We have some big news! As you all know, we launched our new Let’s Go Together program this year. We teamed up with almost 20 local groups in Skagit County to bring together neighbors across lines of faith, culture, ethnicity, and socio-economic situation. Now our local leadership team is ready to invite their community members to a series of events that will bring people into relationship and into action for the common good.
Putting on several events with hundreds of attendees is a lot of work. We knew we needed to support our local partners’ enthusiasm with some practical assistance. We needed a dedicated PTU staff person to coordinate and expand our network of local multi-faith partnerships. Raising 50% of this position’s first year salary was the focus of our Spring fundraising campaign. We did not reach our goal then but we have since been invited to apply for funding from several grantmakers in Northwest Washington who feel as strongly about the divisions in their communities as we do. We are optimistic that they will contribute to Let’s Go Together. Regardless, we knew we had to move forward with our partner’s momentum.
So, this week, we welcomed our LGT Coordinator for Skagit and Snohomish Counties! Viveka Hall-Holt emerged as the strongest candidate from a pool of applications we interviewed. And we are delighted that she already has a strong relationship with Paths to Understanding. This past year, Viveka served as the Treacy Levine Fellow and was deeply involved in the planning process for Let’s Go Together. She will build on her existing relationships with our partners and support our strategy for public solidarity by
- organizing all the logistics for a first, by invitation, LGT leaders event this November;
- building relationships and involving more local groups in the LGT program;
- planning two big public events in Skagit Co. next Spring – a service day and a public solidarity event;
- and building the program’s capacity by recruiting volunteers and applying for grants.
While she’s busy with all that, I will continue to build up a multi-faith partnership in Snohomish County that will host similar events in Fall of next year.
I’m also teaching the next round of our Go and Do Likewise course this October that shows Christians how partnering with other faith communities is a reflection of the values that Jesus taught. We are also close to publishing a book based on the course that we hope will inspire many more congregations to walk the path of multi-faith peacemaking.
We are truly excited about all the momentum behind the Let’s Go Together program, and so thankful for everyone who is joining us. Let’s keep making the world a better place!