Eight of our leaders — Barbara, Barry, Beth W., Bob and Joanna, Clark, Michael C. and Mike — have committed to completing and writing up between 40 and 65 one on one conversations with people in this faith community in the next month.
Maybe they will want to talk to you? Or maybe you will want to speak with them. There will be a larger focus group conversation probably in early November for anyone who wants to participate. No matter how you engage in this conversation, you should learn — about POWER and about your conversation partner’s opinions — as much as you offer, so that the one to ones are really mutual conversations.
What are these conversations about? They are part of a much larger effort POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Power and Rebuild) is undertaking in order to inform its movement into the future. POWER is the faith-based community organizing efforts of over 80 congregations of different faiths in eastern Pennsylvania. Old First is a founding member. Currently, POWER is working on Economic Dignity, Education Justice, Moral Health Care, Climate Justice and Live Free (Justice Reform).
Having grown dramatically in the last couple of years, with twice as many member congregations and organizing well beyond the Philly city limits, it seems wise to step back and to do some evaluation. Where have we been; what have we learned; what needs to be done or how can we prepare for moving ahead?
These conversations will include questions about issue areas going forward, how we run multiple campaigns simultaneously, whether or not we should back candidates, and how we can make anti-racism central to our work.
There are people in the other congregations who are conducting this listening campaign too. We will report back to you what we hear at Old First as well as the outcome of the whole internal listening campaign as it relates to POWER’s decisions going forward.
Don’t be surprised if someone asks you to talk.