This is wonderful! We’re more than one-third of the way to our original group goal of 2,150 signatures. (That’s the aggregate of various church goals we set in person together at our March 10th meeting.)
Here’s the thing: we need to continue at our current rate of signature-gathering, through July 5th. To get this life-giving initiative onto the November ballot, 1 of every 10 Portland voters must sign for PCEF. People only sign when they’re invited to, by people like you and me. Hint: I’ve had 100% success as I’ve walked my neighborhood. It develops relationships (Practice 2) and is warmer and less transactional than some methods.
Need training or a signature-gathering kit? Contact me or my co-chair Scott Shurtleff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
EcoFaith monthly meeting: Sat. June 9th, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Location this time is First Unitarian Church, 1211 SW Main St in downtown Portland. As always, you have the option of Zooming in. After our meeting, we’ll go gather signatures together, probably at the Farmers Market in the nearby Park blocks. Which is also a great place to get some lunch together.
Sunday June 24: Sunday Parkways Northeast – EcoFaith signature gathering. We’ll figure out the exact location soon.
Please join me for a few hours of office work next week? I’m staffing PCEF’s Validation office at Central Lutheran Church as Gloria L. takes a much-deserved break from her full-time volunteer service there. Please reply to this email, or call or text me at 541-295-0255.
Practice 3. is discovering and sharing our stories. Please see Solveig’s warm, vulnerable story about signature-gathering below. She seems to relate to my favorite African proverb! If you have a PCEF story to share, send it my way!
Thanks and blessings,
Act TOGETHER Humbling, Funny Story about Signature Gathering and Practice #5.
by Solveig Nilsen-Goodin
It was Saturday morning. I had made the commitment to gather signatures for PCEF at our annual gathering of Oregon Synod Lutherans, which was happening in SE Portland. I couldn’t actually go to the whole gathering, but my plan was to be there when registration opened and stay until opening worship. That way I wouldn’t be taking people away from the meetings, or distracting them once the assembly began. Great plan, right?
Right. Except for one fatal flaw: I was going alone.
And because I was going alone, and therefore wasn’t accountable to meet anyone else there…the excuses started as soon as I woke up:
Gosh, I didn’t sleep well last night, I think I need to sleep some more…
Oh, my son is having a birthday party later today and I don’t really want to leave him home alone this morning…
How many signatures will I really be able to gather there anyway…
Maybe going to Salt and Light Lutheran tomorrow after worship is a better idea than going to this event today…
I’m not kidding. Lying in bed as the minutes passed (making it less and less likely that I would actually get there for any reasonable amount of time) I literally started watching myself go through these mental gymnastics to find excuses for not going to gather signatures!
WHY??? I can’t say I was nervous or scared (or even that tired, truth be told). I actually have no idea why all that resistance started showing up within me.
But I do know this: If I had planned to gather signatures WITH someone, no matter how I felt that morning, I would have gotten out of bed and gathered signatures. No drama. No excuses. No mental gymnastics.
But I was going to go alone. So the excuses won. I didn’t go.
Now listen, I’m a self-confident and self-motivated person. Though I have never collected signatures for an initiative before, I have been doing various forms of relational organizing and activism work for decades. And more than that, I COACH people in the Practices for Awakening Leadership!
And then BAM! Even with all my experience I fell into the classic trap laid out for us everywhere we turn in our culture of individualism and isolation: I acted alone.
Or, make that, I had PLANNED to act alone. But then when the time came, I didn’t act AT ALL.
Our EcoFaith Co-Chair Alison has this quote at the bottom of some of her emails: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Well, my version of that quote is this: If you want to go AT ALL, go together. If you want to lay in bed all morning and then feel guilty about it all day, plan to go alone!
Practice #5: ACT TOGETHER: Consciously engage the power of COLLECTIVE action in the service of God’s healing and justice-seeking work for human communities and the whole creation.
Lesson learned! I guess that’s why we call them Practices…because it takes practice to shake the culture of individualism and awaken the power of collective action over and over again!
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