The Social Justice Forum of the NSW/ACT Synod, Uniting Church in Australia, has released a set of resources designed for congregations training in advocacy. Four sessions explore advocacy and motivate members of congregations to participate in advocacy. A core belief of the UCA since its inception is that we are called to involve ourselves in social and environmental issues and work on the side of the disempowered, the poor and the suffering, as part of our response to the Christian Gospel. This training material is designed to motivate participants to take part in social and environmental action, as well as furnishing them with a plan that they can put into action about an issue that concerns them.
Each session pack includes a leaders handbook, a PowerPoint presentation, a workbook for participants, along with additional resources to be used during the workshop. There is an evaluation sheet that can be used for each session within each folder. We would appreciate your feedback on the value of the sessions and any improvements that you would like to see in the running and resourcing of the series.
There are four sessions.
1. What is advocacy? Why do advocacy?
2. How do we plan advocacy?
3. How do we become agents for change?
4. What do we do to make change happen?
As members of the UCA we are part of a tradition of standing for peace, justice and the environment both where we are and in the wider world. By completing this introductory course, participants will better understand how they can be part of the planning of advocacy action. It will also help participants decide whether joining with action that is planned by another group is a good choice.
This resource was prepared by Jon O’Brien and Ennis Macleod as a project of the Social Justice Forum, supported by the Uniting Church, Synod of NSW & ACT, and Uniting. We would like to thank all the people who have contributed to the development of this resource. Our particular thanks go to Chris McAlpine, Duncan Macleod, Garry Derkenne, Romola Hollywood, Kate Sharkey, Gabe Kavanagh, Katherine Newton, Sue Westraad, Elenie Poulos, Karyn Burchell-Thomas, Bronwyn Murphy, Annette Pereira and Justice Whelan for all their work, ideas, and detailed feedback as the material was developed. Thanks also to the groups from the Faith and Justice Expo, the Far North Coast Presbytery and Macquarie Darling Presbytery who participated in workshops trialing early versions of the training. Our grateful thanks to Leigh Macklan for her design and formatting of the final version.