POWER

The Rev. Melanie DuBoseThe Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is a founding member of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER), a faith-based community organizing project that includes 41 interfaith congregations throughout Philadelphia. Through the intentional development of grassroots engagement in congregations, POWER seeks to create positive structural and policy changes for the benefit of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

The Final Mile: Walk for Green Jobs & Justice

Update: May 17, 2017

Join POWER and EQAT for the final mile of a 100-mile walk throughout PECO’s service area—we are literally walking the walk for green jobs. With all those miles behind us, hundreds of Pennsylvanians, prominent clergy, and national leaders Bill McKibben and Bishop Dwayne Royster will demand that PECO take bold action to transform local energy and create good jobs by getting 20% local solar by 2025, built first in areas with high unemployment.

Gather at 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107 Mon May 22 2017 at noon. The walk will last until 4:00pm.

It’s helpful if you can RSVP here to let us know you’re definitely coming: http://www.eqat.org/walk R.SVP is not required.

Why a walk?
Solar power brings local jobs and energy security, which is why we are embarking on an epic walk throughout PECO’s service area to link together the opportunities for our local energy future. In each of five counties—Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Philadelphia—walkers will move from the past to the future, from old energy sites to new, past crumbling infrastructure to green jobs training programs and installations.

The Power Local Green Jobs Campaign uses nonviolent, direct action to demand that PECO, Pennsylvania’s largest utility company, make a major shift to locally generated solar power that benefits low income communities and communities of color. Our campaign brings together EQAT and POWER, a broad multi-faith network of 60 congregations, to address three critical issues: underemployment, crumbling infrastructure, and climate change.

Our campaign calls on PECO to spur local jobs and support the regional economy by purchasing solar energy in its service area. Doing this will create thousands of good paying jobs for local workers, lower electricity bills for families, schools and churches, and will turn PECO away from fueling devastating climate change.

To be part of the solution, PECO must choose to:
1. Dramatically increase the purchase of local rooftop solar power so that 20% of PECO’s electricity comes from roofs in its service area by 2025.
2. Spur solar installation on suitable roofs in high unemployment areas, starting in North Philadelphia, to economically benefit those communities.
3. Prioritize installation by local workers, especially from high unemployment areas.
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Campaign History
Pennsylvania lags massively behind neighboring states in solar jobs. We saw the opportunity to demand PECO take a lead in driving solar job growth in our region, especially in neighborhoods where good local jobs are scarce. We also knew that PECO’s electricity is fueling rapid climate change which will inflict many damages on our region, but will be especially harmful to marginalized communities. So we launched a solutions-oriented economic justice campaign, which we called “Power Local Green Jobs.”

What if PECO became a solar-jobs creator? What if those jobs were developed in areas of deep unemployment? In our research, we learned that local solar energy could provide well over 20% of our region’s needs, and that getting there could create over 8,000 new jobs. Seeing that PECO had been blocking and delaying solar for years, our new campaign became clear: get PECO to commit to 20% local solar by 2025, built first in the neighborhoods with greatest need.

PECO’s region has both opportunity- some of the best counties for solar in the state- and need. Our area includes large and deeply neglected African American neighborhoods, disinvested former industrial zones, a growing immigrant workforce, and working class neighborhoods of all races. With local solar, workers can earn good wages and communities can produce and sell their own power. We all will see improvements in public health and guard against the looming devastation of climate change.
We had our first breakthrough in April of 2016.

To meet the minimum of state law, PECO only gets a fraction of 1% of its energy from solar—and much of that from another state. When we first met with PECO executives, the company insisted that increasing local solar was impossible. So after months of demonstrations, we issued an ultimatum: Purchase that fraction of a percent from North Philly by May 2016, or face escalated nonviolent direct action.

PECO responded by reversing its initial stance, and finally began listening to advocates and solar industry groups to figure out how to buy locally the small amount of solar it does buy. We’re glad PECO is getting its toes wet, but we’re calling for a clear commitment that will allow PECO to cope with the rapid changes in energy which need to happen in the next decade.

The campaign has only grown since then, with actions over the summer of 2016 in Chester, Upper Darby, Doylestown, and Philadelphia. In October, 100 runners, walkers, and wheelers circled the company headquarters at the “PECO Runaround” (because PECO is giving Philadelphia the runaround on solar). The event raised $10,000 to Power Local Green Jobs.

However, to reach 20% by 2025, we know PECO needs to think bigger. So we’re embarking on a 100 mile Walk for Green Jobs and Justice to chart the way from old energy sites to new. EQAT, POWER and people across the region will be walking throughout PECO’s service area to show PECO the path to a solar future.

