Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square

Member Resources

Faith Forward Dallas membership brings participating interfaith clergy together to work for a better Dallas.

Meetings are typically held in the Hall of Thanks-Giving at Thanks-Giving Square

Contact Almas Muscatwalla, Executive Director, at almasmuscatwalla13@gmail.com for additional information.

Faith forward dallas at thanks-giving square
2020 LARGE GROUP MEETING DATES:

Time: 10:00 am to 11:30 am | Venue: Thanks-Giving Square ZOOM

Tuesday, January 14th
Monday, March 16th
Monday, May 18th
Monday, July 13th
Monday, September 21st
Monday, November 16th

2020 LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEETING DATES:

Time: 10:00 am to 11:30 am | Venue: Thanks-Giving Square – ZOOM

Monday, February 24th
Monday, April 6th
Monday, August 10th
Monday, October 5th

NEWS

August 8, 2020

NEWS

In this together: Voices of Hope: 

Rev Ray Jordan  https://vimeo.com/442238042 

Rev. Rebecca Walls: https://vimeo.com/444627317 

 

FEATURED ARTICLE

Swords  into Plowshares
When The Rev. Karen Weldes Fry of Center for Spiritual Living was in her early 20’s, her father gave her a handgun for protection.  On International Day of Peace, September 21, 2019, as a symbol of letting go of fear and choosing love, Karen transformed her gun into something for good – a garden tool.   In partnership with Compassionate DFW, The Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas Arts District Compassion Council, and Dallas Peace and Justice Center, members of the Gun Sense task force of Faith Forward Dallas @ ThanksGiving Square organized a silent Peace Walk that ended at ThanksGiving Square where a representative of RAWtools, James/Natalie Drew, disabled Karen’s gun with a metal chop saw.  

RAWtools is an organization that takes the words of the Hebrew prophet Isaiah literally: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” (Isaiah 2:4) Faith communities can participate in making the world Isaiah declares manifest by becoming a disarming congregation with RAWtools.  To be a disarming congregation, a faith community will need to provide a safe, outdoor space like a parking lot to disable unwanted guns.  You will also need a metal chop saw (cost around $200) and access to electricity to run the saw. RAWtools will contact a representative of the community when they have a gun donor in the area, and the congregation can contact the donor and schedule a time to disable the firearm.  RAWtools will provide diagrams on where to make the required cuts to legally and safely disable the firearm according to federal guidelines set forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).  According to the ATF, no transfer of ownership occurs so laws like background checks or dealer licensing do not apply like they would in a gun buyback programRAWtools also assists in making sure local firearm carry laws are abided by as they often change from city to city and state to state.  Once the firearm is disabled, the gun donor sends the gun parts to RAWtools to be turned into garden tools and other life giving items.

A disarming community can also advocate for more gun donations in addition to the contacts sent by RAWtools.  Most firearms are donated from people who have inherited firearms or have firearms they no longer feel they need to have, yet do not want to return the gun back into the gun market and community AND appreciate the transformation of the firearm.  It is unlikely to receive a gun that has been involved in a crime, however, it is not unlikely to receive a gun that was used to complete suicide.   While the disabling is a healing moment, it is also a moment that can bring pain and trauma to the surface.  Faith communities are encouraged to incorporate a ritual or service of healing and transformation along with the disabling of the gun.  Some gun donors are interested in telling their story before the gun is disabled.  Some are comfortable with a prayer of transformation and blessing as the gun pieces take on new life.  We recommend being open to the donor and offering these and similar options if they are comfortable.  One organization, Lead to Life, has covered the firearm in water before disabling it as a representation of baptism and a commitment to nonviolence and life giving change.  This can also be done after the gun is cut, both to cool the hot metal and to serve as a ritual experience. 

Now is the time to take action to end gun violence.  COVID-19 has led to a record breaking increase in gun sales with an estimated 3 million more guns than usual sold since March. We know that more guns don’t make us safer.  Due to the prevalence of guns in our society, the United States has the highest level of gun violence of any other developed nation. We don’t have to wait on lawmakers. We can take action now by serving as a disarming community and create a world without violence.    


