POWER Leaders Convene to Affirm 6-Month Action Plan on Jobs & Education
I dream of a city where all children have a quality education that can lead them to any good path they wish to take in life. I dream of a city where everyone who wants a job can have one that can financially sustain family and home without the need for public assistance. I dream of a city where healthcare is a birthright not a burden and the very best care is down the street not miles away. I dream of a city where the young to the young at heart, the black to the white, the poor to the rich can walk down the street anytime day or night and not fear for person or material belongings. I dream of a day when every person in this city has a roof over their head, food in their belly and a place to call home.
Bishop Dwayne Rosyter, POWER’s Executive Director kicked off the organization’s Summer Leadership Assembly on Thursday July 19th with this inspiring vision of the kingdom here on Earth. Click here for photos of the event.
More than 125 leaders from POWER’s 37 member congregations gathered for the organization’s Summer Leadership Assembly on Thursday July 19th at Harold O. Davis Baptist Church to map out and affirm a 6-month Action Plan to make this dream one step closer to reality in Philadelphia. We have work to do.
But this is not how the city is known for all people. For far too many it is quite the opposite of the vision I lifted. It is a struggle. It is painful. It is devastating. Tonight we have come to gather to reflect on our year thus far. The journey it has taken us to get here. For many it is frustrating that the wall has not been rebuilt. I only come to say that we have been putting in the bricks but rebuilding is a process.
Click here to read the full text of Bishop Royster’s reflection.
Rev. Zachary Ritvalsky, pastor of Sweet Union Baptist Church, led a celebration and evaluation of POWER’s four Economic Justice Forums conducted throughout the city in June, where more than 1,000 Philadelphians gathered to lift up a vision for putting the jobless back to work and a plan to implement policy that would make that vision a reality in Philadelphia. The group cheered the fact that they garnered public commitments from 8 City Council members to work with POWER to draft and enact such a policy. POWER leaders previewed a new video highlighting this work and our vision that will be released publicly soon.
There are times when we must stop and celebrate the smaller victories remind ourselves of how far we have come celebrate, the bricks we laid, the milestones we achieved and then get up to continue the work that we began.
Rev. Jarrett Kerbel, pastor of St. Martin in the Field Episcopal Church, led the group in a discussion of the following 6-month Action Plan to move POWER’s agenda forward. After some deliberation, questions and amendment, the Plan was affirmed. Main elements of the Plan include:
- Each congregation engage 50 new members through small group meetings and one-on-ones by mid-September ("60 Day Base Building")
- Draft our Airport Jobs Policy
- Garner additional City Council and Mayoral support for that Policy
- Begin researching education reform best practices and organizing successes
- Individual or clusters of congregations continue pursuing local campaigns around public safety, blight, immigrantion and other jobs issues.
- Convene again for the Fall Leader Assembly on Thursday, September 27th @ 7-9pm (location TBA) to report back on “60-Day Base Building” work and preparation for upcoming city-wide public action on Airport Jobs Policy.
Our City is depending on us. Our family, neighbors and friends and our community are depending on us to lead them in living into a collective vision whereby the faith community ushers in a time of prosperity and opportunity. We as POWER have the ability to do just that.
POWER leaders left energized for the work ahead, excited to carry out plans for engaging at least 50 new members of their congregations and communities in the coming 2 months and ready to put their hands to the plow of putting making our vision a reality and winning new policy for the common good for Philadelphia.
For such a time as this the Creator of the Universe called POWER into existence. Let us use every amount of goodwill and righteous indignation within us to call forth to the leaders of this world. That God’s people are calling for justice and righteousness to reign in this land. From this time, and for evermore. Amen.