We are excited to share this press release with you regarding formation of the first Faith Land Discernment Cohort facilitated by the Church Council of Greater Seattle.

Teams from five congregations across the Puget Sound convene monthly (remotely, for now). Together, they will explore a community-centered discernment process around faith-owned land use and development.

Thank you for taking the time to read about this vital work community members are stepping up to do together! We look forward to sharing more with you and your networks as we build together toward an equitable housing landscape for all our neighbors.



Faith Land Finds a Place in Our Changing Landscape

Local church cohort explores community-centered discernment process around faith-owned land use and development.

There are acres of underutilized, vacant, or surplus faith-owned land in the Puget Sound region. Over the next six months, the Church Council of Greater Seattle will facilitate a mutually supportive cohort community of five congregations to address this in a new way. This Cohort seeks 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. We acknowledge and honor the Duwamish people, who have long lived in sacred partnership with this land, and our accountability to the wider community contexts of land and housing.

The Cohort 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. Church Council Organizers will accompany these five congregations located in Seattle’s International District and Woodland Park neighborhoods, Renton, and Redmond through the six-month process.

At the core of this project is deep relationships – within congregations; between congregations and community stakeholders; between congregations and the land. Representatives from each congregation will learn 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.

The Church Council has learned from our collaborative relationships with many partners in developing this approach, in particular Puget Sound Sage’s CREST Cohort, Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, and the Leaven Land and Housing Coalition in Portland, OR.

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 Lead Organizer, Church Council of Greater Seattle

Contact: Irene Muller – imuller@churchcouncil.org – (206) 525-1213

Communications Manager,  Church Council of Greater Seattle

For more information about this and future Cohorts, please contact Irene Muller at imuller@thechurchcouncil.org or visit us online at https://thechurchcouncil.org/faith-land/

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Rooted in the way of Jesus, the Church Council of Greater Seattle connects congregations to engage in prophetic witness for justice. We convene and catalyze communities and people of faith to bring our spiritual commitments of love and reconciliation, peace and justice into the public square. We aspire together to weave a world of justice through right and equitable relationships with one another.



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