The Social Justice Committee is active in out community and this page will keep you informed about events and opportunities in our area.  For more information contact Kathy Baros Friedt.  kbfriedt@comcast.net 

Click on the link for the Interfaith Newsletter for important events in our community:

Interfaith Works

May 8

On behalf of the Family Support Center of South Sound, THANK YOU for your generous contribution at our ‘Inspire Hope-Ignite Change’ Luncheon on May 1. We are glad that representatives from St Benedict Episcopal Church were  able to join us at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club to learn more about the mission and goals of the Family Support Center. It is community members like you that make our work possible. Your gift ensures that hard working families like Karrie and Mike’s receive the resources and caring support they need to be safe, healthy, resilient, and most importantly - hopeful.

We are pleased to share that with your help we surpassed our fundraising goal, raising over $24,000. This funding will bring strength and hope to more than 2,000 local families in need this year! Your contribution helps the Family Support Center achieve our mission, Working Together to Strengthen ALL Families. We provide numerous services and community resources to families including advocacy, emergency financial assistance, homeless family shelter, affordable housing, parent education workshops, basic needs supplies, case management, mainstream benefits assistance, resource coordination, and more. The Family Support Center will continue to provide children and families the support they need because of you

We are incredibly grateful for you and our community; you continually bring us hope. The power of hope resides in each of us and all people are worthy of respect. Thank you for recognizing this and for supporting families in your community. On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and families like Karrie and Mike’s, we sincerely thank you.

If you would like to watch, ‘A Home to Call Our Own’ again you can find it here.

May 2

St Benedict's supported this organization’s excellent work on behalf of homeless families.  Pear Blossom talked to the Social Justice group at SBC on April 23.  Attending the event were: Paul Seabert, Lucy Rueter, Martha and Collie Liska, Fran Frodsham and Kathy Baros Friedt.

 

April 24

In March Parkland, Florida youth stepped into the national spotlight to promote changes to laws affecting access to guns, after the death of 17 victims in a February school shooting. In Olympia a March for Our Lives rally drew 4,500 supporters of gun control legislation - led by high school students - to the Capitol Campus and the streets of Olympia. This month also saw the 19thanniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Do you want to connect locally with folks working on gun safety issues?

There is a grassroots organization, which has been meeting for a couple of yrs., working to prevent gun violence locally. CalledThurston Gun Sense.

Their upcoming meeting may be a good one to get oriented and determine if this is a connection for you. Tim Moses will present "An Introduction to guns and gun laws for the GVP (gun violence prevention) community," followed by a panel discussion.  They know guns can be intimidating to the uninitiated, and that to advocate effectively for good gun laws, we have to know at least a little bit about gun terminology and our current laws. 

Personal discretion is advised: no guns or ammunition will be presented, though there will be some pictures and diagrams of both.

Next meeting: Monday, May 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the United Churches of Olympia. 

As always, all are welcome!

And, News Flash: you may have already heard but just yesterday the Alliance for Gun Responsibility announced a ballot initiative that will:

1. Raise the minimum purchase age to 21 for all semi-automatic weapons.

2. Create an Enhanced Background Check at the time of purchase

3. Ensure continued eligibility to possess or purchase an assault weapon

4. Require informed consent at the point of purchase about the inherent risks associated with the presence of a firearm in the home

5. Establish a waiting period up to 10 days for the purchase of an assault weapon

You can read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/news/politics-government/article209503379.html

 

Mar 29, 2018

Thurston County has released the results of its 2018 Point in Time Count of Homeless People, which showed that the number of homeless people in the county has increased significantly.

On January 25, 2018, the day of the PIT census, 828 homeless people were counted. 324 of those were identified as unsheltered. Those numbers represent a 43 percent increase in Thurston County’s homeless population in one year.

According to the county, the recent PIT census resulted in the second highest number of homeless people counted since the census started 12 years ago.

“The results of the latest census are extremely alarming, and indicate that we are in the midst of a major homeless and affordable housing crisis in our community,” said Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Director Schelli Slaughter. “This is going to take a coordinated response effort and more resources than we currently have. The record numbers of those living outdoors without safe, stable housing is a great public health and humanitarian concern, and we know that the problem is likely even larger than we were able to capture in this survey.” 

