Mobilizing Your Parish Community (Back to Immigration Toolkit)
Step 3: Equip
You can educate and inspire your community until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t provide an outlet for them to express the passion you have helped to create, they will either become frustrated or they’ll work on something else. Not everyone within your parish will be ready to take the next step of commitment in working on immigration reform, but some will be looking to help lead the effort or take an action that is more involved than attending a conversation.
To support these parishioners in increasing their commitment, you need to provide:
- Opportunity – providing space for newly interested people to take on leadership roles or chances to take bigger actions
- Capacity or skill building – in order to take on a bigger commitment, individuals will most likley need to increase their knowledge or skill level
1. What would creating opportunities look like in your parish?
- Plan for an action opportunity that is a larger commitment than you’ve asked for in the past, such as a group meeting with your Congressman.
- If a new member joins an existing committee or group in the parish, find out how they want to be involved and delegate existing responsibilities to them.
- Some parish social justice committees have sub-committees that work on specific issues, which provide increased voice and participation to members who are passionate about the particular issue.
2. What would skill building look like in your parish?
- Advertise and attend a skill building workshop already happening in the community, such as the Office for Social Justice Advocacy 101 event in July.
- Host a Catholic Social Teaching Reflection with a small group of interested individuals.
- Share resources for further learning.
- Set up a mentor system within your committee where new members are paired with an experienced member.