Between 2008 and 2010, our Women Building Bridges for Economic Justice project helped faith congregations in Western Massachusetts reach out to the wider community for cross-class dialogue and mutual aid in an effort to make their congregations more welcoming to low-income people.
“The opportunity to be collaborative around issues of class, etc. from a non-church perspective with ASC has been wonderful – it’s liberated us from the way church does church. Renewal happens when we collaborate beyond our church’s boundaries. WBB has inspired members to connect with others rather than going it alone.”
-Reverend Nada Sellers, , North Congregational Church in Amherst
In the Good Eats project, class-diverse members of the Amherst Survival Center & North Congregational Church learned cooking skills from local chefs and created meals for hungry families.
“Building bridges and healing — that’s exactly what this project did…bridges within the church, with the larger community, between people of different religions, ethnic groups, classes, between churches. Bridge after bridge after bridge after bridge…remarkable.”
-Reverend Sarah Buteux, First Congregational Church in Hadley
This project was made possible with funding from the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts’ “Seeking Common Ground” initiative. The participating United Church of Christ congregations were Amherst South Congregational Church; First Congregational Church, Hadley; Haydenville Congregational Church; and North Congregational Church. The community partner was the Amherst Survival Center. This program created opportunities for members of faith and secular communities to address women’s social and economic stability.