Who are the network members? What are these house meetings you are being invited to attend? How does Justice Matters work? All good questions.
The faith groups that make up the network of Justice Matters are: Antioch, Central United Methodist, First Baptist, First Christian, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Friends Meeting, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Haskell Indian Nation Catholic Center, Immanuel Lutheran, Islamic Society of Lawrence, Lawrence Jewish Community, Morning Star, Ninth Street Missionary Baptist, Peace Mennonite, Persian Community, Plymouth Congregational, St. Margaret’s Episcopal, St. John Catholic, St. Luke’s AME, Trinity Lutheran, Velocity and Vintage.
The house meetings are small groups gathering in homes of the faith group members. It is the beginning of a sacred conversation. It is only the ‘listening’ part of the conversation. Questions will be asked that will elicit responses of worry and concern about things that could be better in Lawrence and Douglas County. The responses will be gathered into ‘topics’ and those topics will be voted on by all network members at the Community Problems Assembly on November 2 for the top priority.
How does it work from there? That’s when we enter into the ‘discussion’ part in the research and study groups with people from all the faith groups working together gathering information, sharing opinions and ideas and looking for how to make things better. What is a possible solution? When the research group arrives at a consensus that solution will be approved by the board of directors (two representatives from each faith group) and presented to the entire membership at the Solutions Briefing on March 14.
Then, it is time for action. After discerning who in the community has the authority to make decisions, they are invited to enter into a dialogue and then that person will be invited to participate in the Nehemiah Actions on March 30 at the Lied Center.
So, the house meetings are the first attempt in building the assembly that will gather people of faith who are informed and in support of the actions we request for our brothers and sisters in need. The example we have from scripture is from Nehemiah who knowing he didn’t have the money or influence to make a difference, gathered a large assembly to show the decision makers that the people wanted a change.
The goal is to have about 90 house meetings in the city between now and October 22. St. John will have 7 of those meetings among our six team leaders. You are invited. Please come and help us reach our parish goal of listening to 100 of our parishioners. Here are the dates: Pat Lechtenberg, Oct. 2 at 3:30 pm and again at 6:30 pm; Carol vonTersch, Oct. 9 at 2 pm; Joe Snyder and Marilyn Page, Oct. 9 at 2:30 pm; Jean Drumm, Oct. 10 at 6:30 pm; Vicki McMurray, Oct. 15 at 9:30 am; Ruth Entwistle (date to be decided).