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Epiphany for advocates
January 10, 2013

I'm sharing these thoughts from Rev. Jim Gertmenian’s Epiphany Sunday sermon. He's the senior minister at Plymouth Congregational Church and a member of our board of directors. Here he offers insights for believer and non-believer alike. Rather than focus on the destination (the surprising arrival of exotic, wealthy visitors at the manger of the humble baby Jesus), we might imagine the journey itself -- likely crowded with handlers and helpers; time-consuming and often tedious – kind of like the process for meaningful change in our political system. Hear the full sermon, or read highlights in his words.

Where does the real work of social progress take place?  The news media regularly direct us to high-stakes elections, high-drama conflicts, and the work of high-ranking elected officials. But that's an illusion. While it's true that elections are important and that political power-hitters play an important role, the real work of social progress generally takes place at another level altogether. In committee rooms, undistinguished offices, city councils, county commissions, and the state legislature, the day to day work of developing social policy goes on, usually unnoticed.  

As the affordable housing community, including Beacon, examines the landscape of possibilities this year, we want to draw as many people as possible into the important work of advocacy at every level of government. The sending of postcards to legislators, making phone calls to them, and visits to them in their offices, while rarely exciting, have a great impact on decisions that are made.  

If we are to move toward our community's goal of ending homelessness, we're more likely to get there by grinding out day-to-day work rather than by high-profile efforts. As the football players would have it, the real movement forward usually comes through "three yards and a cloud of dust" rather than by the Hail Mary pass. Each of us can have an impact on homelessness. Beacon and other housing agencies are ready to help individuals find their own niche in this important work. 

Want to add your voice to the chorus for change in housing resources? We have a plan! Find out at our kickoff advocacy event, Acting on Faith, Tuesday, Jan 15. Learn more and register here.