The Organizing for Mission Network is a community of practitioners using the arts and skills of community organizing to develop and redevelop gospel-centric communities that act for the sake of the world. OFMN works with a base of people to identify concerns within communities, research innovative solutions and build power toward creating systemic change. We are rooted in neighborhoods, see ourselves as accountable to people before programs, and are working together to sharpen our analysis of the social/economic/political factors affecting our communities.
This group has made an explicit commitment to include participants from communities often underrepresented in the life of the church (people of color, immigrant communities, low-income people, etc.). Their active participation will bring life to the Organizing for Mission Network.
The network has numerous avenues for connection, professional support, learning and training. We host monthly learning events, offer community organizer training throughout the year and present annual context-based gatherings that are hosted by a member congregation. Through a 'train the trainer' program, OFMN teaches leaders how to educate others in their ministries.
For more information, please contact Organizing for Mission coordinator, Kelly Marciales.
This is our vision for congregations, organizing networks, and institutions – catalysts for holy change in the larger community around them. We believe the community and the people in it are the experts and our job is to listen – to understand the talents, dreams, assets, and challenges. Communities have untapped leaders, who understand the history of a place, its critical issues, and what is meaningful to people. Leaders are not confined to the congregation, organizing network, or institution. Vibrant faith-filled community is responsible to the entirety of the “parish,” even if people in the larger community never become “members” or “worshippers.”
Creating racial and economic equity is our North Star. We prepare congregations, organizing networks, institutions, and their leaders to do justice, so that when they invest in the communities around them, the benefit is shared equitably by all. An equity strategy understands that all communities are interconnected, and the wellbeing of one community in relationship to another community has an effect on the wellbeing of all communities. Our strategy addresses racial and economic inequity in a three-pronged approach to our faith-based community organizing methodology:
PEOPLE: Expanding access to opportunity by tackling inequalities in the criminal justice, education, and immigration systems and by investing in training, skill building, and jobs for people facing the greatest barriers to employment.
PLACE: Anchoring communities, preventing the displacement of low-income people and communities of color, and ensuring that diverse neighborhoods are places where all residents can live, work, and thrive.
POWER: Nurturing equity movements to build power that can demand investments in people and place and ensure a political voice for all.
We embrace community organizing as a form of spiritual practice. Listening and building relationships one person at a time breathes life and spirit and power into people and places. It connects us not just to each other but also to God.
The network’s own Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda describes that transformation in four spiritual journeys. Through this work, God moves us and the neighborhoods; we are accountable to:
from fear and despair to hope
from isolation to relationship
from inertia to action
from self-denigration to self-love
The faith-based community organizing we practice, and train leaders in, at OFMN is holy work. Through it, we create opportunities for individual, organizational, and societal transformation.