A hallmark of each of the four Congregation-based Organizing Strategic Summits since 2000 has been the development by participants of strategic recommendations aimed at strengthening and moving forward the role of organizing within the ELCA at the churchwide, synodical, and congregational levels. The following recommendations are works in progress, in that they are broad in scope and require further refining and the application of specific action steps, leadership responsibility, and accountability structures. The Director for Congregation-based Organizing and the advisory team (CBOT) continue to tend to these ongoing tasks.
Congregational Mission & the Tools of Organizing
Strategic breakout group convened by: Rev. Stephen Bouman and Rev. Sue Gaeta
- Take advantage of synod and churchwide assembly opportunities – through workshops, plenaries, Bible studies, etc. – in order to introduce the arts of organizing;
- Create synodical organizing core teams.
- Connect and partner with local organizers in order to work cross-denominationally and inter-faith to grow and strengthen organizing efforts;
- Recruit and train bishops, rostered, and lay leaders in the arts of organizing;
- Collect and distribute theological resources, alongside actual stories and best practices, that lift up the appropriateness and effectiveness of organizing for congregational ministry;
- Communicate a vision for ELCA organizing by: holding 1-1 conversations with colleagues in close proximity; facebook.com, ELCA website & CBO newsletter, and other media usage;
- Create an organizing culture in the ELCA at each level and expression.
ELCA Social Statements and Organizing Implications
Strategic breakout group convened by: Rev. Ron Duty and Rev. Susan Engh
- Insure that future implementations of new statements always contain organizing mandates by: getting organizing practitioners on task forces, holding hearings, submitting resolutions, etc;
- Ask Church in Society (CS) personnel for a road map for us to distribute to rank and file members to understand the process of social statement development and implementation;
- Hold CS accountable (and others indicated in any actions on social statements) for carrying out implementing resolutions, reporting back to “the church”, funding mandates, etc.
- Conduct hearings on current statements among organizing types; write implementing resolutions with organizing implications and mandates; submit to assemblies and other strategic forums; utilize these in our own organizing campaigns.
Model Process for Congregations Launching and/or Joining a Local Organizing Project
Strategic breakout group convened by: Rev. Mark Solyst, and Rev. Lucy Kolin
- Develop a biblically-based process & language for introducing CBO to congregations;
- Provide follow-up events to Vital Congregations – Just Communities trainings;
- Increase Domestic Hunger Grant applications and % of grants provided for CBO work;
- Have organizing practitioners develop a relationship with Thrivent;
- Have another CBOSS event;
- Foster closer relationships between organizing networks;
- Forge bonds with denominational partners, esp. Full Communion denominations.
Money for Organizing
Strategic breakout group convened by: Kathy Partridge and Eva Creydt Sulte
- Re: ELCA Domestic Hunger Grants:
- Increase applications submitted by organizing groups
- Increase support among bishops & synod screening teams for funding organizing
- Increase the % of funding going to organizing efforts
- Do Vital Congregations
- Just Communities follow-up events in synods: secure funding similar to the original grant
- Pursue additional funding streams for CBO, starting with Thrivent
Locally: Establish relationships and build alliances with funding groups & philanthropists; research shared visions for funding; secure funds and deploy!
Synodically: Identify funds, funders, gatekeepers, and build strategic relationships; map needs to opportunities; fund local CBO needs directly, indirectly, and through alliances
Churchwide: Build relationships with synodical hunger committees; raise awareness of CBO among Church in Society staff; simplify the Domestic Hunger Grants application; direct more Domestic Hunger Grants money toward organizing.