Recently, I’ve been getting messages from more and more congregations who have passed the 8th principle. This is exciting! According to the 8th Principle Project, there are now 156 congregations that have passed the 8th principle. Fifteen of my primary congregations have passed the 8th principle as well, and the question your congregation may be wondering now is what to do next after passing the 8th principle?
I created a list of things to think about as you decide how you as a congregation would like go deeper with the 8th principle work in your communities:
- Passing the 8th principle is even more of a reason to delve deeper into ongoing learning around anti-racism, anti-oppression and multicultural elements. Think about taking a Jubilee training as a place to start. They also offer trainings for beginners and for people who have more advanced experience with anti-racism work and have taken past Jubilees.
- Have you read and explored the Widening the Circle Report? If not, that could be a place to start as a congregation as you think about implementing programming and going deeper into 8th principle work.
- Reflect on how you can use the 8th principle lens in various areas of congregational life, like hospitality and greeting visitors, stewardship, governance, faith formation and religious education etc…some congregations have used this approach to re-visit their bylaws and make necessary amendments.
- Connect with your community outside of the congregation. Some congregations are working with partners in their local communities to do work around reparations while learning and implementing reparation work within their congregation too.
- Connect with other congregations who have passed the 8th principle! Join the 8th Principle Learning Community on Facebook to connect with other congregations who have passed the 8th principle and learn what they are doing now.
- Email/call your CER primary contact to brainstorm about what you can do next.
These are a few suggestions of where to start now that you’ve passed the 8th Principle. If you’re a congregation that has passed the 8th principle, I’d love to learn what you’ve been focusing on to go deeper with the 8th principle in your congregation. Send me an email if you’re willing to share, email@example.com.
Lastly, remember that the 8th principle is calling us to do deeper work within all areas of congregational life. It’s not a social justice project, it’s a call to think about the ways we become the beloved community we dream about. Whatever you decide to do next may it be joyful and grounding work for your communities.