The initial PIT report has a 3 percent margin of error. Final results, including demographic information and the causes of homelessness in the region, will be released in May of this year.

 

There aren’t really children among our local homeless, are there?

April 22, 9:15-10:15. Social Justice Ministry Guests will be here from PEAR BLOSSOM PLACE where a minimum of 36 parents and children find safety, warmth, and hope at shelter each night.  School aged children are guaranteed access to education. Just imagine a child living in a shelter and functioning in the classroom!  Come hear the stories and show a SBC welcome!!

Community in Crisis; We're watching them watch us.  

http://www.chinookobserver.com/co/columns/20180306/community-in-crisis-were-watching-them-watch-usx2026#.WrEVm_CMirQ.facebook

 

Article: Finding Freedom From Fear

 

STUDENT LED RALLY TO STOP GUN VIOLENCE! 

In solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, Olympia residents are organizing March for Our Lives Olympia onMarch 24, 2018, 11 a.m. on the steps of the Capitol building. Earlier the time was listed at 10:00 a.m. Note the time change. 
On that date, kids, families and supporters will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today. There will be sister events all over the country and the world, including Olympia. 
The Olympia event begins at 11 a.m. on the steps  of the Washington State Capitol.  We will hear from area residents (mostly students) and then march down Capitol Way to Sylvester Park for more speakers, entertainment and booths.  If you are not able to join in the march itself, just wait for the walkers about noon at the end of the march, Sylvester Park.

Students from many area schools are organizing this event -- Olympia High , Capital High, North Thurston High, Black Hills High, Reeves Middle School and South Puget Sound Community College.
Adults involved are our very own Mayor Cheryl Selby, School Board member Scott Clifthorne, members of Thurston Gun Sense (local gun violence prevention organization) and many other concerned parents and community members.

 

Interfaith Advocacy Day.   

February 20, 2018 was the day for Faith Action Network’s annual day of advocacy at the legislature.  Kathy Baros Friedt attended on behalf of SBC. Kathy did not bring legislative issues before SBC this year but next year, she will try to introduce broad policy issues in the late fall, so that if any individuals who want to join up with other faith members from across the state, the issues will be clear as well as how to connect.   It is unlikely SBC will weigh in on any particular piece of legislation but certainly individual members may decide to. Here are examples of FAN’s this year’s top categories with one or two example legislative issues under each:

Advocating for a More Human and Equitable Washington:  Advocating for restoring funding for the Civil Legal Aid Program. Repeal of the Death Penalty .  Supporting the Voting Rights Act.

Promoting Safe and Just Communities:  Support juvenile justice sentencing reforms. Support gun responsibility legislation, such as enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks.

Protecting Housing and Preventing Homelessness: Pass the zoning regulations for faith communities (HB 1987). Prohibit discrimination based on a renter’s source of income.

Sustaining Washington’s Environment:  Support carbon pollution pricing bills. Pass the Pesticide Notification bill.

You can find FAN’s full list of legislative agenda items as well as budget priorities at www.fanwa.org. The legislative process is still underway, so if after looking over the list, you want to know more about a specific policy or piece of legislation. Contact FAN at fan@famwa.org or ask KBFriedt.

Here is the 2018 budget. If you have questions or ideas please contact Kathy Baros-Friedt   kbfriedt@comcast.net

MINISTRY BUDGET PROPOSAL 2018

Ministry Name:          Social Justice Ministry (SJM)

Ministry Leader          Kathy Baros Friedt      360-943-6139             kbfriedt@comcast.net

Expenses – Estimated Budget for 2018 . This is new. There is no existing budget for this ministry.

1.     Support for any congregant who may want to accompany any religious leadership within the Diocese of Olympia should there be a mission to another country or disaster assistance mission within the USA. I believe if such a trip were offered, that a congregant would normally have to pay their own expenses. This request is to set aside funds to cover that person’s expenses.              Estimated cost for up to two persons                             $2000

2.     The SJM may decide to provide financial support to any vulnerable or targeted  population within the area. This would generally be through another established church or organization, with  assurance that the target audience and purpose would be honored. Eg: Recently released detainees of the detention center;  support to a warming center or shelter for the homeless; support to refugee(s) in our community; victims of a hate crime or violence are some examples.             Estimated amount to be available                 $1000

