Faith in Justice
How we do Social Justice at St. John's
Our Mission and Beliefs
We are a ministry filled with hope and conviction for a just and loving world where all are embraced, and none discriminated against. We strive to be catalysts for equity, justice and transformation in our communities.
We will achieve this vision in our daily lives and in our communities. We seek to be open, respectful and kind to all of God’s creation. In creating change we seek to learn, raise awareness, collaborate, build relational power and work together to make an impact. We are better together. What we do, we cannot do alone!
--Reach beyond our walls, make connections and build relationships to take on issues of social justice – across faiths, differences and geography.
-Create impact by taking on meaningful issues. The issues we take on are selected based on listening sessions and research to learn what are on the hearts and minds of our community. We seek to make an impact by focusing on issues and creative solutions that are timely, winnable and achievable.
--Equip our members and our community with the tools, training and resources for change
--Balance contemplation and action
Source: 2020 St. John’s Faith in Justice Strategic Plan
Our Focus Issues
St. John’s Faith in Justice team conducts listening sessions both within and outside our church. These issues were identified as our top concerns.
Equity for All
All means all! We stand with those who are marginalized and advocate for equality for those who face discrimination because of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, economic status, physical or cognitive ability, and age.
Currently we are examining our history and taking actions around racism, promoting the vote in under served areas and the 2020 Census. Recently we encouraged our members and friends and family to sign a petition for equal rights for the LBGTQ Community. We host educational forums and presentations to raise awareness and action especially around race.
Our food pantry, Open Hands, serves 12,000 a year. Hunger is real in Oakland County. We also recognize and advocate to improve the conditions that create poverty and the uncertainties of daily life which lead to food insecurity such as lack of a living wage, employment instability, transportation challenges, and high healthcare costs.
We remain active in raising awareness for regional transportation as well as for Royal Oak.
“The crisis of climate change presents us with the unprecedented challenge to the goodness, interconnected and sanctity of the world God creative and loves.”
We seek to support community actions and efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and work toward climate justice by advocating for those most negatively affected by climate change. (Source: The Episcopal Church, Office of Economic and Environmental Affairs).
We work to to reduce our carbon footprint in our facilities and engage our members and community to do the same.
Events and News
St. John’s Faith and Justice team members build relationships and share information and resources with our community and beyond.
Race, Climate, Water and the Bible by the Beloved Community at Gesu - 7pm on 10/7, 10/14, 10/21 and 10/28. Sobered by recent UN assessments that two-thirds of humankind will not have access to adequate water by 2025, this series examines the way this essential gift of the Creator is crying out a prophetic demand that Christians recognize and deeply repent their history of settler colonialism. We are called to re-examine the Bible from an indigenous point of view and to undo the 15th century Roman Doctrine of Discovery that licensed Western theft of native lands.
The event is free but register for each event here- eventbrite registration
Support Black Lives Matter - Each Monday, between 5-6pm there are ongoing demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter at the corner of 11 and Woodward. The group that has been consistently protesting and raising awareness of this movement is the Huntington Woods Peace, Citizenship and Education Project. Join them, they are a friendly crowd and near to our welcoming sign on the corner. Huntington Woods Peace Weekly Events
Here is your one stop shop to check on your registration, polling locations and ballot boxes. It is effective if you tell 3 people when you vote or take action to spread the word. Visit Mi.gov/vote. Please encourage friends, families and co-workers to vote. Contact if you'd like to learn more on how you can help GOTV.
Issues and Action
Important Actions we can take in these coming months.
Vote by Mail and Get Out the Vote
ALL registered MI voters can now vote by mail – no excuses!
Fill out the Absent Voter Ballot Application. Check the box if you want to be on the list permanently. The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is 10/30/2020 at 5pm, or go to your clerks office to get a form and fill it out and drop if off early.
Want to volunteer to get out the vote? Here are some great ways to help. Write, Call, Text, Deliver Cards to Get Out the Vote
Write- Vote Forward – Hurrah! Close to 500 letters were mailed to underserved communities by St. John's members. Thank you!
Text and Phone – ACLU People Power - Send text (or making calls) to a list of provided eligible voters in low-turnout, underserved precincts both in SE MI and across the state. In both phases, your text message and the list of addresses would be prepared for you. Using ThruText you can do it quickly and easily on your computer. Contact: (phone banking) ThruText: MHall@aclu.org. Any other questions contact: and she will send you a detailed email.
Deliver Voting Information cards to businesses (beauty salons, barber shops, grocery stores, etc.), food banks, etc. in low turnout precincts in SW Detroit. Contact:
Drive Voters to the Polls/Ballot Boxes
Do you need a ride to drop off your ballot at the clerk’s office or a drop box nearby? Contact Marie.firstname.lastname@example.org. She is organizing volunteers to help. If you know people in the broader community who need assistance getting to a drop box or poll contact or call 734-431-6490 and leave a message.
Be a poll worker - They are expecting a dramatic increase in voting and absentee ballots and Oakland and Wayne County needs help. To learn more and fill out an application click here. We have several of St. John-ers who will be working the polls! Thank you.
Training and Resources
Learn more about faith and community organizing
The Episcopal Church church offers many resources for Civic Engagement from a guide for civil discourse, called Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse to the 2020 Vote Faithfully Election Engagement Toolkit.
Community Organizing Training with Mike Gecan - 11/13 and 11/14 offered from the Episcopal Dioces of MI. Contact:
Book: Going Public by Mike Gecan - Gecan knows from experience that strong relationships in the public sphere and sustained and disciplined organizing can spark the public and private alchemy necessary to achieve sidewalks, parks, schools, housing--and the collective renewal that results.
Video - Relational Meeting Example (IAF)Building Relational Power Takes Building Relationships – Click here to learn how to conduct a one one meeting and house meetings to build relationships, understand resources, get new ideas and make friends.
Contemplation and Action
Taking on issues can leave us angry, exhausted and cynical. We seek to balance action and contemplation. Through being quiet, listening for God’s presence we are better guided in our work and aware of the abundance around us.
Visit https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/ resources from the Center for Action and Contemplation
Take Ten to Rekindle Your Spirit
Do you want to find healthy and holistic ways to manage your stress? Bernadette Beach, RN, BSN, MSN is trained in holistic stress management and will be sharing a new tool each week. Click
here to watch past videos.