Spokesman Article

Was Jesus a Community Organizer?

By Karen Hall-Sandlund

Faith and I had this on-again, off-again relationship for most of my childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood. This is fairly common, and I know there will be times when my faith waivers in the future. However, there is one thing I can say with certainty: acting in faith has kept me faithful. 

For me, as is stated in the book of James, “faith without action is dead.” And I think Jesus might have used this as a mantra in morning meditations, too.The more I learn about Jesus, the more I am convinced that he was a “doer.” God sent him here to do. There were enough people talking; Jesus talked the talk and walked the walk. I want to be like that, don’t you?

I was drawn to the St. John’s community by the sense of powerful “doing” in this congregation. As a congregation we support Sacramento Area Congregations Together (Sacramento ACT) — an interfaith organization which empowers everyday people to participate in public policy by teaching them how to speak up, take action, and engage in the public arena for themselves.

Since 2005, when our St. John’s Organizing Ministry formed, I have met many civic-minded people of faith in our community. These people have become another family to me. I have also learned how our church can be a prophetic voice in the public arena and can help to make big changes, such as passing the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance in Sacramento and California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights. I’ve learned more than I ever imagined I would about how our government, at all its levels, works. And I’ve learned that we can be mighty when we work together.

I like being a doer, and I pray that God gives me the opportunity to keep doing for Him as long as I can. I want you to experience the joy of following Jesus’ footsteps as a community organizer. He calls us to feed his sheep and tend his flock. My Jewish friends call it “repairing the world.” Whatever you call it, God calls it “good,” and God is calling you to put your faith into action!

Join us for the following events:

  • “Was Jesus a Community Organizer?”
    Sunday, May 5, 10:15 am in Goethe Hall
  • ACT’s Community Covenant:
    Housing and Healthcare for All
    Wednesday, May 22, 6:30-8 pm
    St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
    (2391 St. Mark’s Way, Sacramento)