Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gatherings of Hope is a new collaborative of congregational leaders and learning teams joining together to leverage the power of community.
Religious congregations are defined by their focus on worship and religious beliefs and teachings. That role alone is a critical contribution to the welfare of human beings in community. But congregations can also be a safety net for people who need material and emotional support. Their leaders can communicate a vision for the future that creates hope and purpose beyond their walls and memberships. They may bridge social gaps by offering a meeting space for diverse people whose sole common bond is their similar expression of their faith tradition. They may foster the arts, nurture children, guard sacred texts and histories, and tap the talents of the elderly. They may be places of organized resistance to injustice and sources of policy change, addressing issues from local gang violence and public transportation to national-scale health care, immigration and peace movements.
Gatherings of Hope
How Religious Congregations Contribute to the Quality of Life in Kent County
Hernandez, Carlson et al