Faithful Moderates Home Page
Social Justice Strategy
Faith & Reason
This website grew out of the consciousness of
St. Gregory's Episcopal Church
with strong influence from the
Church of the Saviour.
It is maintained by Carl House and it is considered to be part of his ministry at St. Gregory's.
It is not, however, a way of telling others about us.
Instead, it is one of the windows through which we learn and collaborate with others.
It began as
one man's journey
and began to be more when
Congregation B'nai Israel (CBI)
asked St. Gregory's to join them in raising awareness of and bringing aid to Darfur.
We took part in Mitzvah Day at CBI and began thinking about how we might use that
experience to draw more people at St. Gregory's into ministry.
Our bishop (Ottley) was intrigued and urged that our diocese hold an "outreach fair" (inspired by Mitzvah Day)
at it's November annual meeting.
The personal spiritual journey continued with study and conversation.
Two topics were becoming more important than others as linchpins to a more just world.
These two issues are the focus for our continuing work.
- We now know that preschool
is the most critical age for enabling a person to become
effective at functioning in our society. If children have good brain function by age 3
they not only look good on tests but they also have self-discipline which is twice as important as I.Q.
in predicting academic achievement. And, we know that stability and love are essential foundations of learning.
- No where is public perception more at odds with a just reality than on the subject of
The public perception bears little resemblence to the real problem.
We think of the problem when people ask for money at street intersections.
Many of these people aren't homeless; they are just making a living.
What we don't see are the families with children who cannot reveal their homelessness because
our state authorities may take the children away if it becomes known that the family is homeless.
Nationally it is estimated that 40% of homeless people are part of a homeless family
and 20-25% of all homeless people are children.
What chance do homeless children have for stability and love ?
The following have been important moments during this journey.
- attending services at StG, Debbie's book discussion group, and
Faithful Moderates began in May, 2005.
- attended Darfur meetings led by CBI since Oct,'05.
- "given" to StG by Gordon in mid-December,'05, acknowledged to have been embraced in the Christian faith.
- faith statements began to be important to understand how to draw out the best of us, 1/1/06
- An adult education evening on Darfur at St. Gregory's in January (I think it was 1/5 Thurs and that about 28 people were there.)
- confirmed at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church on January 8, 2006.
- helped create a Darfur rally at a middle school in Boca, 1/26/06
- began BelovedCommunity.info (jacobsladder.name) as a means to explore, part journal, part research, part blog, part meditation: 2/4/06.
- a strategy for social justice was articulated on 3/2/06.
- began writing my faith statement March,'06
- rejected evangelism as not needed in a media rich polycultural world.
- Bahalachin Evening, Ethiopian Jews who had migrated to Israel entertained and taught us, about 125 people were in Harris Hall for this event, 4/1/06.
- recording sermons started on Easter Sunday, 4/16/06
- helped create Darfur rally at First United Methodist Church, approximately 700 people came, 4/30/06 1:30-3:30 pm.
Mobilizing Faith Communities to Help the Homeless (MFCHH), met at The Homeless Coalition, 7/17/06.
- 2nd meeting, MFCHH, became aware of Westgate Tabernacle (WT) "the defacto emergency homeless shelter", and a respected/abused church. 8/11/06
- visited Westgate Tabernacle with Fr. Andrew Wed Sept 13 5:00 pm-9:00 pm., first assistance to WT
- discovered Family Promise in conversation with Betsy Farrar
- should StG Outreach encourage new ministries,
possibly helping joy meet need 8/20/06.
- database of 470 helping organizations in or near PBC completed in September,'06 (it had 195 organizations on 3/2/06).
- embraced evangelism
as the only answer to pervasive destruction in the world today.
Accepted "evil" as a word that can be in my vocabulary. 9/14/06
- Family Promise visits PBC in the week of Sept 25,'06.
The following have provided inspiration and ideas.
As they and others provide more comment, this document will be revised.
Social Justice Strategy
Faith & Reason
- Suzanne Cabrera, The Lord's Place
- Pam Cahoun, CROS Ministries
- Juanita Bryant, CROS Ministries, Community Food Pantries, Delray Beach, Florida
- Gerard Desmarais, The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County
- Michael Stoops, National Coalition for the Homeless
- Alan Clapsaddle, Associate Pastor, Westgate Tabernacle
- Joanne Szaja, Boca Helping Hands