Faith Land Discernment Cohort 2020
There are acres of underutilized, vacant, or surplus
faith-owned land in the Puget Sound region.
Now is the moment for faith communities
to model a community-based approach
to land development.
In 2020, the Church Council of Greater Seattle convened a 6-month congregational cohort to facilitate discernment of next steps toward utilizing faith-owned land as an extension of the vision of faith communities.
Together, we engaged our faith traditions and community organizing practices to build:
- A discernment process that centers deep listening, learning, and consensus-building
- Deeper relationships and engagement with neighborhood stakeholders leading to more vital and active communities of faith
- A network of congregations and faith leaders, building collective power around faithful land development.
Over the course of six months, the Church Council of Greater Seattle facilitated a mutually supportive cohort community of five congregations (located in Seattle’s International District and Woodland Park neighborhoods, Renton, and Redmond) to address this in a new way.
This Cohort sought to discern together next steps toward utilizing faith-owned land in ways that reinvest in neighborhoods, strengthen and develop community relationships, and deepen connection to the land.
This structure is rooted in a community organizing process that equips congregations with concrete skills, training, and practice to ground their discernment in two critical lenses: a theological commitment to stewardship and a strong racial justice framework.
Representatives from each congregation learned skills and tools to deepen relationships and engagement with neighborhood stakeholders, lead a research process tailored for their unique congregation, and take action toward faithful land stewardship and development.
Contact the Faith Land Team
‘After months of listening to church and community leaders through this complex time of pandemic, economic crisis, and reckoning around racism, it has become clear that many churches are looking at their land and buildings in a new light.
How can we activate these assets for the common good? What are we to do with the racist and colonial roots of our ownership? How can we discern with our neighbors how our land could be used? These are the questions at the heart of our Cohort.’
– Joey Ager former Lead Organizer, The Church Council of Greater Seattle