Justice in Tallahassee

September 10, 2008

We had a great lesson at Everyothers that got us thinking about our responsibility to justice. Here’s my letter to our group.

Hey Guys, I’m excited that you all are interested in knowing more about TEAM, the ecumenical justice ministry at Saint Paul’s.

The idea behind the ministry is to use our people power to insist on the fair treatment and protection of human rights and civil liberties for the voiceless and powerless.  TEAM is a joint effort of about 20 faith congregations across Tallahassee.  Each year 4 or 5 committees work on the issues that are suggested and voted on by the congregations.  This year we have Health Care, Education, Affordable Housing, and Energy/ Environment.  The committees work for about six months to come up with specific issues that need addressing (things that will have broad support and are winnable.)  And then they work with officials toward solutions.  Then every year at the “Nehemiah Action” all of the congregations gather and the  officials are asked to publicly commit to the solutions that we ask for.

Some examples… the county commission agreed to support health care at the current funding levels despite budget cuts.  The school board and superintendent agreed to pilot two new programs including providing staff for family involvement and alternatives to out of school suspension.  This year I’ve been working on the affordable housing committee to improve and support a rehab program for substandard rental units.

What do we need from you? Come to the rally on September 22. You’ll hear about the issues, have worship together, and get ready for the action.  It starts at 7 and is at Faith Presbyterian (just up the road from us on Meridian.)

And we are asking everyone to bring 3 people with them to the NEHEMIAH ACTION on October 20 at 6:45. This is really the place to turn out numbers to say that we mean business.  It will be at Bradfordville First Baptist (by the Target on North Thomasville Road.  And we are trying to do some carpooling for that.  Parking will be tight for both events so get there nice and early if you don’t come with the group.

Will you consider making a firm commitment to come to these two meeting and to bring people with you in October?  When people say “maybe” and “I’ll try” they usually neglect to follow through.  So we are trying to get a list of who will defiantly be there (or if this is something that you care about and you can’t be there find someone to go in your place.)

I’d be happy to answer any questions that you have or you can check out the website. http://www.teamtally.org/

Let me know if you are coming and I’ll follow up with you in the next few weeks.

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