The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Next steps: Gather resources

Resurrection Luthern Church
In Oakland, Calif., Resurrection Lutheran's members, many from East Africa, learned that "just doing something outside the church" is an effective way to invite neighbors inside. Vincent Masabala (left), Marie Sana, Erick Byorwango, Jane Moshi and Godfrey Malloda do just that by planting.

1. Begin with prayer, especially for congregational leaders. Commit to forsaking dead-ends, futility and unwise directions. Pay attention to where God is leading.

2. The Power Analysis is an easy-to-use device that helps people understand the depth of power relationships already present in a congregation — an important step in discovering people’s capacities to make a difference (contact Susan Engh, ELCA director for synodical partners in mission and congregation-based organizing, at 800-638-3522, ext. 2731, or susan.engh@elca.org).

3. Hope at Work: First Steps in Congregation-Based Community Organizing: Follow Elena, Robert, Pastor Kathy and others at Hope Church as they provide nutritional food in their community. The comic book format includes a small-group guide (www.elca.org/comicbook). 

4. Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing by Dennis A. Jacobsen (Fortress Press, 2001): A thorough description of the personal and practical dimensions of congregation-based organizing, written in an approachable style by an experienced practitioner.

5. The ELCA congregation-based organizing website (www.elca.org/organizing): A focus on the principles, methods and positive stories related to the power and energy of community organizing. It emphasizes the growth and development of leaders in a variety of arenas.

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February issue


Embracing diversity