The OCCCO Clergy Caucus is a new initiative that hopes to:
1. Foster community through connecting clergy in dialogue about justice issues in Orange County.
2. Share and grow OCCCO’s structure and method for social change.
3. Collaboratively develop steps for clergy to address racial and economic justice in Orange County.
Tuesday August 26th 2014, Miguel Hernandez, OCCCO Executive Director led our amazing clergy participants through an analysis of how race and power are dealt with in Orange County. The meeting opened with a prayer from Reverend Karen Stoyanoff of the United Universalist Church in Anaheim and we all gathered for a wonderful lunch.
After lunch, OCCCO's Communications and Development Manager, Monica Curca, led the group in a faith reflection on the topic "Dialog for Shifting Dominant Narrative: Naming the Reality and Future We Want To See" The reflection asked, What does it mean to construct a new narrative of Orange County. How can we work together to begin to create and name things. Together the group looked at how naming has been used in the Biblical scriptures to invoke authority, dominion, power or even to shame and disown. Yet when naming is done collectively for the betterment of the community it can be powerful This process of collectively naming our just future is possible through dialog based on human dignity and respect. A selection from Paulo Friere's book "Pedagogy of the Oppressed was highlighted to close the reflection: "Men and women who lack humility (or have lost it) cannot come to the people, cannot be their partners in naming the world"
The meeting continued with a new process that we are introducing to our organizing and social change work called: Community Transformation Circles, as pictured above, each individual in the circle is given a chance to speak freely on a certain question. It is a safe space of listening and contemplation as opposed to debate and challenge. The question posed by Miguel was "What are the strengths and barriers of interfaith clergy coming together?" Answers ranged from practical to existential, all important and all part of the process of dialog and working across faith, race and language lines.
Finally we finished with a short presentation from Miguel on Racial and Economic Justice in Orange County. You can find it here or below.
We are so grateful for the representation from eight congregations of various faith traditions and hope to add to our numbers. The next meeting will be held at the OCCCO office on Tuesday September 23rd 2014 at 12 pm. In meantime we will be attending the OCIA Prayer Breakfast with Pastor Mark Whitlock on September 15th 2014 in Lake Forest, CA for a chance to engage with police chiefs from Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine and Sheriff Hutchinson of Orange County. Please see the flyer to the right.
For more information about our OCCCO clergy caucus (to attend, support or sponsor) please reach out to Monica Curca at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 833-9739