August 3, 2020

In this together: Voices of Hope: Rev Ray Jordan  https://vimeo.com/442238042

EVENTS

August 28, 2020

Sunday, August 30

Road to Liberation – in collaboration with Faith in Texas

https://sites.google.com/faithintx.org/roadtoliberationtoolkit/launch-event

Monday, August 31st at 11:30 am

Together We Dine with Project Unity – sign up here for Private Zoom event for Members & Friends of Faith Forward Dallas

https://www.projectunity.net/why/signature-events/together-we-dine/

Virtual town hall meetings for FY 2020-21 Proposed Budget
A series of budget town hall meetings are scheduled throughout the month of August as Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax presents the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget. These meetings are designed for Dallas residents to weigh in on how their tax dollars are spent and provide valuable guidance for the City Manager and City Council. This year, residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinion virtually. A video with an overview of the proposed budget will be released Aug. 7. 

TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE:  http://www.dallascitynews.net/virtual-town-hall-meetings-fy-2020-21-proposed-budge

Our City Our Future has analyzed the data received from their vision sessions and the results of an on-line budget survey, which includes the voices of 728 Dallas residents. You can the report here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1so_iXqC1YcknYlYalOW4Rnw4IvUDsi0I/view to use for review and understanding the values of our city and its citizens.

Faith Forward Dallas Council District Survey

Faith leaders are invited to complete the survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3DRBV37.  

Monday through Friday: Free community COVID-19 testing 

provided by Project Unity, Catalyst Health Network and Clinical Pathology Labs in partnership with Friendship West Church, St. Luke United Methodist Church, Disciple Central Community Church (DC3), Hamilton Park United Methodist Church and Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church. Visit link for details on testing sites – https://www.projectunity.net/together-we-test/

August 8, 2020

Sunday, August 9, 8:30 – 11:00am
In response to events at Friendship West Baptist Church on August 2, join the caravan and hear  how to engage in a call to action for a new Dallas where life-giving and life-sustaining resources are available to all Dallas residents. https://www.facebook.com/friendshipwest/photos/a.410403555652938/3815037328522860/?__cft__[0]=AZWe_Q_wblxALddrOwyjH_Tp4Ca3Zu2dYwEqUfDtA_FKu1S17NKXGnuKbOK8pFfKOWauMajoVw_klKPRYVc-IQluRslqpo20TxgYDXKut4_YGi9lVoJnYdjg1-wKI1RzN-zD-Vstuu5OJ621atyMTnk4PECQNaDqSbS8X-cUTj4KcA&__tn__=EH-R 

Virtual town hall meetings for FY 2020-21 Proposed Budget
A series of budget town hall meetings are scheduled throughout the month of August as Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax presents the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget. These meetings are designed for Dallas residents to weigh in on how their tax dollars are spent and provide valuable guidance for the City Manager and City Council. This year, residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinion virtually. A video with an overview of the proposed budget will be released Aug. 7.
TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULEhttp://www.dallascitynews.net/virtual-town-hall-meetings-fy-2020-21-proposed-budge

Monday, August 31st at 11:30 am
Together We Dine with Project Unity – sign up here for Private Zoom event for Members & Friends of Faith Forward Dallas
https://www.projectunity.net/why/signature-events/together-we-dine/


August 3, 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 12.00-1.30pm

Hard Conversations – in collaboration with Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance

https://www.mdhadallas.org/hard-conversation/

Who: Randy Mayeux, of 15 Minute Business Books and CitySquare’s Urban Engagement Book Club, will review the book, and Rev. Dr. Michael Waters , Senior Pastor of the Abundant Life AME Church in Dallas, will expound on how the lessons of the book can be applied to our community, here in Dallas.

Sunday, August 23 

Faith in Democracy: Lifting Dallas Voices for Justice – in collaboration with Texas Impact

https://texasimpact.org/dallas-faith-in-democracy-registration/#! 

