Faith Voices for Jefferson City

January 30, 2014

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the founding convention for the faith-based advocacy group Faith Voices for Jefferson City (a local chapter of Missouri Faith Voices). I wrote an article about the event in the latest issue of the Churchnet newsletter. Churchnet's Executive Jim Hill, who serves as President of Missouri Faith Voices, spoke at the event and another Churchnet staffer (Jeanie McGowan) was also present. Part of Churchnet's three-pronged First Priority focus is community advocacy (with the other two parts being relational evangelism and congregation ministry), and this new local group aligns with that goal. Other speakers at the event included Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (the first photo is of Nixon speaking), State Representative Jay Barnes, and several local pastors and citizens. The keynote speaker, Catholic Bishop John R. Gaydos, did an excellent job as he explained the social justice focus in the Catholic tradition (the second photo is Gaydos speaking). Covering the full breadth of his tradition, Gaydos offered a biblical political focus that transcends partisan lines.

Other news coverage of the event has appeared in the Word&Way (here) and the Jefferson City News-Tribune (here). The News-Tribune had previously run an article announcing the event and an editorial praising the new group. With more than 300 people present and overflowing out of the sanctuary of Quinn Chapel AME Church, it was exciting to see the enthusiastic response to the new advocacy effort. Hopefully the news coverage helps spread the word even more as the group seeks to impact their city and state. I enjoyed attending the event and hearing the speakers. And I had a great seat as I was just behind the governor (the last image, from video of the event, captures us in the pews). Nixon, who was jokingly introduced to the faith crowd by his given of Jeremiah, promoted the launch of the effort on his Twitter account the next day. It will now be important to see if Nixon, Barnes, and the City Council members who were present will be responsive to the pleas of the local faith leaders.