100 Days Campaign

Updated: March 14, 2017
During the first 100 days of the new national administration, POWER is inviting its congregations to participate in a series of trainings that will help build our skills of democratic action in an effort to shape our civic life to match our values. Contact Carol Duncan or Anne Thatcher for more information and to get connected. The St. Martin’s Local Organizing Committee team will meet for a debrief following the April 22nd training. At that time, we will gear up for a huge action in May to urge PECO to increase its purchase of local solar electric power.

View the Full POWER Calendar


RESCHEDULED from March 15 to March 29 - Documenting the Movement: Social Media for Faithful Resistance.
In anticipation of icy sidewalks and roads post-Winter Storm Stella, we’re postponing our “Documenting the Movement” training to Wednesday, March 29th. The event will still be held from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Friends Center (1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102) with pizza available at 5:30 PM. Please register here if you’re able to join (registration is encouraged but not required). We’ll be posting and sharing a recording of the event afterward for those of you who can’t join in person. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information regarding the training please contact POWER Communications Director Beulah Osueke (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).
What once seemed like a trivial way to keep in touch with friends has become a force for social change, shining light on subjects previously dismissed, deepening conversation, and empowering global citizens to unite and demand change in a multitude of ways. Join us as we discuss how to thoughtfully harness the power of social media, educating and empowering one another through today’s technology and online platforms.

Sunday, March 19 - Beyond Marches and Rallies: Designing inventive actions to apply strategic pressure.
One training for adults and senior high students to practice designing inventive actions, and share ideas for creative, strategic tactics. An additional training will be a space for youth grades 2-8 to share and learn about direct action. Friends Center 1501 Cherry St., Time TBD

Thursday, March 23 - Whites Confronting Racism
Lessons Learned will be a presentation by a cohort of white members of POWER on the impact of a year long journey together on confronting white privilege in themselves and in social systems. 7:00 – 8:30 pm at First United Methodist Church of Germantown, 6001 Germantown Ave.

RESCHEDULED from March 15 to March 29 - Documenting the Movement: Social Media for Faithful Resistance.
In anticipation of icy sidewalks and roads post-Winter Storm Stella, we’re postponing our “Documenting the Movement” training to Wednesday, March 29th. The event will still be held from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Friends Center (1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102) with pizza available at 5:30 PM. Please register here if you’re able to join (registration is encouraged but not required). We’ll be posting and sharing a recording of the event afterward for those of you who can’t join in person. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information regarding the training please contact POWER Communications Director Beulah Osueke (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).
What once seemed like a trivial way to keep in touch with friends has become a force for social change, shining light on subjects previously dismissed, deepening conversation, and empowering global citizens to unite and demand change in a multitude of ways. Join us as we discuss how to thoughtfully harness the power of social media, educating and empowering one another through today’s technology and online platforms.

Sunday, April 2 - Grounding for Civil Disobedience.
The struggle for justice is not a sprint. Learn more about what grounds us for the long haul, how to escalate, and how to keep your power in civil disobedience. Time and location TBD. Watch POWER’s calendar.

Tuesday, April 4 - The Black Work Matters report.
6:00 – 8:00 Friends Center 1501 Cherry St. We will commemorate the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr with a curriculum based on the comprehensive report of the history of poverty and racism in the Philadelphia work place. The report proposes big categories such as Racial Justice through Unionization; Raising the Minimum Wage to $15; Developing Local Green Jobs; Using City Assets Including the Development of a Public Bank.

Saturday, April 22 - Building Power at the Intersection of Race, Economics, and Climate
Our faith tells us God’s creation is threatened by Climate Crisis. We call on PECO to lead the way towards healthy jobs in renewable energy in the places that most need jobs. Learn with people from all backgrounds and faiths how to build power towards the creation of Green Jobs.
When: Saturday, April 22 from 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: POWER office: 1429 North 11th St.
Other details: Enter the courtyard from 11th St. Go to the second building back, up the ramp. Childcare for 2 - 9 year olds with pre-registration required by April 15.
Please register at www.powerinterfaith.org. Choose 100 Days of Faithful Resistance tab or Calendar, April 22.
If you can’t come on that date but want to take part in the actions during the first two weeks of May, please let us know! Contact Person: Paula Paul .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

View the Full POWER Calendar



Come Experience POWER

Updated: February, 2017
As a member of POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild), St. Martin’s learns and uses faith-based organizing to create a city of opportunity that works for all. Three teams foster economic justice, educational justice and racial justice.

