Faith Land Initiative
We believe that this is a moment that invites us to deep discernment of our role, our calling, and where we go from here.
Over the past few years, we have been thinking with faith communities and many community partners exploring the following questions:
- What are we called to be in this moment as stewards of those resources?
- How can local faith communities embody reflective, relational, and impactful strategies rooted in their mission?
- What do we need to pay particular attention to in the midst of the economic, social, political, and spiritual moment we are in
These collaborations have led us to supporting faith communities to practice discernment about faithful stewardship of buildings, parking lots, parsonages, land, and other assets within our faith communities.
FLI utilizes an ever-evolving curriculum built on the faith-rooted organizing cycle of listen > learn > act > celebrate for deep discernment. Anti-racism values undergird and inform the process to help faith communities move toward acts of dignity restoration and community-based stewardship of land. FLI organizers engage with each faith community’s traditions and specific context, facilitating faith-rooted organizing practices, and anti-racism values to:
- Design and practice a contextual discernment process that centers deep listening, learning and collaborative decision making
- Cultivate deeper relationships and engagement with neighborhood stakeholders, leading to more vital and active communities of faith
- Facilitate a network of faith communities and community leaders building collective power around faithful stewardship of land
The Church Council of Greater Seattle envisions a future when justice is realized, where all people experience liberation, profound peace, expansive equity, and joy-filled human flourishing. We live into this vision when faith communities move toward acts of dignity restoration and community-based stewardship of land.
We believe the process is as important as the outcome. Our process is grounded in a faith-rooted organizing approach.
Listening is the foundation of trust – a way to embody empathy and solidarity. True listening creates the possibility for us to co-create the beloved community, God’s movement in the world – learning and unlearning
more about the stories, people, places, and land around us.
We learn in order to see the world and our place in it clearly. Learning is a means of educating ourselves and accountable participating in relationships in a way that moves us all toward action. We do not learn alone, but in community – to build and share power, relationships, and leadership.
Taking action, rooted in listening and learning, is a tangible way of deepening relationships by showing up in solidarity and embodying the change we are working toward. Action moves us from talking and dreaming about the world we want toward decisive outcomes that make that world possible.
Celebration invites us to slow down, to honor the legacies that have shaped us. Slowing down to celebrate, after taking action, is deeply counter-cultural and supports reflection. Reflection creates a sacred pause for us to be still, listen to others, listen to God’s voice, and draw out wisdom from our shared experiences. Reflection is critical to our next steps: building on our successes while being accountable for our impacts.