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Last Monday, some parishioners met with the Social Justice Commission to hear Andre Stoner and Cristina Ruvalcaba speak about Faith in Indiana. Stoner is a past pastor of Kern Road Mennonite Church; Ruvalcaba is a leader at St. Adalbert’s Church.

Watch words for the group are treatment, not incarceration; opportunity for all; citizenship, not deportation. What is faith-based community organizing? It is not service, not protest, not advocacy, but building relational power. Relational power enables ordinary people to speak effectively into decisions that impact our lives and those of our neighbors. Power comes from relating to one   another — power with, not power over another. Relational power enables ordinary people to impact policies and priorities, such as with immigration, health care, education, and lead poisoning.

Stoner spoke of the passage in Luke 13 in which Jesus healed a woman crippled. Before he healed her, he saw her. We are commanded to love our neighbor, but only when we truly see them can we rise above rules and biases and love them.