3.     Support to any person involved in the SMJ  to attend a forum, symposium or workshop whose focus is on social justice issues, with the intent that person would bring back to SBC the training information .              Estimated amount to be available.                           $500

4.     Ability to purchase or rent material (books, DVDs )   related to SJM to bring back for SBC discussion                                     Estimated amount to be available.                             $100

5.     Purchase 100 hard plastic St Benedict Episcopal Church (Thurston Co) badges so that when any of us attend any community rally, service, protest, function – that this congregation’s participation is more visible.         Estimated amount to be available.                            $250 

Total 2018 Social Justice Ministry budget request____________________  $ 3850

 

St Benedict will be sponsoring a table at this year's Interfaith Works Emergency Overnight Shelter.  This is a 42 bed nightly shelter for the most vulnerable single adults.  Currently 81% are living with "tri-morbidity"meaning multiple chronic conditions simultaneously. Their average age is 51 yrs old. This is a dinner called " Eye to Eye" on February 2, 5:00, St Michael Catholic Church. Hear their stories, meet the shelter guests sharing a meal with us. SBC HAS PAID FOR A TABLE OF 8! Interfaith Works thanks the faith communities for their support of people experiencing homelessness.
Sign up to be one of the 8 by notifying Kathy Baros Friedt.m360-943-6139 or  kbfriedt@comcast.net

 

When Deportation Is a Death Sentence

sidewalk.jpg

Strengthening Sanctuary group is making a run to the Tacoma Detention Center in Mid January.  See their request below.  If anyone has items they want me to take to the Jan. 8 mtg, contact Kathy Baros Friedt asap.  Please read carefully.

NEEDED ITEMS: For detainees exiting the Tacoma Immigration Detention Center. Specifically, we need clean jackets in Men’s sizes Small, Medium, & Large--especially Men’s Small!..no XL’s or Women's jackets, please.
Sharp and fashionable is a plus! Most of those exiting are young men between the ages of 20-35; appearance is very important to them. Besides jackets, other items needed are lightly used sweaters and sweatshirts, pullover long-sleeve shirts, “stocking-style” caps (especially with sports-team or college logos!), belts size 34 & under, gloves, and, as always, backpacks.
If you have any such items and can bring them to the next Strengthening Sanctuary meeting on January 8th, I will take them to the AID NW van in Tacoma. We have limited storage space at the van, and so ask that you please do not donate any of the following: heavy parkas, women’s clothing, anything appearing tired & worn, XL sizes, used socks, short sleeve shirts, button-front shirts, pants, or shoes.Many thanks,Scott Goddard. Strengthening Sanctuary

 

Court rules Trump’s sanctuary executive order is unconstitutional

November 20, 2017November 21, 2017 by S.F. City Attorney's Press Office

After earlier victories brought a temporary reprieve, Herrera wins permanent ruling that removes threat to federally funded programs across the country

City Attorney Dennis Herrera at a press conference Jan. 31, 2017 announcing his lawsuit against President Trump for his unconstitutional executive order targeting sanctuary cities.

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 20, 2017) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today released the following statement on the U.S. District Court issuing a permanent injunction prohibiting the federal government from enforcing President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional executive order that sought to strip federal funding from sanctuary jurisdictions:

“This is a victory for the American people and the rule of law. This executive order was unconstitutional before the ink on it was even dry.

We live in a democracy. No one is above the law, including the president. President Trump might be able to tweet whatever comes to mind, but he can’t grant himself new authority because he feels like it. When you have a president who describes our judicial system as ‘a joke,’ the value of three equal branches of government becomes even clearer. This case is a check on the president’s abuse of power, which is exactly what the framers of the Constitution had in mind.

The only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him. That’s what San Francisco has done.

I’m grateful that we’ve been able to protect billions of dollars that help some of the most vulnerable Americans. We’re talking about low-income families, seniors, foster children and people with disabilities. This is money that helps provides food, health care and a roof over their heads. It’s money that pays for bridges and public transit. Those are the programs this administration targeted in its misguided attempt to vilify immigrants.

Let me be clear. San Francisco follows federal immigration law. The federal government has always been free to enforce immigration law in San Francisco, just like it can anywhere else in the country. We do not harbor criminals. The federal government knows who is in our jails. If they think someone is dangerous, all they need is a criminal warrant.

