Two mainline denominations have partnered to work with a seminary to create a center dedicated to helping people of faith transform the world through community and cultural organizing work that has been shaped by and grounded in theology.
The Center for Lived Faith and Organizing will be a partnership between the United Church of Christ’s Justice and Local Church Ministries, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)’s Reconciliation Ministry, and Eden Theological Seminary. ETS is a UCC-affiliated institution, and a UCC News release says that, “The Center exists to educate, train and connect communities with local and regional partners for long-term and sustainable ministry in organizing and justice work.”
“Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with Rev. Bernice King,” said the Rev. Traci Blackmon, UCC Associate General Minister. “As we discussed ways we might collaborate in the future, the subject of faith-based organizing was prominent in our discussion. I shared with her my excitement about the Center for Lived Faith and Organizing that is now a reality.
“After a year of collaboration, we are excited about the possibilities of equipping congregations and communities with the skills necessary to not only organize effectively against injustice, but toward embodied discipleship.”
Funding for the Center will come in part from a Fetzer Institute grant. The Fetzer Institute’s goal is “helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.” The Institute’s Mission page says that:
At the Fetzer Institute, we believe in the possibility of a loving world: a world where we understand we are all part of one human family and know our lives have purpose. In the world we seek, everyone is committed to courageous compassion and bold love—powerful forces for good in the face of fear, anger, division, and despair.
Inspired by our founder John E. Fetzer, we encourage each other to discover new ways of knowing our sacred world and explore our personal spiritual journeys as we work toward transformed communities and societies in which all people can flourish.
Each member of our team—and each of our partners committed to this common vision—brings a unique spiritual and religious lens, but all of us are drawn into community by our shared sense of sacred connection to ourselves, each other and our planet. And together, we inspire and serve a global movement transforming the world into a more loving home for all.
IMAGE: Eden Theological Seminary (TYLER BURRUS/CCA 2.0-Generic)