The Common Good
November-December 1999

People of Faith Overcoming Poverty

by Mike Bruinooge | November-December 1999

A new team with a new mission

Last March Call to Renewal’s board decided it wanted a fresh expression of direction for the still youthful movement. The Call should, the board said, continue to address four related scandals and impediments to God’s shalom—poverty, racism, breakdowns in family and community life, and threats to the dignity and value of life. And it should do this while promoting a vision of collaboration across political, theological, and denominational lines. But the time is also right, the board felt, to undertake a special campaign to overcome poverty.

The result is a new mission statement for the movement. In addition, the Call to Renewal is testing the use of the descriptive phrase "People of Faith Overcoming Poverty" to replace "Christians for a New Political Vision." The following statement reflects how the Call hopes to arouse the imagination and energy of Christians:

Our Mission

Call to Renewal’s mission is to invite the churches and other faith-based organizations to join together in a biblical commitment to overcome poverty, dismantle racism, promote healthier families and supportive communities, and reassert the dignity of each human life.

  • We strengthen the capacity of existing church-based efforts for spiritual renewal, social responsibility, and moral politics.
  • We help to build upon old, and create new, networks of cooperation among churches and faith-based organizations at both the local and national levels.
  • We build partnerships with other faith communities, nonprofit organizations, business, labor, and government.
  • We forge a unified, faith-based, and nonpartisan voice on the most critical public issues that could shape a more fair and just society for us all.

Our Campaign

Our campaign to overcome poverty recognizes that we must both expand economic opportunity and secure economic justice. Personal and societal responsibilities are each necessary to break the grip of poverty over people’s lives.

We will not overcome poverty without dismantling racism and white privilege in our society. We commit ourselves to racial justice and reconciliation in our personal lives, our congregations, our neighborhoods, and in the very structures of our society. We will not overcome poverty with economic solutions alone, but also through rebuilding the bonds of healthier families and supportive communities, which hold our society together, and especially through nurturing and raising our children.

We will not overcome poverty without reasserting the fundamental dignity of each human life and the commitment to treat every person with the full rights of citizenship and the full recognition that he or she has been created in the image of God.

If you have comments about this statement, please contact us at Call to Renewal, 2401 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009; (202) 328-8745; or ctr@calltorenewal. com.

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