Prophetic Voices to Engage Congregations Statewide
On Thursday, April 26, ISAIAH, Jewish Community Action and His Works United/Stairstep Foundation launched the “Prophetic Voices” campaign, a statewide campaign which includes theological reflection, discussion, and tools for congregations and clergy to use for prophetic preaching, adult and youth faith formation, and civic engagement activities.
“Every day I see the pain of families losing their homes, their jobs, their health care, and their retirement savings, and I’m outraged by the indifference shown by our government and corporate leaders,” stated Rev. Paul Slack, President of ISAIAH and pastor of New Creation Church in Minneapolis. “That’s why I’m energized to bring about positive change to the conversation in Minnesota through Prophetic Voices.”
The day-long conference held in St. Paul brought together 250 faith leaders from 150 congregations to launch the statewide campaign.
During 2012 and 2013 Prophetic Voices will engage over 200 congregations and 250-300 clergy under a common prophetic narrative, a five-point values statement that can be agreed upon by most faith traditions. The campaign will teach people how to view public leaders, candidates and policy through a filter of five questions grounded in the values statement. Issues such as the Voter ID ballot initiative and racial disparities in education, health care and jobs will be looked at through a faith perspective.
The Prophetic Voices campaign will take place in cities including Alexandria, Duluth, Minneapolis/St. Paul and their suburbs, Northfield, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Joseph, and Willmar. Congregations from 12 denominations will participate including the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), Church of God in Christ, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, United Church of Christ (UCC), Presbyterian, United Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, Unitarian Universalist, Mennonite, and Jewish congregations.
ISAIAH, a faith-based network of 100 congregations will also work with 15 congregations in the western metro suburbs and St. Cloud in civic engagement activities. 25,000 eligible voters will be contacted through mailings, phone, and face-to-face conversations. At least four candidate forums are planned in the region. Voters will be invited to bring their faith with them as they vote this fall and engage with elected officials after the election.
Jewish Community Action (JCA) is an organization of more than 700 households that brings together members of the Jewish community to understand and take action on social, economic and racial justice issues. JCA will work with 10 synagogues, unaffiliated members and local allies to conduct voter engagement activities, including candidate briefings and forums, voter registration and get out the vote strategies.