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Matthew 25 and Eradicating Systemic Poverty

How we approach the ministry of eradicating systemic poverty; Core principle #1

We continue to explore the problem of systemic poverty and specifically, how we as a church should approach the ministry we do for that community. There are three principles that we should adhere to.

Core principles guide and align our work with our beliefs and represent lessons learned from our partners. In our work, we invite God’s guidance to help us embody the abundant, beloved community that we hope to create and believe that God desires. We do that by the ways we plan, interact, and practice the work, recognizing that how we are “showing up” matters as much as what we are doing. We commit ourselves to the following core principles to address systemic poverty:

1. Ask, listen to, and be led by those who live in impacted communities, trusting that God moves in their lives, speaks to them with wisdom, and provides them with the skills and solutions to their challenges.

Practices and approaches:

o We learn and practice cultural humility and mutuality

o We ask how those living with poverty view their challenges, if there is a desire for outside support and what an outsider’s role might look like

o We create spaces to listen to how those who live with poverty view the best solutions/actions and are willing to change focus accordingly

o When welcomed to do so, we highlight the work of partners

o We clarify how decision-making, strategizing, and resource distribution will work

o We recognize leadership from community partners fighting against poverty, honoring their time and availability

o We ask for feedback from impacted communities on what it is like to work with us, and act on recommended changes

o We evaluate our work based on the actual impact on those who are living with poverty

o We support personal and community ownership of images, stories, and solutions rather than appropriating or sharing them without permission and attribution

Core Principles Drawn from: The Poor People’s Campaign; Soul Fire Farm equity principles; Jemez Principles; US Food Sovereignty Alliance adaptation of Jemez Principles; Faith in Action resource books


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