Relating, Creating, Transforming

March 20th, 2013

On Wednesday morning, we met together at Tabernacle United Church to hear from Bishop Dwayne Royster, executive director of POWER, Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild.
1363786582207POWER is made up of faith communities from all across Philadelphia, intentionally bringing people together across the lines of race, faith, income level and neighborhood — lines which have historically kept Philadelphians divided.  POWER’s partners include people of faith who are committed to the work of bringing about justice here and now, in the city and region.  By strengthening and mobilizing networks of relationships, they seek to exercise power in the public arena so that the needs and priorities of all Philadelphians are reflected in the systems and policies that shape the city.

Bishop Royster led the group in a creative and dynamic exercise, splitting the large group into four smaller groups to tackle real issues that the students face on their university campus. Each group needed to brainstorm ways that they would empower the student body to bring about positive change. Who would they go to? Which university leaders did they need to engage? There was much spirited discussion and I was very impressed with the results of each group’s deliberation.

1363785751760

Afterwards, Bishop Royster informed the group about an issue facing Philadelphia residents–jobs at the Philly International Airport. He shared the urgency of informing local residents about the need for these new jobs to be offered to Philadelphians. More than 500,000 Philadelphians are ineligible for 62% of the jobs because of low literacy skills.  Nearly 200,000 Philadelphians lack a high school diploma. As a result, barely 1/3 of them are able to find full-time employment.  Half of public high school students do not graduate on time and half do not read, write or perform math at the appropriate grade level.

POWER congregations are responding to this crisis by calling on public, business, non-profit and labor leaders to work with POWER to create a comprehensive plan to educate, train and connect 10,000 Philadelphia residents to new, living wage jobs in the coming years. As part of this commitment, POWER has produced a petition to encourage the community to rally together to encourage Philly leadership to keep airport jobs available to Philly residents.

The students, petitions in hand, walked to the University of Pennsylvania campus.

SAMSUNG SAMSUNG They spoke with students or any other people who happened to be walking down the street. Some ignored the students; others enthusiastically signed the petition; some made snide comments. In the end, though, the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire students collected a large number of signatures and learned a lot about this type of advocacy.

After lunch, the group headed to Philly SHARE food program’s warehouse, near the East Falls section of the city.

SAMSUNGSHARE Food Program’s mission is to promote healthy living and stronger communities through affordable, wholesome food. Through the efforts of our volunteers and the support of our community SHARE distributes thousands of pounds of food a month and education and outreach throughout the region.

“Do Good. Feel Good. Eat Good.”

 

A smart idea that brings community and healthy food together.

Various faith groups, schools, and other secular organizations volunteer at SHARE. Their murals adorn the walls of the warehouse.

1363800626739 SAMSUNG

After a brief orientation, the group got to work!!!

photo-5

1363802953457

SAMSUNG

1363801640905

SAMSUNG

photo

It was a full day with a workshop on pluralism to follow in the evening.

Needless to say, this group has formed deep bonds.

photo-1

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

My Journey 2 My Peace

Overcoming Anxiety and learning to live Positively

Deeper in me than I

eloquia oris mei et meditatio cordis mei

Mind Squirrels

Ideas that Work

Silence Teaches Us Who We Are

Silence, Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, Jesus, God, and Life.

Casa HOY

On the road to change the world...

myrandomuniverse

a philosophical, analytic, occasionally snarky but usually silly look at the thoughts that bounce around....

"Journey into America" documentary

Produced by Akbar Ahmed

Interfaith Crossing

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

Prussel's Pearls

An Actor's Spiritual Journey

The Theological Commission's Grand, Long-Awaited Experiment

Modeling Civility Amidst Theological Diversity

a different order of time

the work of a pastor

learn2practice

mood is followed by action

Imago Scriptura

Images & Thoughts from a Christian, Husband, Father, Pastor

the living room.

117 5th Street, Valley Junction__HOURS: M 9-5, TW 7-7, TH 7-9, F 7-7, S 8-5, S 9-4

the view from 2040

theological education for the 21st century

%d bloggers like this: