A Message from Faith Action’s President, Ikaika Hussey
This is a very important time for our organization. It is a time of tremendous flux and change, as we saw in the national elections and the extraordinary changes in Congress. And while 2020 and 2021 are showing themselves to be full of portent, we also know from the scientific community that we are at the beginning of a monumental decade, in which we need to institute major changes in order to maintain the habitability of this planet with which we have been entrusted.
This is, simply, an important moment. And I believe Faith Action can play a very important role.
Because there is no other organization that can speak with a spiritual and moral voice on the impending issues of our day. Policy discussions are spiral-bound by rationality, data, and clear argument. And then they come crashing into the walls of established power and entrenched interests, locked (as they are now) behind the doors of a vaulted building on Beretania Street that is closed to the public.
Sometimes the only force which can pierce those gates is the clarion call of truth, of right, of moral and spiritual authority. Confronted with the simple, irreducible fact of moral righteousness, we are all equal – the banker and the pauper, the developer and the houseless, the retiree and the newborn inheriting an unstable and changing world.
I’ve shared with many of you the frustration I felt as a middle-schooler at a church retreat in Kalihi. We had watched a graphic, heart-wrenching video about poverty in the Global South. After the presentation ended, the leader of the discussion said the proper response, when confronted by the evidence of injustice, is to pray. I said no – we must take action. This is the organization I needed 30 years ago, and I’m glad that it – that we – are here, today.
Faith Action One-on-One Update
Prepared by Organizer Cassie Chee
At the start of 2021 our Faith Action staff and some of our Board members began having one-on-one meetings with all Steering Committee representatives from each member unit. The purpose is to learn more about how each unit has been doing, and to get feedback about issues members are interested in. The findings will be shared at the next Steering Committee meeting so that we have a better sense of the needs in our community.
While each church has its own unique stories, a few common things emerged from many of the congregations so far. One common story is that many churches have been resilient to adapt and worship and minister to one another and their communities during this time. However, many miss both the fellowship of gathering on Sundays for worship and the fellowship of gathering during Faith Action meetings and actions. Some issues that members have identified as important are homelessness, racial justice, affordable housing, and criminal justice reform.
This pandemic has offered us as Faith Action, an opportunity to regroup and look back at our history as well as discern who we are becoming. Octavia Butler writes, “everything you touch you change, everything you change changes you, God is change”. As much is changing in Hawai’i and in our world, we must listen and adapt to continue to meet the needs of our community.
If you would like to give feedback or have ideas about what issues we should be addressing, please reach out to Cassie Chee, our Organizer, to meet. Your opinions and your stories are powerful because you are what makes Faith Action strong.