Congregational and community partners
* Congregational/Community Partners
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy advocates with and through a network of congregational and community partners. Partners are churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, seminary and undergraduate faith groups and other organizations committed to partnering with each other and with the Virginia Interfaith Center for more effective public ministry and advocacy.
The Virginia Interfaith Center provides partners with:
- Resources, training and strategy for effective advocacy.
- Skilled staff or board 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 annual Day for All People interfaith advocacy day (January each year).
- Assistance in coordinating public or community forums.
Partners are encouraged to do at least one activity per year in each category:
- Invite staff or board members from the Virginia Interfaith Center to teach and/or preach in your faith community or organization
- 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.
- 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 (in January).
- Help organize or attend marches, rallies, or other courageous public actions.
- Attend VICPP’s annual awards dinner and fundraising event in September.
- Make the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy a line item in your faith community or organization’s budget.
- Collect a special offering for the Virginia Interfaith Center.
* Congregational Liaisons
VICPP engages hundreds of congregations annually in advocating economic, social and environmental justice in Virginia’s policies and practices. Congregational liaisons help VICPP stay connected with congregations. Below are the core and optional functions of congregational liaisons.
Core Functions: The congregational liaisons:
- Put VICPP brochures and information in the vestibule, lobby or another appropriate place.
- Ask the congregational leadership to include VICPP resources in bulletins, newsletters or other materials. (VICPP creates resources specifically for congregations).
- Participate in at least one meeting a year with legislators and invite others to participate.
- Invite congregation members to do some advocacy during the General Assembly. Options include:
- Writing a letter
- Sending an email
- Signing a petition
- Participating in Day for All People
Optional Functions: If able, the liaisons:
- Recruit someone from the congregation to join VICPP’s social media team during the General Assembly (agreeing to post Monday through Friday using a post developed by VICPP).
- Encourage the congregation to support VICPP financially through a special offering, inclusion in the budget or a special grant.
- Invite volunteers to serve as “Witness at the Capitol” volunteers – serving in Richmond one day a week or for one entire week during the General Assembly.
VICPP supports the Congregational Liaisons: VICPP will:
- Provide materials as needed to distribute and display (poster, brochures).
- Send occasional special resources for congregations.
- Find speakers for programs and events at the congregations.
- Connect the congregation with chapters and/or other interested congregations in the area.
- Give a VICPP tote-bag to carry.
If you are willing to serve as a congregational liaison with VICPP for your congregation, please email Dora Muhammad: dora@VirginiaInterfaithCenter.org or call 804-643-2474.
Please link to the following resources to assist you in your advocacy and social justice work.
Advocacy Toolkit: A general toolkit on how you can lift your voice in the public sphere.
Interfaith_Seder: A sample service for conducting an interfaith Seder service focused on welcoming all.
Pentecost Prayer for Unity and Just Peace: Offered by the World Council of Churches
MayDayInterfaithVigil-2.docx Interfaith Prayer Service offered for our May Day event
Expanding Healthcare in Virginia: A toolkit for advocating for Virginia to expand healthcare for low-income families.
Welcoming Immigrants Toolkit. A guide for how congregations can assist and support immigrants in Virginia.