discrimination during COVID-19
  • May 28: Confined and Vulnerable: Detained and Incarcerated during COVID-19
  • June 4: From the Ground to the Table: Food Insecurity during COVID-19
  • June 11: A Just and Peaceable Global Relief from COVID-19
  • June 18: Imagining a Just Economy post COVID-19

All webinars are free and open to all, but you must register for individual sessions. See details and register
here.


Resources – September 2016

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Prison Justice Resources

Immigration – Berks Detention Center

22 Mothers Continue a Hunger Strike at Berks Detention Center — some mothers and children have been held in detention a year or more without a court hearing on their request for asylum.

Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform

Moral Monday in Harrisburg – Sept. 12th

On Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 (11am – 1pm) people of faith and other coalitions convene in Harrisburg, PA and 34 other state capitols around the country. The “Moral Day of Action” is a part of “The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values,” a national multi-state tour to redefine morality in American politics. The Moral Day of Action and the Revival are co-led by Rev. Dr. William Barber, II and Rev. Dr. James Forbes.

In Harrisburg, participants will be demanding that elected officials support affordable housing, a $15/hour minimum wage, and fully funded public education. They will also demand an end to violent, racist policing, the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, and the abolition of Death By Incarceration sentences (also known as Life Without Parole). We will gather and march in solidarity with coalitions from around Pennsylvania to present a Moral Declaration to our Governor and key legislators.


Resources – August 2016

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Prison Justice Resources

Redistricting Reform

Environmental Justice


Resources – July 2016

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Prison Justice Resources

Anti-Racism Resources

Gun Violence Prevention

  • Interfaith Coalition Urges Immediate Steps to Mend Divisions between Communities and Law Enforcement. A July 14th a letter to Congress signed by 50 faith-based organizations supports legislation to mend police & community divisions:
    – Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act of 2015 (S. 2168/H.R. 2875) and
    – End Racial Profiling Act (S. 1056 /H.R. 1933).
    The letter is posted here.

Pennsylvania Shalom Conference

  • Pennsylvania Shalom Conference – sponsored by PA Council of Churches
    Sept. 24-25, 2016 (Saturday 6:00pm – Sunday 4:00pm)
    Pennsylvania’s first ever “Shalom Conference” will be held at The Hartman Center, a UCC retreat center on 5725 Old US Hwy. 322 in Milroy, PA 17063. We know that peacemaking work can be lonely work. The Pennsylvania Council of Churches is hosting this event in hopes of building a statewide network of peacemakers that will make peacemaking less lonely. Peacemakers of all types, including those who struggle against systemic racism, environmental destruction, torture, domestic violence, gun violence, are all invited to participate in this conference.
    Saturday evening: Shane Claiborne, a founding member of the Simple Way Community in Philadelphia and author of influential books Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President
    Sunday afternoon: Saadia Ahmad, current McCormack Scholar and Master’s student in Conflict Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
    Registration: $100 (includes food, but bring your own towels and bedding)
    For details and registration, contact Sandy Strauss, s.strauss@pachurches.org,
    717-545-4761, or see www.pachurches.org/event/shalom-conference.

Environmental Justice


Resources – April 2016

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Prison Justice Resources

  • Saturday, May 21, 2016 (10am-12n) Letter-writing to people in prison, and Sheila Clever will speak again on the “Pipeline to Prison Learning Tour” at First Presbyterian Church, Allentown.
  • The Fair Housing Act – Finding a place to live can be difficult for people with arrest records. Now it may be easier for convicted felons to rent a home under the protection of the Fair Housing Act which is being interpreted to include discrimination against returning citizens. See this NPR story for details.

Anti-Racism Resources

  • The 30-min. video excerpt, “RACE – THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION: The Genesis of Discriminatory Housing Policies” is available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/133506632
  • Critical Cultural Competency Workshop – June 11, 2016 (9am-5pm) at Grace Episcopal Church, 108 N. 5th St. For details, contact Kara Bender, 412-513-9648, kara@crossroadsantiracism.org.
    Kara Bender is a national organizer/trainer with Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing & Training (see crossroadsantiracism.org )

Pennsylvania Legislative Redistricting

  • Changing the redistricting process in Pennsylvania requires a Constitutional Amendment. Companion bills SB-484 and HB-1835 would create an impartial, independent citizens redistricting commission with rules ensuring fairness and transparency.
    Fair Districts PA has a petition asking our legislators to pass these constitutional amendments to restore accountable government that is of, by and for the people. (See www.fairdistrictspa.com )

Ecumenical Advocacy Days: “Lift Every Voice! – Racism, Class & Power”

  • April 15-18, 2016 (Fri. evening – Mon.) Washington, DC area

    Legislative ask (2-part):

    • Supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (S. 1659/H.R. 2867) as a substantial legislative step to restoring and strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and
    • Defeating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that deepens inequality and prioritizes corporate interests over both God’s creation and people, especially vulnerable communities in the U.S. and abroad.

    For details, see www.advocacydays.org


Resources – March 2016

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Pennsylvania Budget

Homeless / Housing

  • St. Anne’s Episcopal embraces Safe Car Camping Program — homeless car-camping in a church parking lot.