Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We Believe Columbus meets again May 25

What follows is a message available as a PDF link from the home page of We Believe...

Our next plenary session will be held on Thursday May 25th 9am at First Congregational Church 444 E. Broad Street.

We have had over 120 faith leaders from Central Ohio that have participated in one way or another in the formation of We Believe. We are calling on all of you to participate in this next plenary session.

The steering committee has begun meeting every other week. We wish to share with you how your leadership has helped to begin movements in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and other parts of Ohio. We also want to inform you of the media opportunities we have had recently beyond the Columbus media outlets.

We want to begin working now on voter turn out for the November 2006 elections.

Most importantly we want to continue to build a “community of moral deliberation” in order that we can fulfill our purpose of “uniting diverse religious voices to achieve social justice.” As we seek to do this we are aware that we may not be moving quickly enough for some who have participated in this movement and that for others there is a concern that we may become an issues oriented movement alone.

To this end we are asking you to come to this next plenary session. Rev. Bob Ward has assembled a process that can lead us to becoming a community of moral deliberation. It is a small group process that will use round table discussions facilitated by steering committee members and others. We will begin with conversations building relationships of trust as we discuss our own personal experience of poverty and wealth. The second stage will be conversations of relationship focused more on faith-based decision making as it relates to a broad spectrum of issues of justice and moral concern. Finally we will look at way that we can speak truth to power in the midst of our diversity.

It is our hope that by committing ourselves to this process we can lift up our diverse religious voice as an example of how faith communities can have honest, open and productive discourse and where possible work towards our goal of achieving social justice.

Please join us for this important meeting. It is vital that we continue our involvement in the public square. We are not a freight train steaming our way through Central Ohio rather we are as one of our members shared more like a passenger train deliberatively organizing in order to pick up others along the way that value a diverse religious voice. We seek to be a voice that does not demonize and divide rather one that represents religion at its best as a binding force.

Your Co-conveners Rev. Eric Brown and Rev. Mark Diemer

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