Faith Linking in Action
Our purpose is to engage, coach and support congregations, regardless of religious affiliation, and the members of communities they serve, to work together to address root causes of poverty. We educate the broader public and elected officials about our identified issues, and support faith communities to connect work on these issues to their theological context.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church Community is a founding member of FLIA, established in 2012. St. Pat’s Representatives to FLIA: Rev. Peggy Day, secretary; Mary Ann Perry; Rev. Lev Sherman
FAITH LINKING IN ACTION AS OF mAY 8, 2020
Faith Linking in Action report May 8, 2020
While we have all been hunkered down at home, the work of Food AND Medicine, in conjunction with Faith Linking in Action, has been continuing and, in many ways, has intensified because of the pandemic. Here is what’s going on!
About 140 volunteers, mostly younger people, have been assisting area food cupboards by working in the place of the elderly volunteers who are forced to stay home. They have also delivered food to homes of many vulnerable citizens. This effort has been coordinated by Darcy Cooke, a staffer at FAM.
FAM also has a phone tree to regularly contact as many of the 500 members and those who are active in the organization as possible as a check-in. Sometimes the members just need social contact. Peg Olson shared she calls one elderly woman regularly and one time they chatted for nearly 30 minutes. This woman had received a Solidarity Harvest basket once and is still so very grateful.
It is the beginning of gardening season. Gordon, a volunteer and board member of FAM, has planted nearly 700 seedlings in the greenhouse to be distributed to the 14 area gardens participating in the Food Access Committee. Our own Holyoke Street Neighborhood Garden receives plants and seeds through this program.
Details about our Holyoke Street Garden: The committee has been meeting via zoom. We have cleaned up the garden, put down black cloth between the raised beds to hold back weeds, and added small raised beds for squash. We have also added a compost bin. The twigs and debris have been put out to the curb for Brewer pick-up. Seedlings are started at FAM. Plans are moving forward for tending the garden using wise distancing guidelines.
The Solidarity Harvest Committee is brainstorming new ways to fund raise for the Thanksgiving food distribution. It is no surprise this year will be especially hard for so many more people. They have decided to hold a limited online auction asking those businesses who have remained open and are especially busy to contribute items. They will also recognize businesses who have contributed in the past but just can’t at this time. We want them to understand we are with them. The Auction will be online on Friday, July 17.
A Lobster Feast Fund raiser was planned but has changed. Since lobstermen are struggling at this time, FAM has decided to sponsor the purchase of lobsters from a lobster union in Trenton. Lobsters will be ordered ahead and people will pick-up at FAM on June 6. We will also offer to cook them. All purchases will go directly to the lobstermen and it will be possible for folks to donate to FAM at pick-up time. More exact details will be available soon.
All the Boards of the groups associated with FAM will have an online social to get to know each other. Board members from the Labor Council, FAM board, and FLIA board will Zoom!!! (Or should it be soar!!!)
It is a crucial time for the Childcare Team. Chellie Pingree has proposed significant aid in the next package for the childcare industry to support the childcare givers who are still working, those who have had to close, and those who have increased childcare offerings because of the need to help essential workers. They encourage us to write to all of our Congressional Delegation and implore them to vote for this national bill.
Transportation for All continues to work with the City of Bangor to monitor all the adjustments to the Community Connector and those it serves to ensure safety for all. Please continue to support them in their work.
Another issue swept under the rug for a long time is homelessness. FLIA realizes it is past time to put pressure on our local municipalities to address the issue of the people in desperate need of safe housing and safe areas to shelter especially at this time. Share your ideas with your representatives to local government.
Looking ahead, FLIA, plans to host a convening on Tuesday, September 29, at St. Pat’s. We will examine the ever-growing food insecurity. Again, details coming.
Summary of what you can do:
**Attend by Zoom the next Childcare Team meeting — This Tuesday, May 12, 6 pm
contact Nancy Isaacs at firstname.lastname@example.org
**Purchase lobster to be delivered on June 6—details coming
**Offer items to sell at the Solidarity Harvest Auction to be held on July 17 – contact email@example.com
**Shop at the Solidarity Harvest online Auction on July 17 – details coming
**Volunteer at food cupboard or help deliver food – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
**Donate to the Food Access Committee effort – contact email@example.com
**Volunteer to work in our Holyoke Street Neighborhood Garden – contact our own Mary Ann Perry
**attend our next Holyoke Street Neighborhood Garden Zoom meeting at noon May 17 – contact our own Peg Olson firstname.lastname@example.org
**Write to our Congressional Delegation to support funding for those providing childcare
**Contact your representatives in local government with ideas regarding lack of safe housing
**Volunteer for the Phone Tree to connect with members – contact email@example.com
**Donate to Food AND Medicine in general to help with all the work including work sponsored by FLIA contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you St. Patrick’s folks for your tireless efforts and contributions to FLIA and FAM. We continue to Live Local: Joining God in our Neighborhoods!
Peg and Mary Ann