Who:Leroy Barber (Mission Year), Deidox, Kevin Lum (Sojourners), Mark Horvath (InvisiblePeople.tv), Shannon Moriarity (Change.org), James Pearson (WikiChoice)
Leroy Barber: Many of the environmental problems in our country are in the poorer neighborhoods. This is why it is important to help ‘the hood’ go green! Projects doing things like cleaning up the neighborhood, wraping up water heaters, and running a ‘cool’ thrift shop are all making an impact. Programs involve community service, linking with the local church, and neighborhood outreach (hanging out with the neighbors, not passing out tracts and preaching the bible). Offering to babysit or baking a neighbor some cookies helps to build relationships. What makes being an intentional neighbor work? It means that you consider your neighbor before yourself. But consistency is one of the most important things. They need to know that you are going to stay…
bibledude: This is an important message no matter what neighborhood you live in. This idea of being intentional neighbors is important to implement whether you live in the ‘hood or in the burbs. But commitment is the key. Rushing out to the poor neighborhoods to share a big idea is meaningless unless you show them that you are going to be there for the long haul. It will be difficult, and there will be a hundred reasons to stop, but you need to be committed to being there in order to build the relationships and respect that you need to make real change happen.
It’s not the one that they showed at the conference, but you can never get enough Deidox…
Kevin Lum: Many of the issues of dealing with injustice go much deeper than needing just a handout. Sojourners roots their efforts in an evangelical foundation and the Gospel of Christ. Faith must lead to social action. Advocacy is an important part of initiating the change that needs to happen. Politics can get so messy that often the church wants to pull back from it, but it is important for us to get involved. With an issue like health care it is important to have an honest debate, based on truth (get rid of the lies and misconceptions).
bibledude: This seems to repeat a theme that I see recurring throughout many of the sessions. The church should be an influence on the government related to important social issues. But one of the things that I keep hearing is that we also need to have intelligent conversation. With things like health care, we need to recognize that the church plays a vital role in caring for those with a need, and government is a vehicle that can help us accomplish what needs to be done. Interesting conversation… (see related post here at bibledude.net: government health care? why christians shouldn’t be surprised)
Mark Horvath and Shannon Moriarity: There is no place in America where someone earning minimum wage can afford median housing. It is important to look at your own community and know what is happening. It is also important to know what services (i.e. shelters, food, etc.) are out there in your community. Know what is going on related to the ‘criminalization’ of homelessness. There are laws in communities that prevent people from laying around on the streets, or even being fed in public. We also need to stop evangelizing the homeless. They know the Word better than many pastors sometimes. We need to supply the other needs besides food (socks, underwear, phone cards, bus tokens, etc.).
bibledude: My community (Sarasota, FL) was featured as the worst place for the homeless a few years ago, so this is something that hits home big time for me right now. I hear the stories regularly of the people who just got out of jail simply because of conditions related to their homelessness. Another theme that I see running through much of this conference is that the relationship needs to be the key, and we must move more towards the development response as opposed to the easy (but less effective) charity response.
James Pearson: http://www.wikichoice.com/alpha is online now! Comsumers can mob companies whow suport social issues with business to reward for caring about these issues.
bibledude: Choice mobs look like they will be a great way to encourage companies to continue to support causes!
More from ICDC: live blogging @theideacamp conference