What is Fast?
St. John’s is part of an interfaith social justice network of 38 congregations in Pinellas County and one of the founding parishes celebrating 10 years of community service. FAST looks for ways for faith communities to collaborate to promote justice, health and wholeness in this county. Our impact in addressing issues comes from organizing concerned voices of everyday people. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his followers modeled this process during the civil rights movement.
How Does FAST Work?
Following a listening process (listening to concerns in neighborhoods), each fall the congregations determine at our Fall Assembly the issues to address in the upcoming year. For example, in 2012 FAST addressed:
Drugs/Crime: Re-institution of rehabilitation program in jails so that people will have tools to re-enter society with job and life skills
Reading program in elementary schools that will reverse the dropout rate in high schools.
After the decision in the fall, many people from the congregations comprised research teams and contact local officials directly involved in the issue, well-known field researchers across the country, and other communities who have addressed this problem.
After comprehensive research, FAST determines the specific aspect of an issue to address. FAST not only does research, it offers realistic solutions. In the spring FAST invites local officials to a Nehemiah Action of between 2500-3000 people and asks the officials to make commitments in addressing specific problems. FAST monitors actions related to the commitments. Please enjoy the video presentation of past victories below.
2017 CALENDAR OF F.A.S.T. EVENTS
Rally: April 3rd, 2017, St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Largo
Network members will hear proposed solutions to take to our public officials and will together prepare for our Nehemiah Action.
Nehemiah Action: April 24th @ 7pm, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg
Each Network Member will bring at least three people with them to show our “people power” as we work to get solutions implemented by our public officials, 3000 will gather together to do the work of God.
Celebration: May 15th @ 7pm, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in St. Petersburg
Network Members will gather together to celebrate our accomplishments, hear up-dates on the “behind the scenes” work leading up to the action, and will be invited to invest financially in the work of justice. Desserts and drinks will be provided.
Fall House Visits begin 2017:
This fall we will conduct house meetings in our congregations and throughout the community to build relationships, strengthen our Justice Ministry Networks and discuss which community concerns we should work together on in 2018.