Presentation on theme: "A Faithful Commitment to Advocacy: Answering the Call"— Presentation transcript:
1 A Faithful Commitment to Advocacy: Answering the Call Jonathan GoodDirector, Faith PartnershipsHFHIPass out quizDid this at Hab on Hill – but have modified
2 Questions to be addressed today How do you define advocacy?How does HFH define advocacy?Are there good reasons why HFHshould not do advocacy?Why does HFH engage in advocacy?What does the Bible say about advocacy?What are some Biblical examples of advocates?Is there a Biblical strategy for advocacy?What are some resources for further study?
3 Who am I?HFHI since 2009Ordained minister - Presbyterian Church (USA)Pastored 2 churches for 15 yearsWorld Vision – US (Church Relations) 6 yearsVolunteer police/fire chaplainLive in Minneapolis
4 “Advocacy” defined ad·vo·ca·cy: noun Act of pleading / arguing in favor of something Free Online Dict.Public support for / recommendation of a particular cause / policy Oxford English Dictionary“Supporting & defending a cause you believe in” Advocacy AOM, HFHIWe’ll look at a few different definitions of “advocacy”The first is dictionary definition
5 ad·vo·cate: noun “Advocate” defined (1) Person who publicly supports / recommends particular cause / policy(2) Person who pleads a case on someone else’s behalf (Oxford English Dict)Derived from Latin: “someone called to one’s aid”Often refers to paid legal representativeAlso refers to someone who argues for a cause / course of actionAdvocates:support & argue for rights of those in need or who suffer from injusticeprovide them skills & opportunities to speak on their own behalfwork for justice by raising awareness of or changing unjust situations & policiesAdvocacy AOM, HFHI
6 Non-profit advocacy“An attempt to alter ways in which power, resources & ideas are created, consumed & distributed at global level” Advocacy AOM, HFHI“We are called to be the Good Samaritan, but after you lift so many people out of the ditch you start to ask, maybe the whole road to Jericho needs to be repaved.”Martin Luther King, JrThis is how HFH defines advocacy in NGO contextMLK spoke of sustainability. Important to address root causes instead of just responding to individual cases of need.
7 How one faith-based NGO sees advocacy “A ministry of influence using persuasion, dialogue, & reason to affect change”“Seeks to address structural & systemic causes of poverty by changing policies, practices, & attitudes that perpetuate inequality & deny justice”A Citizen’s Guide to Advocacy, World Vision USWorld Vision is a contemporary of HFH
8 HFHI definition“Changing systems, policies & attitudes to achieve decent housing for all” Adopted by HFHI’s Board of Directors, 2005Expanded version: HFH's advocacy is working to influence public opinion & decision-makers in all sectors to adopt policies & practices & transform systems that lead to the creation & preservation of housing for all, toward the goal of ending poverty worldwide. These sectors would include, but not be limited to, governments, individuals, religious communities, corporations & international financial institutions.Important to see that HFH sees faith communities as appropriate venues for advocacy development
9 “Devil’s Advocate” Roman Catholic church ceremony of beatification / canonizationrequired advocatus diaboliDuty to raise all possible seriousobjections against proposed actionArguments were answered by “God’s advocate” (advocatus Dei)A Dictionary of Religion and Ethics, S. Mathews & G. Smith, eds.There’s always another side to the story
10 Objections raised to HFH’s advocacy work “We don’t feel called to be involved in politics”“It’s optional, and we opt out!”“It takes away from our primary focus”“It’s not compatible w/ our Christian foundation”“It’s another example of how HFH is moving farther away from Millard’s original vision”“We don’t have the budget / staff / resources / time in our affiliate to do it well”Ask first: What are some objections that you have heard in your affiliate?
11 “Affiliates are not required to engage in advocacy….” Advocacy AOM“Affiliated organizations are encouraged to dedicate efforts to advocacy….”“Affiliates are not requiredto engage in advocacy….”Advocacy AOM, p. 7Not mandatory
12 HFHI’s Mission Statement Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hopeDoing advocacybuilds hopeOverarching Mission Statement for HFH
13 HFHI’S Mission Principles #3 Advocate for affordable housing.In response to the prophet Micah’s call to do justice, love mercy & walk humbly with God, we promote decent, affordable housing for all, & we support the global community’s commitment to housing as a basic human right.We will advocate for just & fair housing policy to eliminate the constraints that contribute to poverty housing.And, in all of our work, we will seek to put shelter on hearts & minds in such powerful ways that poverty housing becomes socially, politically & religiously unacceptable.This is from HFH’s Core Documents: one of our 5 Mission PrinciplesBegs the question: is this really optional for an affiliate?
