Faith Linking in Action. Martin Chartrand, the Community Organizer for FLIA, is leaving FLIA and Food AND Medicine. Here are excerpts from his letter:
“I have been blessed to work with many of you as an organizer. You have invited me into your lives in small and large ways, guiding and advising me, and offering me the chance to coach and support you. In the language of many of our faith traditions, we would say this is God, or Spirit acting through us, using us as a conduit to create something beyond what any of us could alone, reshaping the world in the image of love. Thank you for sharing in this process with me….
From here on, the story of Food AND Medicine and Faith Linking in Action is yours to tell. You didn’t come to FAM or FLIA because a member of our talented organizing team invited you. You came because some part of you calls out that the poverty, the alienation you see in the world around you isn’t right. You came because a part of you calls out that something better, a community where all have the opportunity to grow and flourish, is possible and necessary. Please, keep listening to that part of yourself. Nurture the seeds created by your work thus far, and let them grow into something new and ever more beautiful and powerful…
Theologian Cornel West said ‘Justice is what love looks like in public.’ Friends, you don’t have to look outside our community to see justice, and love. It is happening, and you are part of it. Spiritual writer M. Scott Peck (quoted, more recently, by scholar Bell Hooks in All About Love), defines love as ‘The practice of extending oneself for one’s own, or another’s spiritual growth.’ Thank you for extending yourself to support growth for yourself, our many neighbors, and me. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 reads ‘Love is patient…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers.’ Thank you for being patient and ever hopeful in your perseverance, with Food AND Medicine and Faith Linking in Action, at planting the seeds of the new society we desperately need.” Be well, Martin Chartrand.
What’s happening at FLIA Please contact FAM Director Jack McKay at email@example.com or 989-4141 regarding next steps in Faith Linking In Action, Child Care/Jobs Team or Transportation for All.
Transportation for All In a time of brazen institutional neglect and abuse of the “commons” of our public infrastructure and the ecosystem we are a part of, Transportation for All (TfA) is achieving real investments in the Community Connector bus system—a mode of transit that brings people together across differences, creates greater access to jobs and opportunity, sustains public-sector union jobs and helps mitigate and adapt to climate change. In the process, TfA is putting into practice the diagram hanging on the wall of Bangor City Hall, in which “the people” are leading the government, not the other way around. If you haven’t yet, check out our recent study on expanding bus service, based on 373 interviews with Greater Bangor residents. And come support TfA at a public meeting on proposed Community Connector budget, at Bangor City Hall, 3rd floor Council Chambers, Monday, May 7, 5:15pm.
Child Care/Jobs Team As the nexus of poverty and outdated concepts of gender and work put pressure on all those—paid, underpaid and unpaid—who do the vital work of caring for and educating children, our Child Care and Jobs Team is bringing together parents, current and former child care professionals and people of faith to create and advocate for a new approach. This dedicated group is researching and advocating for policy changes and community-based solutions that support flourishing families, quality care of our youngest and development of children to be ready to overcome the challenges our state and nation face. Check out coverage of the recent Week of the Young Child Family Festival (on the FAM website), held at and in partnership with the Maine Discovery Museum. Join them on Tuesday, May 8, 6pm-7:30pm for the next Child Care & Jobs Team meeting, First United Methodist Church, 703 Essex St, Bangor.
Food Access Committee As food insecurity in Maine continues to grow even as the economy recovers, and the diet of many Mainers becomes increasingly processed, packaged and reliant on global corporations, our Food Access Committee is bringing together low-income communities in Greater Bangor to produce their own food through community gardens. Come to the next meeting Thursday, May 10 from 11-1 at the Solidarity Center, Ivers St., Brewer. The guest speaker will be Kate Garland from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on how you can be involved in building new gardens for the coming growing season.
St. Pat’s is getting reading to rebuild our raised beds and add a new one. Can you help???? Gardening season is upon us. We will have neighbors helping us garden this summer. Many hands needed to ensure a harvest. Speak to Mary Ann Perry for more details.