Church Activism Study Groups

On June 2nd Sunday Starter finished a four-week module on church activism with a group discussion about how and whether Southminster may want to consider taking action for social justice. Activism differs from providing needed social services, such as we do with Family Promise.  Instead, it aims at addressing injustice and its root causes. Does Southminster feel a calling toward this type of ministry?

We were initially inspired by John Dominic Crossan who urged that the church should be a place not only to worship but to collectively stand for justice. Over the first three Sundays of the module, local speakers shared experiences about activism in their churches and provided inspiration and guidance.

Collective social activism must reflect our church’s deeply held values and be supported by the congregation as a whole, whether or not most members take an active role. A recent example was Southminster’s work to influence the PCUSA on the issue of marriage equality.

The first step is to identify a small number of social issues where there is already interest at Southminster and where someone is willing to lead a small team to learn more.

On June 2nd we identified six leaders who will work with small teams to do an initial study of several social concerns. The small groups will research what is already being done locally and in larger arenas. Is there a role for Southminster?

The groups will be working over the summer and into the fall. We don’t expect every issue to result in action by the congregation. Ideally, we would find one or two social justice concerns that really speak to us and where we could make a real difference. Do you feel called to be part of this discernment process? If so, please contact any of the leaders below to find out how to be involved. 

  • Climate Change & Environmental Justice: Wayne Potter
  • Mental Health/Criminal Justice: Kathy Ayers
  • Gun Violence: Alice Check
  • Women’s Health: Linda Ingala
  • Immigration: Janet Cruz
  • Homelessness and Hunger: Matt Schulze

Please join us for a brief meeting after worship on July 14th to assess interest in activism related to the Criminal Justice System and Mental Health. We’ll look at the barriers that prevent people from reintegrating with society after incarceration, and the systems that prevent many with mental illness from accessing care.

I hope to see who may be interested, then to plan one more meeting to talk about ideas before I report back to the bigger group.

Kathy Ayers