I’m witnessing a transformation in Burien. When an entire apartment complex down the street from our church was suddenly served 20-day eviction notices, our existing relationships through community organizing with the Church Council become the conduits through which we responded together to this crisis. My church agreed to give a chunk of our Missions Budget to meet relocation costs. For my church, this represents a transformation in how we understand our role in the community, and how we relate to our neighbors. We showed up together in a new way, because of the power of relationships, and because of the local organizing efforts of the Church Council.”
~ Haley Ballast
You make this possible:
the convening of faith communities and allies in their neighborhoods, showing up to make a difference together. I invite you to uplift this timely work by making a meaningful gift to the Church Council of Greater Seattle. You can make a difference in the work of this year and beyond by investing in a future shaped by people like Ms. Ballast and her community. A new way to do this is through a gift to the 2nd Century Fund, a special campaign for our 100th year of work that invests in the future.You are needed.
“Thank God we did what we did together”
Faith organizing’s role in the formation of the Downtown Emergency Service Center in 1979
People trust the Church Council because we’ve shown up again and again to bring disparate groups together. Often imperfectly, but without fail, we convene important conversations in service to all God’s children. Since 1919, the Council has constantly evolved, responding to God’s call for spaces where faith, civic, and service groups could build relationships and take council together.
“In 1979, Seattle’s hotels for low income peoples were being torn down. Where were those people supposed to go? The Church Council did what we do best: convene a conversation. In April we held the first Church Council Conference on Housing, with the Mayor of Seattle actively taking part. A working group formed. By November, we opened & operated a new shelter, which came to be called Downtown Emergency Service Center. It was one of the largest shelters in the region, organized in 7 months.”
~The Rev. David Bloom, Former Associate Director of the Church Council
The Downtown Emergency Service Center celebrates their 40th Anniversary this year. Alleluia! Now an independent nonprofit, it is one of the largest direct service and supportive housing providers in Seattle. This foundational element of our community was born out of the convening power of faith communities working together. “Thank God we did what we did together in 1979,” Rev. Bloom adds. “Thank God that commitment continues today.”
The difference you make for this timeless mission today
Your support makes it possible to do the careful work of convening congregations and allies across the region, so greatly needed today.
How can our region become the more caring, equitable community we all long to see?
Ms. Ballast and her congregation point the way: convening resilient partnerships among trusted neighborhood congregations & allies will make resilient long-term differences.
Together, we are forging concrete wins in Bellevue, Burien, Kent, Seattle, and King County.
- Affordable Housing: wemoved hearts, ordinances, and funds during 2018 to make way for shelters, low-income renter ordinances, church land housing, and incentives for building affordable housing.
- Standing with Immigrant and Refugee Neighbors: Intensively prepared hubs of congregations accompany neighbors to critical appointments, meet them as they are released from detention, and pass ordinances so they can be safer and more welcomed. That network was honored with the Outstanding Community Partner Award from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project for our congregations’ “profound impact on the experience of asylum seekers released from federal detention”.
I hope you’ll visit our News section to learn more about how you and your neighbors are rising together for affordable housing, interfaith witness and solidarity, and our immigrant and refugee neighbors.
I invite you to join us by making a joyful gift. Let’s keep bringing people together to make a difference. You can act on your hope for the future in one of four ways:
1) Give Online during GiveBIG on Wednesday, May 8. You may alsopreschedule your GiveBIG contribution at any time at the same address.
2) Make a gift through our secure site today to the work of today, the work of tomorrow, or both.
- You can support the work of the future by supporting this year’s special 2nd Century Campaign. Honor the past 100 years by preparing for the next 100. Your gift to this campaign will give life to the future of faith-inspired justice-making. It does this in 2 ways: 20% of campaign gifts bolster the Church Council’s savings, 80% of campaign gifts invigorate the future by creating a special fund that can be tapped when our organizers must respond to a special need (like June’s crisis separating asylum-seeking parents & children, where we convened congregations to answer the call). We have received a remarkable leadership gift of $100,000 for the 2ndCentury Campaign. Will you add another $100 or $1000 to their courageous vision? Perhaps you might include it in your estate planning or a year-long monthly commitment.
- Support the work happening today with an online contributionas well, so we can convene the important work and conversations needed in this moment.
You can do both – support today & tomorrow too!
You may give for this year’s work AND the 2nd Century Campaign at our online giving page, linked here and above.
Every gift counts!
I see your faithful caring. I hear the yearning of your communities every day as I visit your congregations and your city halls. Let us come together to bring about the world God dreams of, the beloved community.
Thank you for making a difference where you can, and supporting the work that allows us to make that difference together where we couldn’t alone.
In the name of hope and justice,