War to overcome poverty begins with you!
Campaign forges a new partnership
The Call to Renewal Campaign to Overcome Poverty states: “We can overcome poverty but only if we act together and only if we all commit to doing what we do best. As members of churches and other faith based organizations, we commit ourselves to seek new partnerships and to engage in new dialogue. We know that religious institutions do not have the resources to replace other sectors of society. Nor should we. Our vision of a good social order is one where many different sectors each make their own unique contribution to the common good. We invite a new dialogue, both to learn and to offer our deeply held moral convictions.”
What we believe
We believe that a good society should achieve:
A living family income for all who work responsibly.
Our principle is that people who work full time should not be poor.
Affordable, quality health care for all, regardless of income
It is unacceptable that 44 million Americans, including 11 million children, continue to lack health insurance.
Schools that work for all our children
Partisan battles must not blur the moral issue that children’s educational opportunities are unjustly based on where they live and their parents’ income.
Safe, affordable housing
Eliminating poverty housing and homelessness through affordable housing must be a societal goal.
Safe and secure neighborhoods
A safe and healthy environment is essential to rebuilding families and communities. We must eliminate crime and violence and end the scourge of life-destroying drugs.
Family-friendly policies and programs in every sector of society
Families and communities must be rebuilt as the primary foundation and nurturing networks of a healthy society. Since strong families are one of our best anti-poverty measures, we must do all that we can to support them.
Full participation by people of all races
We embrace our diversity by having zero tolerance for racism and making racial justice and reconciliation a top national priority.
Each of these goals is a moral priority for us.
The covenant asks Salvationists to make the following commitment:
As Christians, seeking God’s help, we begin with our own commitment. We commit ourselves to mobilize and focus the moral energy of faith communities to help lead in a movement to overcome poverty. In our churches and church-based organizations, we resolve to more effectively coordinate and collaborate in:
Making poverty a priority.
We will make poverty and people who are poor a “Sunday morning issue,” an everyday commitment. In every local community, in every local church, God’s command to overcome poverty must shape our worship, our preaching, our core ministries, and our budgets. We will encourage congregations, denominations, and faith-based organizations to devote an increasing percentage of our resources to overcoming poverty. Our first goal is a “poverty tithe,” beginning with at least 10 percent of our budgets and increasing as we grow in our commitment.
Committing to our children and youth.
We will support children and youth who are growing up in poverty with mentoring, tutoring and ministering on a scale never before undertaken. All children are our children, and millions of them are in desperate need of the adult caring, prayer and guidance that we can provide. Working with schools to make education work is a critical priority; and after-school programs are essential.
Taking responsibility for our neighborhoods.
We will work in the neighborhoods and streets where poverty and violence now prevail. By “adopting” blocks, parks and even gangs, we resolve to make the love of God practical and the implication of faith real. By seeking to create cooperative strategies of community policing we will help to protect our communities and make them safe. Partnerships between churches, especially suburban-urban, will also be critical both for resource sharing and for mutual transformation.
We will work to rebuild the bonds of family and community that have been weakened by cultural, economic and technological forces in our society. By reweaving the webs of relationship that raise our children, nurture our lives and hold our society together, we can repair the breech that has been opened in so many of our communities. Through marriage enrichment and counseling, fatherhood and parenting programs, and a whole array of family services, we will help strengthen family life by renewing the covenants that bind parents and children together.
We will help lead efforts for the revitalizing of economic and community life through job training and creation, neighborhood economic development, community development, capital formation and micro-enterprise, affordable housing, home building and ownership, technological innovation, environmental clean-up and engagement with the other sectors of society.
We recommit ourselves to the struggle to dismantle racism, knowing that ongoing racism in our hearts and societal structures contributes to poverty and hinders efforts to overcome it. We will work to identify and change policies that discourage full participation in society by people of all races. We will promote racial justice and racial reconciliation by engaging in community dialogue and action to affirm that each person has equal worth and dignity. We pledge ourselves to protect the rights, nurture the abilities and seek the welfare of all God’s children.
Renewing our prophetic vocation.
As we commit to this service in our communities, we also intend to help shape social policy on the critical issues of American life. Our role is not simply to make government more efficient but to make America more just. In our preaching and advocacy, we will raise the common moral value on which our society must build and insist that the principle of the common good be the standard that guides public policy.