Faith UCC, Iowa City, Iowa
Early in 2013 at the annual meeting, the congregation approved a measure calling for continued study about economic justice and ongoing discernment about becoming an economic justice congregation. The congregation shared their decision to engage in the discernment process with their local paper and the Gazette published an article about their journey. The reporter who did the interview came back to worship on Sunday, in part to photograph the congregation in action, but she also stayed for a film and discussion.
In October and November, 2013, Faith Works, the small group shepherding the discernment process, hosted four small-group discussions to explore the current wishes and concerns of the congregation regarding an Economic Justice Covenant. (Read a summary of the discussions)
At the congregation’s annual meeting, Sunday, January 19, 2014, Faith UCC voted to begin a covenant-writing process. (Read the press release and the report to the congregation) Their process will proceed as follows:
1. The first draft will be written by Faith Works, the small group leading the discernment process.
2. Faith Works will then arrange for small-group and committee discussions and feedback.
3. A second draft will be written by Faith Works.
4. This will be followed by congregational conversation and feedback.
5. A third draft written by Faith Works.
6. A Congregational Meeting will be held to vote on covenant.
By early March, 2014, a first draft of the Covenant was being written and Faith Works anticipated hosting small group discussions about it staring in late March.
As part of the congregation's discernment process and ministry of economic justice, a number of people began working with a local, newly-formed organization, the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa. On Sunday, March 9, Faith UCC hosted a community meeting where the Center's executive director discussed plans for a community identification card program. The event was covered by a reporter from the Iowa City Press Citizen.
Faith UCC covenanted to become an Economic Justice Church on June 1, 2014! Read their covenant.