2018 Highlights and 2019 Partner Opportunities
Dear Friends of Arizona Faith Network (AFN):
Thank you for your faithful support of AFN. The purpose of this letter is fourfold:
· First, we’d like to share with you some highlights of the past 9 months.
· Second, we want to thank you for your generous contributions in 2018
· Third, we need to ask for your continued support (click here to donate now).
· And last, but not least, we want to know how we can best partner with you (click here for the 5-minute survey).
The first three quarters of 2018 have been very productive indeed. Just a few highlights of the efforts we were able to accomplish with your help, your prayers, and your generous financial contributions:
We hosted over 390 people at five Faith, Equity and Inclusion events covering issues from understanding how to be a prophetic voice for justice to educational inequities, to understanding the disparities in criminal legal system, confronting religious intolerance and understanding, embracing, and acknowledging our history with the precious indigenous people of this great state.
We hosted over 150 people at our annual Partners Gathering, where through shared prayer, dialogue and action we collected many ideas that helped us to frame our 2019 Mission Focus topic.
We were grateful for the support of key partners in culling information from the annual meeting and shaping the recommendations for the 2019 Mission Focus topic. The final topic selection is Criminal Legal Reform. We've already begun working with federal, state, local, faith and community officials to determine how we can stop the plague of mass incarceration due to unjust legal practices that are destabilizing families and communities across our state.
We released two significant statements: “Faith's Response to Racism” was developed by our Theological Dialogue Commission, and "A Statement on Criminal Legal Reform" was developed by our Public Policy Commission. Both statements will provide a foundation to how we think pray and act together on key issues in the future.
We launched our affordable housing task force, under Public Policy, which will host a workshop at the November 14th Statewide Arizona Housing Roundtable. We will encourage faith leaders and other partners to continue to be a prophetic voice to speak out against the inexcusable lack of affordable housing in our cities and in rural areas.
Through press conferences, we lifted our voices against family separation of migrant children, against continued caging of those children.; we lifted our voices in the fight for fair and equitable funding of the statewide public education system; and we stood for righteous handling of the VW settlement to be used to provide clean buses in low-income impoverished communities.
We stood in solidarity with our faith partners and other leaders against issues affecting us all, including the Islamic Center of Tempe mosque vandalism and subsequent healing ceremonies; the Interfaith prayer vigil in solemn assembly in light of the Sutherland Springs Church shooting; we stood with our African American brothers and sisters against the excessive use of police force in Mesa; we stood with Santan Junior High School administrators, students and parents against prejudice , discrimination and hate--inspiring the students to craft messages of respect for human dignity as a way to heal racial divides; and we forged stronger partnerships with our interfaith community through radio programs, Interfaith experiences, religious dialogues, and festivals of faith.
Internally we've been busy as well with a significant administrative and governance transition. We developed a new website, migrated to and launched a new partner relations database, established organizational policies and procedures, including a brand-new set of organizational bylaws. We took time to articulate the model of consensus decision-making, developed core values that the organization will live by, and identified more specifically the need for our partners to make a financial commitment.
Over the past 9 months we've welcomed over 120 new partners and affiliates, and we've established strong relations with new faith traditions, such as the historic African American churches, the spiritual leaders of indigenous nations and the evangelical millennial community.
Looking ahead into the last quarter of 2018 and a brand-new year, we are actively working to complete the transition plan that was set out at the end of 2017. This includes the hiring of a permanent executive director, adding new and reestablishing current world religion appointments to the board, adding five at-large members, and launching our 2019 Mission Focus topic: Criminal Legal Reform.
We need your help. We've been so grateful for how you have been faithful in supporting the work of AFN with your wealth, your work and your wisdom, and we continue to need your help. Will you consider giving a special gift in the last quarter of 2018? Even if you've already given, we would be grateful for your additional support.
In addition we like to know how we can best work with you into the future. Please click here for the 5-minute survey. The survey contains the following four brief questions.
1. Please identify any of the following AFN efforts where you can be involved
2. What is your primary focus area?
3. How can AFN support you?
4. Will you consider making a donation today? (click here to donate now)
We are so grateful for you, and we have so much more we can do together to create positive change for the common good of all Arizonans. May the light of your selfless giving manifest in the work of AFN so brightly that people will see our good works, our good efforts and glorify the creator of us all.
Jannah Scott, Interim Executive Director
Arizona Faith Network (formerly Arizona Ecumenical Council)
1550 E. Meadowbrook Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85014
Be Together, Talk Together, Act Together