Micah 6:8 What does the Lord require of you? Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
A number of parishioners have already expressed interest in representing Grace-St. Luke’s in the MICAH consortium of volunteers and activists who are working for a better Memphis-Shelby County. To you we give thanks and look forward to working with you and MICAH. Many may not know, or have limited knowledge of the work of the organization, and perhaps would like to know why it is important that GSL has officially joined MICAH.
MICAH, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, was created in 2017. The first meeting, held at Lindenwood Church, was overwhelmingly attended by community, labor, and faith based groups, and many individuals who were interested in the pursuit of justice and equity in Memphis and Shelby County. Today those numbers exceed 60 organizations, representing over 30,000 residents plus Grace-St. Luke’s!
In June, our rector, the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, met with the Vestry to discuss and recommend that GSL become a MICAH Partner based on the alignment of their mission with both our mission and vision. The Vestry voted unanimously to join the good work of MICAH in order to better serve our community, and amplify our voices demanding justice and equity to create systemic change in our city long plagued by racism and poverty. We joined with our Muslim, Jewish, and Christian neighbors, along with fellow Episcopalians from Calvary and St. Mary’s Cathedral—where our associate rector, the Reverend Laura Gettys was a clergy representative to MICAH’s Ministerial Alliance. Laura+ will continue to be the clergy contact representative for Grace St. Luke’s.
The current MICAH platform operates under three pillars, Education Equity, Economic Equity, and Immigration and Intercultural Equity. Within each of these headings the real work is done by those interested in one or more of these particular problem areas, which are often straightforward, but extensive in the depth of long unaddressed obstacles to reform social injustices. Each of the three groups or pillars meets once a month; in addition there is a monthly meeting for Memphis youth, and an Issues meeting held monthly open to all who are interested in the detailed task force strategies for change. Before COVID-19, meetings were held around town in different venues. Today meetings are held virtually on Zoom or by phone.
We need volunteers to serve as representatives to all three Equity groups, and would like to encourage any parish youth or young adults to consider joining the efforts of MICAH. There is much more information on their website www.micahmemphis.org. If you have any questions please contact any of the Social Justice Co-Chairs - Paula Barnes, Jennie Van Deveer, Nicki Soulé, The Reverend Laura F. Gettys - who you can connect with through Realm.