Over the last few months, you’ve heard talk about “community organizing” and P.(hiladelphians)O.(rganized to)W.(itness)E.(mpower)R.(ebuild). You might even have been invited to a 1 on 1 relational meeting. But you still are not sure what it’s all about? And Old First is going to have a congregational meeting in early September to decide if we should formally join this new, interfaith organization!
Not quite getting it is not surprising. Community organizing is a different way of understanding our world and our role in it. Whereas, often we feel like little people who aren’t able to affect or effect change in our own neighborhoods, much less our city, community organizing says that working together, we can be stakeholders at the Tables where decisions are made, right alongside of our elected officials and the captains of industry and business. In fact, faith-based community organizing suggests that such influence in our world is part of faithfulness, especially when it brings you together with people from a diverse array of faith communities.
Sound too good, or too hopeful to believe?
If you want to get a first-hand experience of P.O.W.E.R., come to the leaders meeting on August 11. Leaders from Old First who are already involved will be going. But they will welcome others who need to “come and see.”
The Leaders’ Meeting will take place on Thursday, August 11th @ 6pm at St. Williams Catholic Church, in the Social Hall at the corner of Robbins Avenue & Argyle Street (Philadelphia 19111). Parking lots are available on the 6200 block of Argyle (next to the Social Hall) and the 6200 block of Rising Sun Avenue (in front of the St. William’s School, a block from the Social Hall).
The meeting agenda will include accomplishing the following:
* Analyze and incorporate learnings from recent research meetings with additional decision-makers and stakeholders;
* Ratify the Vision for Change/Platform that POWER will publicly present at the Founding Convention on September 25;
* Solidify plans for securing commitments from Mayor Nutter and other decision-makers and allies to attend our Founding Convention;
* Strategize to ensure that each congregation will meet its turn-out goal for the Convention;
* Strategize to carry out our media, communications and other logistics plans for the Convention.
It is critical that Old First be well represented in this meeting as P.O.W.E.R. enters the final push towards Sept. 25th. But it is also an invaluable opportunity for any Old Firster who wants to learn more about this organization and why some of us believe it can be a great boon to our church and its ministry. If you want to attend the meeting on August 11, please speak to the pastor.