But our teachers, doctors and police officers cannot be conscripted into becoming immigration agents. San Francisco’s sanctuary policies make our city safer by encouraging anyone who has been a victim or witness to a crime to tell police. We are a safer community when people can report a crime, bring a loved one to the doctor or take their kids to school without worrying it could lead to a family member being deported.

This president and his administration have been trying to twist facts, stoke fears and demonize immigrants to score cheap political points. The American people are too smart for that. From the framers of our Constitution to the hardworking families in our cities and towns, we are a nation of immigrants. People come here to help build America and build a better life for their families. They’re fighting for the American dream. It’s time for this administration to stop trying to divide our schools, our neighborhoods and our country. The federal immigration system has been broken for a long time. Building a wall is not the answer. It’s time for bipartisan reform that recognizes the contributions immigrants make to our communities and our economy. They have built families, businesses and homes here. Tearing that apart doesn’t make sense for anyone.”

Background

San Francisco on Jan. 31, 2017 became the first entity to sue Trump over his executive order to strip federal funding from “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Santa Clara County and other local governments soon followed. San Francisco had about $2 billion at stake. That included $1.2 billion in annual operating funds, or about 13 percent of San Francisco’s budget; and another $800 million in multi-year federal grants that are not part of the annual operating budget and used primarily for large infrastructure projects, like bridges, roads and public transportation.

That lawsuit is the first of two that Herrera has brought against the Trump administration over federal funding for sanctuary cities. The second lawsuit, filed Aug. 11, 2017, seeks to invalidate grant conditions that U.S. Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III separately sought to place on a group of U.S. Department of Justice grants for local law enforcement. Those conditions came after the court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of the executive order in April. San Francisco’s case that challenged the executive order is about limits on what the president can do. San Francisco’s case challenging the grant conditions is about limits on what the attorney general can do. That case is ongoing.

Today’s order also discussed San Francisco’s claim for relief that its sanctuary laws comply with federal law. The court did not rule on this claim, and instead stated it will consider that issue in the Sessions lawsuit.

The cases are: City and County of San Francisco v. Donald J. Trump, et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case No. 3:17-cv-00485, filed Jan. 31, 2017. City and County of San Francisco v. Jefferson B. Sessions III, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case No. 3:17-cv-04642, filed Aug. 11, 2017. Additional documentation from the case is available on the City Attorney’s website at: sfcityattorney.org

Annie Benson,

Senior Directing Attorney  

  www.defensenet.org

 

Social Justice Ministry October 15, 2017—Attendees

At this recent meeting, there were many examples of what social justice activity looks like. 

Opportunities for participation could be one person at home; one person attending a single event; a group project;  seeking direct service opportunities; on-going volunteering for a single cause; connecting with others of like interest; witnessing and representing our faith in the community!

 If you want to talk to any SBC member who attended this session, I’ve listed them here in event you wanted to talk to one of  them.

Kathy Baros Friedt, Kathleen Bruner, Peggy Carmichael, Spencer Daniels, Mary Eberling, Mike Flothe, David Kindle, Karen Knudson, Judy Lindsay, Martha Liska, Gretchen O’Conner, Paul Seabert, Trisha Shaw, Brenda Sloan, John Van Eenywk

 

This is part of a message  9/8/17 from Olympia Superintendent Patrick Murphy to district staff……. 

“…..Students who have significant barriers to overcome in our system include those from undocumented immigrant families. If there is no legislation to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program/executive order, then thousands of students across the nation in our K-12 schools will be impacted. DACA was necessitated because the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, known as the DREAM Act, failed to pass the U.S. Congress in the past. It was brought up before the U.S. Congress again this summer. I want you to know we will be signing a petition, along with other area district leaders, urging our congressional leaders to immediately pursue and approve decisive, bipartisan legislation that will ensure all the children we serve continue to have the same constitutional rights, no matter their immigration status. 

 Thanks again for your dedication to the students and families of Olympia.

 Patrick C. Murphy, Ed. D.  Superintendent, Olympia School District”

peoples.jpg

A local nonprofit which has provided services to immigrant communities for decades. CIELO has especially been called into action around educating families about their rights under the Constitution to remain silent if not represented by an attorney and to not have ICE enter their homes without permission,  unless there is a warrant signed by a judge. Families are put at risk.  Frequently even those with lawful immigrant status, or even citizens, are swept up into detention. The NW Detention Center is in Tacoma. There were many questions about the Detention Center:  www.aidnw.org    St. John’s just completed an activity to gather specific back pack items for those coming out of the Center. 

