Swedenborgians in Action Against Racism
Hi everyone. This newsletter is for Swedenborgians (and friends) who want to learn how to support anti-racism. But we are not going to pretend that we are experts here; we are learning alongside you. There are lots of activists and educators who have been working in the anti-racism field for a long time. Our plan (in the words of Meera Mohan-Graham) is to Absorb and Amplify those voices, and follow their lead. So, the items in this newsletter are mostly links and excerpts pointing you towards other resources.

As we all strive to learn, change, and act together, we invite you join the Manifold Angels Facebook group for connection throughout the journey. The work is just beginning. 

This is an (approximately) bi-weekly newsletter. One issue per month will be a deep dive into a particular issue (you can find links to these at the end of the newsletter). The alternating issues will be more personal/devotional, aiming to help build stamina and commitment for the ongoing work for racial justice. Thanks for joining us!
Interfaith Advocacy & the FCNL

Are you interested in working to make government laws and policies more just? How can a faith perspective inform and make advocacy efforts more powerful?  Alicia McBride of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) addressed these questions and more in her workshop titled Interfaith Advocacy 101, the most recent installment of The Spirit in Action series. She gave some background on Quaker approaches to advocacy, (which led Friends to found FCNL as the first registered religious lobby in Washington, DC almost 80 years ago), discussed where lobbying fits into the social justice ecosystem, and shared stories on the impact of engaging members of Congress from a faith perspective.  


The way Quakers worship and express their beliefs varies widely. Yet Quakers are connected by a belief in the ability of every person to directly connect with God. Quakers believe that there is a divine spark, sometimes called an inner light, within each person. Values of peace, simplicity, equality, and integrity flow out of this core belief. While Quakers’ personal relationship to God impacts their spirituality, this sense of continuing divine revelation also affects their actions. 

The Friends Committee on National Legislation works to embody this connection between faith and action, between the prophetic and the pragmatic. FCNL is a non-partisan organization, willing to converse with offices that hold an array of policy stances, because of that belief that everyone has God within and that sense of the divine can be spoken to. While this approach arises from Friends’ faith experience, it connects with people from many traditions and backgrounds. FCNL works closely in inter-faith coalitions, lobbying, organizing, and sharing information around the common goal of advancing more just and equitable federal laws. 

FCNL’s style of lobbying centers around listening, staying in relationship for the long haul, and finding points of connection. Their lobby visits focus on storytelling and relationship-building. The power of constituents telling their elected representative their story about why an issue matters to them is unmatched. In addition, FCNL never starts a lobby visit without finding something, however small, to thank the member of Congress for. This helps build relationships, sets a positive tone, and makes space to connect over stories, faith, and the issue at hand. 

Advocacy is, at its core, a matter of faith. As former Rep. Keith Ellison told youth advocates at FCNL’s young adult conference in 2017, “the results aren’t up to us, but the fight is up to us… I don’t care about the odds; I care about what’s right.” Even when the odds are long, it remains an act of faith and belief in a better world to be persistent in advocating for what one believes. Doing that work with others who share a faith perspective makes this work even more powerful. And by taking action, we can help set in motion more than we can imagine or predict. 

For more information on Alicia’s workshop, FCNL’s work, or faith-based lobbying, contact 


During a time when social justice issues and activism can feel very polarizing, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how we can be diverse, inclusive, and take a stance all at the same time. Alicia shared some additional resources that touch on utilizing moral reframing and moral foundations as techniques that are helpful both when lobbying and when talking with others who do not see an issue the same way you do.

Moral reframing involves considering the moral foundations (“five primary areas of concern—five moral foundations—that form the basis of our moral judgments” as human beings), figuring out which values you have in common, and then basically speaking the language of the person who holds viewpoints different than yours. An important mind(and heart)set in being able to successfully connect with others who seem to be on the other side of an issue is focusing on “that of God” present in everyone, a fundamental component of Quaker theology.

Read F/friends in Unlikely Places: Engaging with Those Who Don't Agree with You to learn more about the Quaker way of lobbying and making a difference.


We seek a world free of war and the threat of war.

We seek a society with equity and justice for all.

We seek a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled.

We seek an earth restored.


The World We Seek: Statement of Legislative Policy “This statement of policy embodies our convictions and provides the foundation for our work. It derives from careful discernment by Friends throughout the nation who have identified the fundamental vision that underlies our legislative actions.”


Session Three: Lobby Training & How to Engage Congress (led by the Friends Committee on National Legislation)

Monday March 28th, 7:30-9pm EST on Zoom

  • Standard lobby training, how to engage your member of Congress
  • A short briefing on a bipartisan piece of legislation, as an example

Register here:
or contact Rev. Shada Sullivan at

Tongue of God, keep on speaking,
so that the peoples of the earth
may speak your language to each other
and all may hear you in their own.

Speak peace where nations meet,
justice where ideas clash,
mercy where power reigns,
healing where minds and bodies hurt,
and love where churches seek your unity,
and wherever else Babel drowns out the sound of Pentecost.

--Graham Cook

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Police Brutality
Intersectionality and LGBTQ Rights
White Privilege/White Fragility
Voting Rights and Voter Supression
Indigenous Rights
Racism in Education
Racism in Healthcare

Images of God

Anti-Racism Resources for Kids
Black History Month
Intersectional Feminism/Anti-Asian Racism
Environmental Racism
Critical Race Theory
Immigration Rights and Xenophobia
Restorative Justice
Civic Engagement

Just a note: the various viewpoints included in these newsletters (either by authors of content or the organizations they represent) do not necessarily represent the viewpoint or position of the Swedenborgian Church of North America (SCNA). The editors present them in the spirit of learning and reflection. 

(Editors: Rev. Shada Sullivan and Lori Gayheart)

Want to be added to this email list? Send your email to

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.