14 HFHI’s senior leadership HFHI made advocacy a priority in 2005“In 2005, we had no formal advocacy program. Today, we have an active & robust advocacy network where HFHI, affiliates, state support organizations & national organizations around the world are influencing housing policy on a variety of issues, resulting in a range of successes —including hundreds of millions ofdollars in funding for housing.”Jonathan Reckford, introducing HFHI’s Strategic Plan“It’s not our primary focus.”SLT just came out w/ next long-range plan: JR had gone public w/ saying that advocacy will be a primary focus..
15 Millard Fuller’s vision & legacy “We have the know-how in the world to house everyone [&] the resources in the world to house everyone. All that’s missing is the WILL to do it.”“Fuller spent decades traveling& speaking worldwide, & earnedinternational recognition for hiswork advocating decent,affordable housing for all.”From Fuller Center for Housing websiteDid Millard believe in advocacy?Did he promote it?Is it part of his legacy?Lack of budget / time / resources: this gets to a question of leadership.If leaders of your affiliate don’t make this a priority, it may not ever become one.
16 HFHI Advocacy Management Team (2005) Vision & values:1. HFHI is, always has been, & always will be a Christian organization. As such, HFHI finds its reason for being in the Bible.2. On the basis of these beliefs, HFHI takes seriously the call of Christ to be in ministry with the poor toward ending poverty worldwide.“We don’t feel called to engage in advocacy”This isn’t optional if we take the Bible seriously.
17 “Advocate” in the Bible Παρακλητος (parakletos): advocate, helper, intercessor; one who pleads the cause of anotherOT: Job’s “comforters” are called parakletoresNT: Jesus and Holy Spirit called “advocates”“Parakletos was used originally in passive sense of one called in to help. But…this is alien to its meaning [in NT]. The parakletos…does not merely put in a good word, but brings active help.”Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 1; Colin Brown, ed.ParacleteActive help
18 “Advocate” in the Bible Term parakletos was applied:by John the Baptist to Jesusby Jesus to Holy SpiritIn first century, an advocate was:a consulting lawyer or one who presented a client’s case in open courtone who, in times of trial / hardship, sympathized w/ the afflicted & administered direction & support Unger’s Bible DictionaryJohn said that Jesus would come to be our helper.Jesus said that HS would come to be our helper.We are not alone in this work!Lawyers get a bad name – but they’re a great example of advocates!
19 Advocacy in Old Testament Amos & Micah implored God’s people to help the poor, share wealth, & show concern for welfare of annawen, “the poor of God”Charity vs. Justice“Whereas charity alleviates effects of poverty, justice seeks to eliminate causes of it. Charity is a matter of personal attribute; justice is a matter of public policy.” Rev. William Sloane CoffinPerhaps most familiar example of advocate – C Heston & Yul Brynner (1956)Amos was a shepherd (750 BC) & Micah was from a small town – not powerful people. But spoke to power from a source of power.
20 God doesn’t want offerings in return for sin – God wants a Prophet MicahHad daily contact with poor people who were exploited by rich & powerfulHe confronts matters in his own context while also sharing God’s timeless standardsGod doesn’t want offerings inreturn for sin – God wants achange of heartsAdvocacy is about changing hearts
21 Justice, mercy, & humility Ending poverty housing is a matter of….Justice: Everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a decent, affordable homeMercy: We are blessed to be a blessingHumility: We receive more than we giveCreating a Habitat for Humanity, J ReckfordSubtitle of JR’s book – he gets it from Micah (700 BC)-Micah’s message aimed at greedy & oppressive landowners who supported Israel’s corrupt political & religious leaders
22 Advocacy in Old Testament Prophets declared that righteousness & justice will flow down like water in the Day of the LordYear of Jubilee: time every 50 years when all things are renewed & all unpaid debts forgivenSlaves are liberated & land that was sold is returned to original ownerEconomic inequality eliminated & social status reorientedDay of Lord = time when everything will be made right.Jubilee: unclear whether this idea was ever implemented – but speaks to God’s design.