Sunday, August 30

Road to Liberation – in collaboration with Faith in Texas

https://sites.google.com/faithintx.org/roadtoliberationtoolkit/launch-event

August 13 – 27, 2020
Opportunities to participate in Dallas City Council Town Hall Meetings 

August 11 and 19, 9:00am
Dallas City Council Budget Workshops

ACTIONS

August 8, 2020

ACTIONS

DACA Lives
Call on the U. S. Senate to see justice done for DACA recipients – add your signature now: 

http://fpl.actionkit.com/sign/DACA-SCOTUS-response/?t=7&akid=2223%2E13139%2ETuzq2S

Interfaith Clergy Letter: Integrity First for America
IFA is the civil rights organization behind Sines v. Kessler, the federal lawsuit against the neo-Nazis and white supremacists responsible for the violence in Charlottesville nearly three years ago. 

As we approach the third anniversary of the violence in a few weeks, we are circulating an open letter from Interfaith Clergy and invite clergy members in this community to join. Please feel free to circulate to your network..

The letter highlights the rise of violent white supremacy in recent years and supports our brave plaintiffs as they hold these extremists accountable for the violence they meticulously planned and executed. The letter will go public on the third anniversary of the violence, August 11-12, just a few months before we go to trial in October in Charlottesville.

Needless to say, the last few months have only underscored the urgency of addressing the threat of violent white supremacy. 

Serve Up Gratitude
The Thanks-Giving Foundation and One+One Dallas – First United Methodist Church of Dallas, Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square and others are working together to Serve Up Gratitude to our community treasures…our teachers. We are inviting congregations to consider sponsoring meals! 

Sponsorships:

Elementary school -$750 sponsorship

Middle schools -$1,500 sponsorships

High schools- $2,250 sponsorships. 

Donations can be made through our online form or via check. Further information at: www.thanksgiving.org/serving-up-gratitude/donate/

10 New Directions for Justice in Dallas
For use to educate your community regarding policy changes to be implemented by city and county officials to improve the lives of Black and brown residents and end police violence. (Courtesy of George Mason)

Graphics for the 10 New Directions initiative  (attachment)


August 3, 2020

http://fpl.actionkit.com/sign/DACA-SCOTUS-response/?t=7&akid=2223%2E13139%2ETuzq2S

RESOURCES

August 8, 2020

RESOURCES

HOUSING SOLUTIONS

Housing Policy Updates by the City of Dallas Housing Policy Task Force, July 23, 2020.
(Attachment)

GUN SENSE

Contact deanna@presbypeacefellowship.org 

Find Gun Sense Candidates and plan election day
gunsensevoter.org elections.bradyunited.org

Loaded: A Disarming History of th eSecond Amendment, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2018)

Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Wearing of Violence, Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2019)

MIGRANT STATUS

RACIAL HISTORY AND HEALING 

FFD Conversation with Jerry Hawkins recorded July 13, 2020, including Dallas History: JerryHawkin’sPresentation

Dallas Human Rights map: http://www.humanrightsdallasmaps.com/ 

White privilege illustrated with Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) maps https://wheneftalks.com/2020/06/26/white

The Accommodation, Jim Schutz (Seacaucus: Citadel Press, 1986).
In PDF as the book is out of print: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hqwr25xsi2b488c/The%20Accommodation.pdf?dl=0 

“In Defense of Black Lives Dallas Coalition’s 10 New Directions for Public Safety and Positive Community Change” https://www.dallascounty.org/Assets/uploads/docs/judge-jenkins/10-New-Directions-01-June-2020.pdf

CAHOOTS: Crisis intervention program that is an alternative model to policing:
https://whitebirdclinic.org/services/cahoots/
https://www.npr.org/2020/06/10/874339977/cahoots-how-social-workers-and-police-share-responsibilities-in-eugene-oregon

Conversation with City Leaders presenting the 10 New Directions: https://www.facebook.com/judgejenkins/posts/1322870004572101

“The Human Flourishing Program” with Harvard University https://hfh.fas.harvard.edu

DUES INFORMATION AND LINK

Faith Forward Dallas CLERGY dues are $90 per calendar year.  Faith Forward Dallas FRIENDS do not pay dues, but are welcome to make donations for the use of the group.  Dues and donations can be made at www.thanksgiving.org/index/ffdtgsdues/

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