Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World  -     By: Alexia Salvatierra, Peter Heltzel
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Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World

InterVarsity Press / 2014 / Paperback

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With so many injustices, small and great, across the world and right at our doorstep, what are people of faith to do?

Since the 1930s, organizing movements for social justice in the U.S. have largely been built on assumptions that are secular origin - such as reliance on self-interest and having a common enemy as a motivator for change. But what if Christians were to shape their organizing around the implications of the truth that God is real and Jesus is risen?

Alexia Salvatierra has developed a model of social action that is rooted in the values and convictions born of faith. Together with theologian Peter Heltzel, this model of "faith-rooted organizing" offers a path to meaningful social change that takes seriously the command to love God and to love our neighbor as ourself.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830836616
ISBN-13: 9780830836611

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Publisher's Description

With so many injustices, small and great, across the world and right at our doorstep, what are people of faith to do? Since the 1930s, organizing movements for social justice in the U.S. have largely been built on assumptions that are secular origin—such as reliance on self-interest and having a common enemy as a motivator for change. But what if Christians were to shape their organizing around the implications of the truth that God is real and Jesus is risen? Alexia Salvatierra has developed a model of social action that is rooted in the values and convictions born of faith. Together with theologian Peter Heltzel, this model of "faith-rooted organizing" offers a path to meaningful social change that takes seriously the command to love God and to love our neighbor as ourself.

Endorsements

Faith-rooted organizing is big on faithfulness, hanging in there, building relationships, training leaders, changing social structures and asking what it means to follow Jesus in today's world. It thus combines the best aspects of resource mobilization theory with what is now ubiquitously called 'framing,' and in this superb book by Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel, two leading Christian organizers give us a compelling account of what works and what doesn't.
-Gary Dorrien

Alexia and Peter's timely book not only demystifies faith-rooted advocacy and activism but centers it squarely in deep theology, the nature of the local church and the call of Christian discipleship. This will serve as an important guide for everyone seeking to translate compassion and conviction into effective community organizing and servant justice.
-Ken Wytsma,
president of Kilns College

Although Jesus was both preacher and organizer, only recently have Christians begun to reclaim the task of organizing. As movements for justice engage the vast injustices of our time, it is refreshing to see people of faith reclaiming their traditions in order to see more clearly and act more courageously. These two authors take us through a range of traditions and models, with an eye toward the liberating work of God.
-Joerg Rieger,
Perkins School of Theology

Faith-Rooted Organizing helpfully reimagines theological education through the lens of movements for social change. The worship services all over the world each Sunday morning are also opportunities for both church members and nonmembers alike to work together for a more just, equitable and sustainable world. Salvatierra and Heltzel persuasively, provocatively show how organizing can strengthen both Christian churches and the wider communities they are called to serve.
-Matthew Myer Boulton,
Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana

As a growing segment of the church reawakens to its calling to 'do justice' in our world, Faith-Rooted Organizing will be an indispensable manual for the justice movement. Implementing a beautiful blend of holistic theology, relevant stories and practical wisdom, Alexia and Peter's book clearly illustrates the unique role that Christians have in strategically, prophetically and collaboratively challenging unjust systems and pursuing the common good.
-Josh Harper,
national director of Urban Projects, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

It's tempting to look at all the problems in the world, throw our hands up at God and say, 'Why don't you do something?' When we ask that, we often hear God say back, 'I did something. I made you.' Throughout history, the movements that have changed the world for good have been divine conspiracies, holy collaborations between God and people. For some reason, God doesn't want to change the world without us. Sometimes we are waiting on God, and God is waiting on us. When we ask God to move a mountain, God might give us a shovel. In this book, Peter and Alexia remind us that faith has to have feet--the good news needs to become flesh. The gospel is not just about ideas, it's about action--Jesus does not just offer us a presentation of ideas but an invitation to join a movement. As you read it, keep your eyes open for ways you might be called to become a part of the change we all want to see in the world.
-Shane Claiborne

Organizing is an old tradition, but for years there was a mindset that it is all about self-interest and manipulating power, whatever the collateral damage. Peter and Alexia bring us to a new/ancient place, social justice with sleeves rolled up, grounded in organizing for good as the deepest expression of faith. Faith-Rooted Organizing weaves Scripture with practice and the prophetic voice with practical steps, presenting organizing as a spiritual act of partnering with God in repairing the world.
-David M. Elcott,
New York University

A superb integration of biblical faith and community organizing. This book is both an excellent manual and a vast feast of delightful, empowering stories. A must-read for anyone interested in empowering people to work for justice.
-Ronald J. Sider,
founder of Evangelicals for Social Action

Through the prophet Micah, God calls us to both 'act justly and love mercy.' These are more than personal admonishments. They often require addressing the structures and corrupt systems that oppress the poor, the marginalized and the hidden. I'm grateful that Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel have given us a way forward, rooted in Scripture, to help us act justly to 'proclaim freedom for the captives and . . . release the oppressed.'
-Richard Stearns,
president of World Vision US

Proof-texters beware: this book won't bless your biases with conveniently misquoted Bible verses. This book insists that the Calvary-shaped power that raised Christ from the grave enables us all to see through the eyes of the last, the lost and the least. Faith-Rooted Organizing is strictly for those who long to organize in ways that witness to God's new world of love.
-Jarrod McKenna,
Australian Peace Award recipient

Alexia and Peter are friends, and together they've developed a needed resource for the church today. In my lifetime organizing has never been more important and more effective than it is right now. But it's not enough to base our organizing in faith, it needs to be rooted deep down, and that's exactly what Alexia and Peter do. They take the reader step by step through how to effectively discern, recruit and follow through when organizing. They're pioneers! This book is a must-read for all in the church today who are concerned about their schools, towns, states and nation--and want to do something about it!
-Tony Campolo

Editorial Reviews

" Faith-Rooted Organizing blends the voice of an evangelical-activist theologian in Heltzel with the homespun profundity of a seasoned pastor and campaign organizer in Salvatierra. The authors delight readers with complementary writing styles: Heltzel speaks through theological propositions, interpolated intermittently with jazz references and theological punch lines; Salvatierra communicates through proverbs, organizing anecdotes, poignant biblical passages, and narrative side notes. "The result is a well-argued and accessible text that should resonate from the seminary to the sanctuary."
"Although Jesus was both preacher and organizer, only recently have Christians begun to reclaim the task of organizing. As movements for justice engage the vast injustices of our time, it is refreshing to see people of faith reclaiming their traditions in order to see more clearly and act more courageously. These two authors take us through a range of traditions and models, with an eye toward the liberating work of God."
"Alexia and Peter's timely book not only demystifies faith-rooted advocacy and activism but centers it squarely in deep theology, the nature of the local church and the call of Christian discipleship. This will serve as an important guide for everyone seeking to translate compassion and conviction into effective community organizing and servant justice."

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