At the P.O.W.E.R. (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild) Leadership Assembly on Sunday, January 30 this new interfaith-based community organization of congregations across our city took a big step forward. More than 220 members of 29 congregations from across the city gathered at St. William’s in Lawncrest. (Represented were leaders from 3 UCC churches: Chestnut United, Emanuel/Bridesburg, and Woodcrest UCC). They reported on the major themes that emerged in their relational outreach work and identified 5 issue/system areas that they will collectively begin to research toward making a difference for this whole city, particularly its most vulnerable residents. There was great energy and hope in the room.
It was decided that the next empowering step is to begin researching some of those issue/system areas. Below is the schedule for this upcoming weekend’s Research Blitz-Training sessions. If you are interested in attending any of these, please let Michael know.
Also, since Old First is hosting one of them, if you would like to help host on Saturday afternoon, please contact Michael.
Each session will include a training, one or two meetings with “stakeholders” (recognized leaders in our city involved in that issue/system area) and a debriefing over a shared meal. Please arrive a few minutes early so that we can start on time.
Session 1: Saturday, Feb. 12th – 9:00am to 1:00pm
Calvary/St. Augustine Church, 814 North 41st St. Phila. 19104
* Public Safety/Criminal Justice Team will meet with Bryan Miller of Heeding God’s Call, anti-gun violence group
* Education/Youth Team will meet with Lisa Nutter of Philadelphia Academies
Session 2: Saturday, Feb. 12th – 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Old First Reformed United Church of Christ
151 N 4th St, Phila, 19106
* Jobs/Poverty team will meet with John Dodds of Philadelphia Unemployment Project
* Health/Older Adults team will meet with Susan Post of the Esperanza Health Center & Laura Line of Resources for Human Development
Session 3: Sunday, Feb. 13th – 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Congregation Rodeph Shalom
615 N. Broad Street, Phila, 19123
* Housing/Land Use team will meet with Jill Feldstein of the Women’s Community Revitalization Project/Vacant Land Trust Campaign
* Jobs/Poverty team will meet with Meg Shoppe Koppel of the Workforce Investment Board
There will be a second weekend of Research Blitz-Training Sessions at the end of the month. More info. to follow on that shortly.
Also, now that Michael is back from vacation, he will figure out how to provide more information and get a discussion going about what it might mean for Old First to become a member of P.O.W.E.R. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask him.