Economic Dignity’s team concentrates on three priorities: researching meetings with city council members to raise the city’s minimum wage; promoting local green jobs to expand solar power from .5% to 20% by 2025 through solar energy installations in low income neighborhoods; and developing a public bank so our city’s money stays in the city rather than going into fees to huge banks that drain our resources.

The Education Team has joined Our City, Our Schools to press for a return to local control of our schools.

The Live Free racial justice campaign includes work on keeping peoples’ bodies safe through safe havens, sanctuaries and reforming the justice system.

If you are interested in getting involved, consider this list of trainings to increase our skills for social justice. Watch POWER’s calendar at POWERInterfaith.org for details.

EQAT Trainings

EQAT (Earth Quaker Action Team), in partnership with POWER, has scheduled trainings also. All times and locations will be posted on the website eqat.org/trainings.

March 19

Beyond Marches and Rallies
Tired of the same tactics? Practice designing inventive actions, and share ideas for creative, strategic tactics.
*At the same time* EQAT will hold a Youth-focused training for organizing powerful young voices.

April 2


Grounding for Civil Disobedience
The struggle for justice is not a sprint. Learn more about what grounds us for the long haul, how to escalate, and how to keep your power in civil disobedience.

Join our Local Organizing Committee.


21st Century Declaration of Rights for a Better America

POWER and its partners in MLK DARE (Day of Action, Resistance and Empowerment) developed a 21st Century Declaration of Rights for a Better America to explore what justice may mean in our city, in our times. These are the principles:

    1. The right to representative democracy which promotes policies that value the humanity of all people equally, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, religion or national origin, and preserves and expands their right to vote, freedom of association and communication.
    2. The right to be free from all forms of racism: intentional, unintentional, implicit, explicit, institutional, personal, disparate treatment, and disparate impact.
    3. The right to shared prosperity, which includes, but is not limited to, full employment, a living wage, a guaranteed income, pay equity for women, and hunger-free communities for all.
    4. The right to care for our common home, the earth, which includes clean energy and water policies that promote the earth’s health and well-being.
    5. The right to a fairly- and fully-funded quality public education for all children.
    6. The right to affordable, quality housing for all, which includes policies that end gentrification in our cities.
    7. The right to health care for all, including policies that fully fund Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.
    8. The right to equal justice for all, from a civilian police force and criminal justice system free from excessive force, racial discrimination, police brutality, mass incarceration, and prison for-profit corporations.
    9. The right to a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants.
    10. The right to unionize and collectively bargain.

Read the full text of the MLK DARE 21st Century Declaration of Rights.

It is our collective belief that these principles - rooted in the sacred texts and practices of our shared faith traditions - we will create a fairer, more just, more prosperous, more diverse and more inclusive society. Now is the time to act!



MLK DARE March Follow-Up

Mother Bethel AME Church was the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in the U.S. There, 200 years ago, three thousand free black men stood against plans to send free African Americans “back” to Africa. On the anniversary of that meeting, this past Monday Jan 16, a determined crowd of three thousand including 15 from St. Martins gathered outside Mother Bethel to declare allegiance to the human right of just and equal treatment for all.

The speakers included clergy of various faiths, labor leaders, elected officials, students and activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. The crowd heard poetry from high school students and from poet and activist Sonia Sanchez, who said, “I woke up this morning with my mind on Brother Martin….”
Many in the crowd carried signs calling for quality public education for all, fair housing, racial equality and an end to racism, and especially to the danger of a quick move by the new administration against people’s healthcare and the Affordable Care Act.

The Rev. Mark Tyler, senior pastor of Mother Bethel and chair of the rally, reminded everyone that the event was about organizing as well as demonstrating, saying, “We want to make sure that everyone leaves here with a connection to some group.”
The march and rally was organized by the MLK Dare Coalition, and had broad sponsorship from labor, faith-based and religious groups, women’s rights groups, and student groups to name only a few.

Watch a video from the rally here!

Learn More

What is POWER? (PDF)
Like POWER on Facebook to get event updates and more.

Minimum Wage

Why POWER supports a $15 minimum wage - September 2015 update(PDF)

Education Funding

PA Budget Stalemate (PDF)
PA School Funding Differences (PDF)
Who Receives Less Funding? (PDF)

PA State Supreme Court - November 2015 Election

What’s at stake this November? (PDF)

CAP Comcast

Why CAP Comcast? (PDF)
Voter Engagement 2014
Good Airport Jobs for Philadelphians - Policy Summary
Photos from Voices of POWER on January 26, 2014

Regular Sunday Service Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning Prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Choral Evensong with sermon is held at 5:00 p.m. on the first Sundays of the month from October to June in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.

Location

This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.


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