Faith Advocacy Partners

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy advocates with and through a network of Faith Advocacy Partners. These partners are churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, seminary and undergraduate faith groups and other social justice organizations committed to partnering with each other and with the Virginia Interfaith Center for more effective advocacy.

 

Note: Faith Advocacy Partner congregations do not have to agree with all positions taken by the Virginia Interfaith Center.

 

 

The Virginia Interfaith Center provides
Faith Advocacy Partners with:

 

  • Resources, training and strategy for effective advocacy;

  • Skilled staff members for preaching and teaching;

  • Opportunities to communicate and collaborate with other congregations and faith communities across the state;

  • Regular legislative updates and alerts via email;

  • Representation in the halls of the General Assembly (and occasionally Congress);

  • Opportunities to communicate directly with legislators, including our annualDay for All People interfaith advocacy day (Jan. 25, 2017);

  • Assistance in coordinating public or community forums.

 

Faith Advocacy Partners are encouraged to do at least one activity per year in each of the three categories:

 

Education

  • Invite staff or board members from the Virginia Interfaith Center to teach and/or preach in your faith community;

  • Convene an advocacy study group related to your tradition’s scriptures or important texts;

  • Host a community forum (and invite elected officials) on a critical social issue.

 

Public Witness

  • Collect an offering of letters from members to legislators on one of Virginia Interfaith Center’s priority issues;

  • Send members to the Day for All People interfaith advocacy day in Richmond (next occurring on Jan. 25, 2017);

  • Help organize or attend marches, rallies, or other courageous public actions.

 

Financial Support

  • Attend VICPP’sannual awards dinner and fundraising event;

  • Make the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy a line item in your faith community’s budget

  • Collect a special offering for the Virginia Interfaith Center.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the pledge that VICPP’s statewide network of Faith Advocacy Partners commit to? “Advocating for social justice in the ‘halls of power’ is a part of our mission and we partner with the Virginia Interfaith Center to help us do that.”

 

What is the advantage of joining the network of Faith Advocacy Partners? Faith Advocacy Partners join their voices with people of faith from across the state. Together, our faith communities represent a powerful, moral voice for social change. Participation in the network also provides faith communities with access to Virginia Interfaith Center’s wide range of advocacy resources, from education curriculum and legislative updates to advocacy training and leadership development.

 

How do we determine what issues to work on? The Virginia Interfaith Center relies heavily on our faith communities to help determine our advocacy issues. We encourage faith communities to discern issues by communicating with their local communities and reflecting on their religious traditions. The VICPP Board and Chapter leaders then develop a strategic agenda, usually focusing on one top-tier issue and a few additional issues. The Center has previously worked on issues related to hunger, homelessness, economic justice, the environment, sustainable agriculture, education, healthcare, criminal justice reform and human rights.

 

Does becoming a Faith Advocacy Partner require that we support every position the Virginia Interfaith Center takes on individual issues? No. Becoming a Faith Advocacy Partner simply means that a faith community affirms our shared calling to advocate for a more just and sustainable world. How you and your faith community carry out a ministry of advocacy in your local context is up to you. When the Virginia Interfaith Center takes a position on a particular issue, it is a recommendation that we hope individuals within your faith community will consider and engage with.

 

Does participating as a Faith Advocacy Partner require a financial commitment?  Yes. A part of being in VICPP’s statewide network of Faith Advocacy Partners is a regular financial contribution, at a level that make sense for your organizational budget. Here are some ways you can help insure our great work together continues:

 

  • Make VICPP a line item in your faith community’s annual budget or special mission allocations;

  • Collect a special offering for VICPP, or host a fundraiser that benefits VICPP’s advocacy;

  • Let us know of endowments or other funding sources in your community to which we can apply for funds;

  • Add to your organizational impact by attending our annual VICPP awards dinner fundraiser in the fall, and introduce others to VICPP by sponsoring a table for your faith community.

Your contribution makes a difference!

 

Is VICPP a lobbying organization? VICPP is a 501c3 organization that works on economic and racial justice issues.  The organization does educate and equip its leadership to speak directly to government officials as one method of doing advocacy, but the work is always done in a nonpartisan manner and the advocacy work is well within the limits established by the Internal Revenue Service.  The network of Faith Advocacy Partners empowers and supports faith communities and individuals to seek social change through a variety of means, including education, direct action and religious witness.

 

Will becoming a Faith Advocacy Partner affect our tax status? No. Becoming part of the network will not affect your tax status. 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from certain political activity like, for example, endorsing candidates for political office. VICPP does not take positions on candidates, only on issues. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted to engage in public education, hosting of candidates’ forums when all candidates are invited, encouragement of voter participation, and endorsement of initiatives, among other activities. For more information, contact the VICPP office at (804) 643-2474.

 

CONGREGATIONAL RESOURCES

 

      Advocacy Toolkit

 

      Expanding Healthcare Toolkit

 

      Welcoming All Toolkit

 

      Interfaith Welcoming Seder