by Rev. Jane Davis
First Unitarian of Albuquerque has an annual event in which members of the congregation share information about groups and activities undertaken by the church. The intent is to remind long term congregants and friends as well as to inform and educate new ones. I am involved in several of these groups and activities, but I was honored that this year to be asked to facilitate the ABQ FaithWorks table. I am delighted to report that we had many great discussions about the amazing work being done by ABQ Celebrates Recovery as well, and several people took down the information on volunteer opportunities.
Many people stopped by the ABQ FaithWorks table asking about the organization and volunteer opportunities. I found myself discussing the history and the work of this organization. The people I spoke with were truly amazed at how this organization started with just a handful of churches wanting to address an issue in our community and how ABQ FaithWorks is now a very effective nonprofit addressing an immense need for housing in our community. As I share about ABQ FaithWorks, I realized how impressed I am with this organization, as well as my gratitude for the opportunity to serve on the board of this organization.
Of course, these discussions brought to mind a success story in which I had an opportunity to engage. There was a young man who was struggling with finding temporary housing as he was waiting to get into a long-term sober living residence. By introducing this young man to ABQ FaithWorks, he was able to get into temporary housing, which started him on a path to success. He is now working and flourishing in a sober living community. It was so wonderful to see this happen, considering that what initially engaged me with Albuquerque FaithWorks is that it intersects with my ministry.
I work with people who are returning citizens - returning to our community from incarceration - and those who are struggling with recovery from addiction. I find that most people do not see the intersectionality between this population and housing insecurity, so I really wanted to be a part of this wonderful organization to be able to address that disparity.
The next portion of this Connections Sunday event at First Unitarian of Albuquerque will be held on-line this Sunday, and I am looking forward to another opportunity to share the story of ABQ FaithWorks and how this amazing interfaith organization sprang from just a few congregations seeing the need for the work and foreseeing the power of faith-based organizations collaborating to address their common social concerns.