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POWER Local Organizing Committee

The Mission, Purpose, and Work of the Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields POWER Interfaith Local Organizing Committee (LOC)

What is POWER Interfaith?

The POWER Interfaith organization (People Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild) is a grassroots, multiracial, multi-faith network with over 50 Pennsylvania congregations committed to racial and economic justice to bring about systemic justice for those closest to economic pain in Philadelphia, Southeastern, and Central Pennsylvania. To achieve this commitment, POWER Interfaith is organized into five teams: Economic Dignity, Education Justice, Civic Engagement, Climate Justice and Jobs, and Live Free (justice reform).

What is St. Martin’s relationship to POWER Interfaith?

St. Martin's is a congregational member of POWER Interfaith. As a congregational member of POWER, St. Martin’s established a Local Organizing Committee (LOC). The LOC is a team within St. Martin’s to organize the congregation to work on one or more of POWER’s campaigns. St. Martin’s LOC meets monthly to foster relationships between the strategy teams of POWER Interfaith and St. Martin’s members. LOC members seek ways to contribute their time, talents, and gifts toward St. Martin’s ongoing work of inclusion, transformation, and public witness aimed at racial justice. St. Martin’s also financially supports POWER Interfaith by paying annual dues.

What is the mission of our LOC?

The LOC uses relational organizing to engage the St. Martin’s community to work towards racial and economic justice on a livable planet. The LOC and POWER Interfaith missions are aligned.

What is the purpose of our LOC?

Specifically, the LOC is focused on four goals:

  • to connect, support, and empower parishioners who want to join a social justice campaign.

  • to educate parishioners about the successes of POWER's operating model and campaigns.

  • to mobilize the wider congregation for concrete actions to achieve St. Martin’s aspirational values.

  • to discern and execute actions our congregation can undertake toward systemic justice for all.

What are recent examples of the LOC’s work and successes with POWER Interfaith?

POWER Interfaith is teaching LOC members the nuts and bolts of community organizing to help bring about changes our faith guides us towards. POWER Interfaith defines this model as helping “community leaders with the skills needed to reach out into their neighborhoods, identify common concerns, research possible solutions, and work with public officials and private businesses to put those solutions into effect."

  • The LOC worked with POWER’s Civic Engagement Committee to set up phone banks and register people to vote. Many St. Martin’s parishioners participated in these endeavors.

  • The LOC worked with POWER’s Education Equity Team’s campaign to achieve fair funding by the Commonwealth of PA for the Philadelphia School District.

  • The LOC members and parishioners engaged in rallies, demonstrations and signed petitions throughout the state in support of this campaign. The LOC partnered with a local community school to witness the results of inadequate financial support for public school students of color. The campaign successfully produced a court decision that mandated fair funding of schools in the Philadelphia School District.

  • The LOC worked with POWER’s Climate Justice and Jobs Team’s campaign to ensure that the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) transitions from the use of fossil fuels to a clean energy alternative and create clean energy jobs. The LOC signed petitions and letters to Philadelphia City Council and the Philadelphia Gas Commission requesting that PGW be funded to explore clean energy pilot programs. LOC members and parishioners attended budget hearings and presented testimony in support of this request. The campaign successfully produced the result that PGW was funded with sufficient money to conduct clean energy programs.

  • The LOC’s team leader (Reverend Carol Duncan) joined POWER’s statewide “Freedom Express Bus Tour.” The tour stopped throughout PA and promoted “a faithful and inclusive vision for building a beloved community that is rooted in inclusivity, diversity, justice, and creation and inspire people of faith to denounce White Christian Nationalism.” This effort tied in with St. Martin’s “Under God” discussion by Dr. Philip Gorski on the rise of Christian Nationalism and what our faith guides us to do in response.

How can I get involved in the work of the LOC and POWER Interfaith?

POWER Interfaith local organizing committee’s current leadership is the Reverend Carol Duncan at St. Martin’s ( and Matthew Arlyck ( at POWER Interfaith. Contact Reverend Carol, Matthew, or speak to any St. Martin’s POWER Interfaith LOC member to learn more.

POWER Local Organizing Committee
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