CIELO and Strengthening Sanctuary    strengthening-sanctuary@googlegroups.com  are providing “Know Your Rights” workshops for immigrant and ally communities.  If individuals want to see what these KYR workshops might contain, you might like to view the slides or video-skits at www.immtrain.org/video-skits/     The primary site is www.immtrain.org . Follow the links. These were created locally and “star” Charo!

What can St Benedict’s do?  You may already have seen reference in the Vicar’s announcements that SBC, as part of the Interfaith Works planning, is weighing in with several other faith communities to participate in an AUGUST 20 potluck.  2-4:00. At Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd .  Holy Wisdom Inclusive Catholic Church (our spiritual tenant!) has taken lead. More information to follow. 
 

Kathy Baros Friedt provided a handoutwith details on several of these efforts.  Contact Kathy if Immigration and Refugee Protection Proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee.

 

Social Justice Ministry notes from May 21, 2017 

Eight interested SBC members held their first discussion exploring what a social justice ministry might look like at SBC.  Father Ed opened the conversation with prayer and urging that as Christians we are called upon to act out Christ’s values, to effectuate change on behalf of those most vulnerable in our daily lives. Others talked about the desire to apply our own humanity when we see injustice. 

Ministry leader, Kathy Baros Friedt, acknowledged that many SBC individuals are certainly  involved in social justice issues one-by-one or in small group efforts.  There is a list at the end of this article.

Many folks have heard about Interfaith Works but don’t really know what it does and how SBC connects to its activities.  Kathy shared IFW pamphlet which among other things listed the nearly thirty member faith communities. www.interfaith-works.org  At that same website, IFW’s May-June 2017 newsletter, Interfaith Connection includes an article looking at what kinds of activities Interfaith Member Congregations are interested in doing.

Some talked about how social justice activity is not only about resisting systems but more about advocating for how things should be carried out in love and justice--- promoting the Holy Spirit.

Current immigration and deportation fears is on the agenda for the 9:15 mtg on June 11, but because there was such interest in the topic, the group spent some time hearing about what currently is going on locally and asking what kinds of actions can be taken.  More on the topic of Immigration and what local faith communities are considering as ways to be involved, will be dealt with specifically on June 11. Interested SBC members are invited to attend!  Questions?  Kathy Baros Friedt     kbfriedt@comcast.net

St Benedict Episcopal Church honors all those members who volunteer their time to make our community strong

·      Monthly provide community dinner – mostly Oxford House attendees but open to homeless,. 3-4 church members are involved in this

·      4 SBC members volunteer as overnight hosts at the Sacred Heart (next door) men’s shelter.  Several shifts Nov-March.

·      Two members are SBC delegates to InterFaith Works and report back to the congregation

·      One member reports regularly on his participation in Jail Ministry.  Congregation participates in cookie and sock campaigns during the yr

·      SBC does have an Earth Ministry

·      Several members chair Easter Baskets for homeless children and the congregation is generous in providing dozens of baskets

·      Participated in the Pride Parade in the past.

·      Individual members participated in the Women’s March this yr

·      One member  is lead on  gathering of hundreds of calendars for SeaFarers ministry

·      One member is lead on gathering of volunteers to participate as part of a veterans event in the summer.

·      Individual church members belong to or participate in various nonprofit organizations as individuals, not representing SBC.

·      One member isactive in promoting communication, safety and peace in the Gaza Strip

·      Current Vicar involved in ministry in the Philippines

Information through local TV

  • Fear is UP!  Immigration is a major issue for all those concerned about protecting a very vulnerable population:    Local TV station, TCTV will be showing during the month of May, interviews by Glen Anderson from Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation on the topic of immigration with local activists. Those who have cable TV can watch it on TCTV cable channel 22,  available at three times a week during May.  Every Monday at 1:30 p.m.     * Every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.  and *Every Thursday at 9:00 p.m.
  • The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s May 2017 interview…”Protect Immigrant Rights” can also be viewed through the “TV Programs” part of www.olympiafor.org.  Next to that link for watching the program is a Word document that summarizes what is said during the interview.  There are many other links available for more information.