2021 Faith-Based Advocacy Series

Registration Now Open for MCC’s 2021
Faith-Based Advocacy Series

We Hope You’ll Join Us!
This year, MCC has adapted our traditional Faith-Based Advocacy “Days” training event into a four-part online series, to be held Tuesday evenings, 6-7:30pm, February 23, March 16, April 6 and April 27.  Participants will get the most out of this series by attending all four sessions, as they are cumulative and build upon one another to create a strong foundation for effective advocacy work.  The series is also designed to offer inspiration, camaraderie, and spiritual nourishment to people of faith—whether they’ve been doing faith-based advocacy work for decades or are just dipping their toe in the pond for the very first time!
It’s our hope that participants who attend all four sessions will benefit from creating a sense of community across the many towns and cities, farms and forests of Maine—connections and networks that will last long after the series has ended. 
(However, we do also offer the option of registering for just one, two or three of the sessions, if that’s what works best for you.  And we will be recording all plenary sessions.)
Register Here
Tuesdays, 6pm to 7:30pm
Week 1 (February 23rd) – Who Invited God to Augusta?

Opening Worship Celebration
A multimedia experience of prayer, song, art, and sacred texts designed and led by Rev. Sara Ewing Merrill of HopeGateWay, Portland.
Panel Discussion: “Who Invited God to Augusta?”
Rev. Dr. Marvin Ellison (PCUSA, South Portland), Rev. Linette George (UCC, Dedham, and Rev. Dr. Jodi Hayashida (UUA, Auburn) reflect on their own journeys and on the theological and scriptural foundations for doing faith-based advocacy work.
Real life stories of advocacy: “How God RSVP’d”
Case studies of recent legislation in Maine when faith-based advocacy had an impact: eliminating non-medical exemptions for vaccines; banning conversion therapy for minors; funding overdose prevention efforts.
Week 2 (March 16th):  Perspectives on the Legislative Process
“Preventing Good Intentions from Becoming Paving Stones on the Road to You-Know-Where”

Panel Discussion: Members of Homeless Voices for Justice and representatives from Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Tribal Populations reflect on the importance of using non-traditional lenses for analyzing proposed policies’ impact on people of color and those experiencing hunger, homelessness and poverty, and on the importance of centering their voices and leadership in both the policy-making and advocacy processes.
An Overview of the Legislative Process in Maine (breakout sessions)
PP 101 – For those committed to justice issues but new to faith-based advocacy work
PP 201 – For those with experience who are ready to go deeper in exploring how to build and sustain powerful, effective faith-based advocacy for justice, compassion and peace
Week 3 (April 6th):  Bills Before the First Session of the 130th Maine Legislature
Participants will get an in-depth look at bills that the Maine Council of Churches and our partner organizations are working on this session, including recommendations for how faith-based advocates can get involved.  Teams of secular policy analysts and faith leaders will lead the breakout sessions and participants will have the opportunity to rotate through all three workshops.
Week 4 (April 27th): Practice, Practice, Practice
Panel Discussion: Former Maine state legislators, including MCC Board Members Cush Anthony and Marge Kilkelly, will reflect on their experiences in Augusta and offer advice to faith-based advocates on how to be most effective.
And the Oscar Goes To…
The former legislators will hold a mock legislative committee hearing and a mock in-district constituent meeting, giving participants the opportunity to offer testimony and/or advocate one-on-one and then receive feedback on how their message was received.
Closing Worship and Commissioning  Designed and led by Rev. Sara Ewing Merrill
Register Here