Board of Christian Social Action

advocacy:

acting, or ‘standing up,’ on behalf of another’s or one’s own interest,
e.g. petitioning, legal action, lobbying.

 

Our Just Peace and Advocacy work is wide ranging, and we respond to both immediate concerns in the community and long-standing systemic concerns. Most recently we advocated on behalf of:

  • civil rights of LGBTQ+ people,
  • survivors of human trafficking,
  • welcome for refugees and immigrants,
  • women’s health,
  • mental illness,
  • food insecurity,
  • climate change, and
  • water quality in Iowa.

 

Willits LGBTQ+ Advisory Team

Advocacy focus: Expanding and living into our open and affirming policy in regard to LBGTQ+ folks and our resolution in support of marriage equality. Partners with community advocacy organizations including Interfaith Alliance, One Iowa, Iowa Pride Network to advance LBGTQ+ civil rights and inclusion in the broader community. Dan Warren.

 

Human Trafficking Task Force

Advocacy focus: Legal protections and community support of human trafficking survivors. Collaborate with a wide range of grassroots service, education, and law enforcement agencies to effect change. Shirlee Reding.

 

Economic Justice Task Force

Advocate focus: Income inequality, living wage, worker justice, wage theft. Collaborate with local and national advocacy including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Interfaith Worker Justice. Jerrid Kruse.

 

Mental Health Task Force

Advocacy focus: Mental health services for all who need them, heightened awareness of the unique challenges faced by people living with mental illness and improved representation of their interests in the public sphere. At the congregational level, living into our open and affirming policy as concerns the mentally ill. Neil Fagan.

 

Green Coalition

Advocacy focus: Environmental resilience including investment in the alternative local food system, climate change mitigation, and water quality. A loosely affiliated group of teams working on various of these issues. Partnering with Global Greens Farm, Coyote Run Farm, Wabi Sabi Farm, Drake Agricultural Law Center, Citizens Climate Lobby, Interfaith Climate Change Coalition, Interfaith Power and Light. Lois Schultz.

 

Peace Committee

Advocacy focus: Peacemaking at the local, national and international levels. Work across Plymouth Church committees to raise awareness of systemic injustices that cause conflict. Collaborate with local religious and secular peace-seeking groups, such as Iowa Sanctuary Movement, Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace, Middle East Peace Education Coalition, Poor People’s Campaign, and Iowans for Gun Safety. Contacts are Janet and Mark Rosenbury.

 

Educating for Change

Expert researchers, front-line activists, grassroots leaders teach us about critical social and environmental concerns and invite action.

Education is a core value at Plymouth, and educating for change is central to our identity and history. Recently we’ve sponsored expert lecture series on human trafficking, income inequality and economic justice, water quality in Iowa, the transgendered experience, climate change, and human rights in Latin America. Keep an eye out for a wide selection of timely lectures and panel discussions sponsored by our community action teams.

 

Community Organizing

Systematic connection between people and community institutions for action toward a shared interest.

A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS): We intentionally build relationships with one another, with other congregations and community organizations for the purpose of creating social change. Through grassroots listening sessions, house meetings and collective discernment, we act together for change. Sue Hoss.

 

RENEW Family Literacy

Service focus: Refugee families in need of language skills and caring community. Saturday afternoons and Wednesday mornings Plymouth volunteers teach English and literacy to refugee families in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

 

Transition from Prison Ministry

Service focus: Men and women recently released from incarceration. Volunteers work in pairs with same-gender individuals referred to us by Bridges of Iowa and other community half-way houses. Partners work together for six months or so to build healthy relationships, envision new goals and add support through the transition to life on the outside.

 

To learn more about Christian Social Action at Plymouth Church, call the church office at 515.255.3149.