The ICARE Justice Ministry at Christ Church has been holding listening sessions with parishioners during the months of September and October. In these sessions we ask, “What keeps you up at night? What worries you about your community?” Thirty-seven sister congregations throughout the Jacksonville area are doing the same listening process. These meetings are the foundation of the year-round work ICARE does in seeking needed, local systemic changes.

From listening, we have identified three possible areas to add to our existing justice initiatives:

  • Crime, Drugs, and Law Enforcement
  • Health and Mental Health
  • Housing and Homelessness

We will move to the next step of this process as we meet with all the other congregations for the Community Problems Assembly on Monday, November 9 at 7 pm via Zoom. We will choose which of these three areas we will focus on in the year to come. The topic chosen will become part of a research effort to learn more about the local issues and identify best practices so that we can develop solutions. These solutions are what we offer at the annual Nehemiah Assembly in the spring as we ask our local elected leaders to make commitments to bring change.

If you would like to learn more about the year-round work we do through ICARE, you have two options to check out this week:

  • Join the Clergy Forum on Zoom at 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning, November 8. Fr. Keith will host Kelly Doyle, the Executive Director of ICARE. She will give a brief presentation and be available to answer your questions about what is involved.
  • Attend (via Zoom) the Community Problems Assembly, Monday, November 9 at 7 pm. In addition to your fellow Christ Church members, there will be people representing congregations from all over the area. Sheriff Williams and State Attorney Nelson will also be attending, virtually, and School Superintendent Green will give a pre-recorded message.

As people of faith– and as faithful citizens– ICARE is a powerful way to engage difficult issues and work with others to bring needed change. This work is non-partisan and based on problems we all agree need to be addressed. If you would like to learn more, please tune into the regular Sunday Clergy Forum or look for the link to the Community Problem Assembly later this week. As always, contact Fr. Keith if you have any questions.