23 Justice & Righteousness Justice (mishpat): “act of deciding a case in court” or “to govern / judge”In Hebrew Bible, always goes together w/ righteousnessRighteousness (tsedeq): “norm or standard” or “the way things should be”Justice occurs 422 times / Righteousness occurs 276 timesTogether they mean “to make things right”In Bible, justice is almost always followed by one of 9 words: widow, fatherless, orphans, poor, hungry, stranger, needy, weak, oppressedDoing justice is about making life right for these peopleDoing Justice, World Vision InternationalCompare number of times these words are used with occurrences of other words/concepts that get a lot of attention in churches.Advocacy is about “doing the right thing”.It’s just the right thing to do.
24 Advocacy in Old Testament Proverbs 31:8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up & judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor & needy.”Psalm 82:2-4: “How long will you defend the unjust & show partiality to the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak & fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor & oppressed. Rescue the weak & needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”Active words.
25 Advocacy throughout the OT Law of Moses or “Torah” (God’s teachings)Poetic booksProphetsHistorical booksEstherNehemiahOther OT examples:Esther – took risk to speak to king to save her peopleNehemiah (430 BC) – advocated for rebuilding of wall around Jerusalem.Had been down for 150 yrs – destroyed by Babylonians.Building project drew opposition from non-Jews, politicians, & others whose personal interests were threatened. NIMBYismRebuilding was completed in how long? 52 days!
26 Advocacy in New Testament Jesus begins public ministry by looking back to Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for God has anointed me. God has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, & to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor Luke 4: 18-19People who heard this message tried tothrow Jesus off a cliff!Risks of taking on advocacy areminor compared to risks of doingnothingEven Jesus used Scripture to support his advocacy work.Met with great opposition.What risks have you faced in your advocacy efforts?What hurdles await you?Fear is not a good enough reason to avoid doing advocacy.
27 Advocacy in New Testament Sermon on the Mount: Jesus develops idea of Kingdom of God in which He considers both our faith and our acts of love, compassion & justice.Jesus introduces Golden RuleLove God & love others asmuch as you love yourselfLuke 10:27Ultimately, advocacy is an expression of our love.
28 Advocacy in New Testament Jesus lets us see our Final ExamOne question: What did you do forthe least of these my brothers and sisters?For I was hungry & you gave me food. I was thirsty & you gave me drink. I was a stranger & you welcomed me. I was naked & you clothed me. I was in prison & you came to me Matthew 25:35-36What ultimately separates the sheep from the goats – those who inherit the Kingdom of God?We will be judged by our actions – not just by our beliefs.What did we do with what we believed to be true?
29 A Biblical strategy for advocacy In the end, our strategy is about doing justice – making life right - with mercy and humilitySometimes that will mean buildinga houseSometimes that will mean beingan advocateAlways that will meandemonstrating the love of Jesus
30 Getting practical Starts with relationships Connecting the dots Adding it to your toolkitKnow your audienceTalk to each otherStart smallWhat’s working out there?
31 Mt. Athos, Greece “Holy Mountain” – home to 20 monasteries Completely dedicated to prayer & worshipMt Athos: only males allowedOrthodox ChurchWhat is impact of 20 monasteries full of monks who pray and worship 24/7?Hard to know. But I’m glad they’re doing it.Same w/ advocacy. Sometimes hard to know or see impact.But it’s still right thing to do.
32 ResourcesA Citizen’s Guide to Advocacy, World Vision US (2006)Advocacy Affiliate Operations Manual, HFHI (2011)Creating a Habitat for Humanity, Jonathan Reckford, Fortress (2007)Doing Justice: Bible Studies on Advocacy, World Vision International (2007)Good News About Injustice, Gary Haugen, IVP (1999)Interfaith: An Advocacy Toolkit, HFHI (2011)Kingdom Building for the 21st Century, HFHI (2006)The State of Advocacy: Board of Directors FY2011 Report, HFHI Government Relations and Advocacy (2011)