Faith-Based Advocacy Series 2023
You are invited to join us for our Faith-Based Advocacy Series 2023!
Designed to inspire and equip people of faith to advocate for policies and people that align with their deepest beliefs and values, this training event will include four online sessions beginning Tuesday, January 31 and concluding Thursday, February 9, followed by an in-person tour of the State House in late February.
This series is 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!
Our aim is to create a sense of community among faith-based advocates across the many towns and cities, farms and forests of Maine—connections and networks that will last long after the series has ended.
We will be recording all sessions so that churches can use them later for educational programming with more folks in their congregation—in the spirit of “each one teach one!”
Cost for individual participants: $30
Cost for churches that register 5 or more members at once: $100
For those for whom this cost would be prohibitive, we are happy to provide scholarship assistance. To request a scholarship please email email@example.com.
For those who are able to afford more, we would gratefully accept your donations to help us defray costs.
Part 1: Plenary Opening Session: Tuesday, January 31, 6:30-8:00 pm
“Walking With the Wind: Why People of Conscience Must Come Together, Not Run Away From the Storm”
After opening with prayer, reading and song, we will welcome the Rev. Dr. Marvin Ellison to the virtual “pulpit” to deliver a keynote address based on the late Honorable John Lewis’ childhood experience of holding down his Aunt Seneva’s house in a windstorm.
This online session will also include an overview briefing on the 131st session of the Maine State Legislature and practical guidelines for submitting testimony and meeting with legislators.
Part 2: Online Legislative Workshops
This year, participants will have the opportunity to attend all three online workshops, since we are offering them on separate evenings rather than simultaneously. Each workshop will focus on a specific bill before the Maine State Legislature that MCC has identified as a priority. Leaders will include a secular policy analyst who is expert in the field, and a theologian who will assist participants in framing their advocacy with the language of faith, scripture and values.
Throughout the month of January, as the 131st session of the legislature gets underway, MCC’s Public Policy Committee will be working with our 11 partner organizations to identify the bills we want to prioritize and spotlight in these workshops. Stay tuned for details—but it is likely we will focus on the areas of environmental justice, housing and homelessness, racial equity, and criminal justice reform.
- Thursday, February 2 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Speakers: Ambassador Osihkiyol “Zeke” Crofton-Macdonald, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and Tribal Co-Commissioner of the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission and Shirley Hager, Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy and co-author of “The Gatherings: Re-imagining Indigenous-Settler Relations”
- Tuesday, February 7 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Banning Solitary Confinement in Maine’s Prisons
Speakers: Jan Collins from Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition and Rev. Jill Saxby, MCC liaison to National Religious Campaign Against Torture (This workshop will also include a presentation by a family member of someone who has survived solitary confinement in a Maine prison)
- Thursday, February 9 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Housing and Homelessness
Speakers: Terence Miller, Advocacy Director, and Devon Stockmayer, Advocacy Supervisor, Preble Street and Rev. Peter Swarr, co-founder of Neighbors Need ME and Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Portland
Part 3: Tour of the State House in Augusta
Week of February 27 (tentative)
Join us in-person in the state capital for a guided tour of the State House and Cross Office Building, including meeting with legislators and observing a Joint Committee at work. Parts of this tour will be recorded and used to create an orientation video for use in other settings, and by those who are unable to travel to Augusta on the date of the tour.