After the 2016 election we at The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado invited people from more outwardly ‘progressive’ congregations to come together in order to build strength and take action in a unified way for human rights and equality issues in our state. We have called this gathering the ‘Progressive Congregation Network’, or PCN. Thanks to all who have joined us!
We have met quarterly for the past year and a half and have had opportunities to speak out when a Muslim community was experiencing discrimination, to explore ways we can confront and dismantle racism, to explore paths to economic justice, to make our voices heard at the Colorado legislature to protect GLBTQ rights and equality, to participate in the sanctuary movement, and to better understand ‘reproductive justice’ and threats to reproductive health and freedom.
Over the past couple months the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado team took the opportunity to step back and evaluate our goals and effectiveness with the Progressive Congregation Network.
The continuing needs are great. We see increasing threats to rights and equity, systemic violence based on race, religious discrimination, economic systems that are grounded in greed and scarcity rather than community and compassion, and deep ideological divides. We believe it is important to have intentional space for people from progressive leaning congregations to network, gain tools for advocacy, receive education on current issues, and to take action to build movements for real change.
Here are a few of the changes we are making as we dig into and deepen the above goals:
1. We will be reaching out to congregations and asking them to commit to sending at least two people to attend regular meetings monthly from August to May. Meetings will typically be held on the last Thursday of the month from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. It is our aim to have a consistent group of people who are educated, empowered and ready to act as needs arise. This requires regular meeting attendance and commitment to action.
2. In addition to the important work of relationship building, each gathering will include:
a) Intentional skill building for advocacy (utilizing our Advocacy Tool Kit)
b) Education on current events connected to rights and equity
c) Opportunities for action
3. We will be forming a PCN Leadership team to help with planning, implementation & communication. Please email me if you are interested. (email@example.com)
Our hope is that representatives from each congregation will bring their learnings back to their congregation and will be seeds for justice and advocacy in each congregation.
We will meet on the last Thursday of each month from 1:30 to 3:30.