Combating Despair with Belief
Nearly one-third of Indiana working families earn less than 200% of the U.S. poverty line.
Spotlight on Poverty
As we navigate through a world struggling against racism, a pandemic, poverty and political polarization, it would be easy to fall into the kind of despair that author Austin Channing Brown describes as a “tomorrow [that] will be just like today.”
That is apt for our times. We have been mired in many of these problems for a long time. So why should we hope that tomorrow will hold something better? The answer lies in one word: faith.
Without faith, we might see change, but it will be frail. We might think we see steps forward, but they will lack a foundation. With faith and action, on the other hand, we can take lasting steps towards racial justice, poverty mitigation and civic cohesion.
We launched the Faith & Action Project four years ago with a sense of urgency, eager to spark a revolution of hope and to be a catalyst for addressing poverty and social injustices. That urgency remains. In fact, the recent racial strife has increased that urgency, pushing us even more to highlight the ways that, through quality education, affordable housing, accessible healthcare and a network of support, our community can drive toward equity and social justice for all.
We hear talk about “going back to ‘normal.’” But we recognize that that is simply not an option. Too many people were suffering under the old “normal.” Therefore, we must envision and create a better reality.
The author Brené Brown has said, “I’m here to get it right, not be right.” That’s how we all should approach the days ahead: as a time to listen, learn and do better … a time to grow and improve … a time to embrace the lessons of our faith and seek justice.
Virtually every faith tradition speaks of a God who created a beautiful world, and yet for many our current reality is marked by brokenness and despair, poverty, and injustice. As people of faith it is our responsibility to repair the world and restore its original beauty by fighting for an end to poverty and racial and economic injustice.
Regardless of which faith you practice, CTS seeks to inspire and equip you and your community to love, serve and truly see one another. We must work together to ensure justice, end poverty, and build a new and better future for all.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
Reopening With Equity Requires Faith
“Nobody wants our society, economy, government, schools or our families to stay on lockdown. Everybody wants our lives to reopen. But in order to do that in a way that protects health and lives, three biblical principles are necessary: truth, unity and solidarity.” Jim Wallis and Religion News Service make that statement to open a news alert arguing that faith communities must speak out or minority and economically disadvantaged populations will bear the most negative effects of reopening. “Race and poverty have become pre-existing conditions for COVID-19,” the article notes. “The entire faith community must use its prophetic and pastoral voice to emphasize this truth.” Access the alert and its informative links here.
Hunger-Fighting Farm Pivots for COVID Relief
A Michigan farm and CSA that fights hunger by sharing its harvest with poverty relief agencies is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by helping to start up to 50 gardens in communities throughout the state. Plainsong Farm & Ministry – which, in addition to producing food, seeks to reconnect people to the land and God – is inviting churches and households to create their own gardens to feed community members in need. Participants will receive enough seeds and seedlings to establish a 75-square-foot garden as well as online garden education throughout the growing season. Learn more here.
2020 Grants Process Reminder
Even as our community and nation wrestle with the challenges of racism and a global pandemic, we must continue to support and celebrate the good work being done to mitigate poverty. The Faith & Action Project 2020 grant process has begun, with the deadline for first-round grant applications coming up fast, on July 31. Click here to access this year’s application. Remember: The Faith & Action Grant Program relies on a multi-step application process. Those invited into the next round will submit a full grant proposal in August.
Goodreads’ Black Lives Matter Reading List. The nation’s best-seller lists have experienced an abrupt transformation, as books about race and anti-racism jumped to the top. The New York Times recently noted that seven out of 10 books on Amazon and nine out of 10 at Barnes & Noble focus on these topics, while five of the Top 15 books on the Times’ list of best-selling nonfiction address racism. “The week before,” the Times adds, “there were none.” For a broad list of such reads, check out this Goodreads website list.
Mark your calendar for these important dates
July 31, 2020: Deadline for first-round Faith & Action Grant applications.
September 1, 2020: Deadline for second-round Faith & Action Grant applications.
September 29, 2020: Faith & Action Fall Event