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Protestants for the Common Good

Details

12.22.2011  
Status active
Type Agency
Denomination N/A
Contact Info 77 W Washington Street, #1124 Chicago, IL 60602 312-223-9544 (phone) 312-223-9540 (fax)

Community Description:

Established  in 1996

Protestants for the Common Good (PCG) is an education and advocacy organization, which calls upon people of faith to relate their discipleship to matters of public policy and community life.  Our Common Good Agenda defines our work as the intersection of faith with the critical issues of political access, economic justice, public education, criminal justice, health care, and the environment. The quest for economic justice stands at the heart of the Common Good Agenda and provides the framework for our planning and practice.

Currently, our education, outreach, and advocacy focus on several specific areas of witness and work:

Tax reform to generate new revenue and increase fairness, stability, and efficiency in state funding for education, human services, and public safety

•    Minimum Wage Campaign to raise the Illinois minimum wage to $10.65 an hour over a 4-year period

Fair Care Coalition to increase the delivery of no- or reduced-cost health care services by nonprofit hospitals for patients without insurance

•    Income supports for those who live in extreme poverty

•    Criminal justice initiatives to reduce re-entry barriers for ex-offenders re­ entering society and sentencing disparities for individuals arrested for drug offenses

•    De-criminalization of prostitution related to sex trafficking

Environmental issues that impact low-income communities disproportionately, e.g., coal-burning power plants.

Located in Chicago, PCG is a state-wide organization, although most of our constituents are located in the northern part of Illinois.  PCG serves individuals and congregations in throughout the City of Chicago along with most suburbs and communities in the Chicago metropolitan  area and the collar counties.  Our mid- and down-state relationships are growing as part of our overall strategy to increase our state-wide capacity on behalf of those who live in poverty or experience  other disadvantages.

As an education and advocacy organization, PCG does not have clients who come to us for direct services, i.e., counseling, tutoring, child care.  Instead, we help people of faith to examine community and public policy issues in the context of their Christian faith.  Through our Common Good News and Faith-in-Action alerts, we are in regular contact with about 3,800 individuals (members of mainline Protestant churches, for the most part) and 400 congregations, along with church-related  and civic organizations. We collaborate with several interfaith and ecumenical advocacy coalitions, but we also work with secular organizations and coalitions on justice issues of mutual concern, adding a faith dimension to the decision-making processes related to important community and policy issues.

Position Description:

Seminary field education interns will work with outreach and policy staff members to expand the capacity of PCG's Advocacy Network, engage laity and clergy in legislative and community advocacy, explore justice and social change ministries, and enjoy a dynamic, collegial work environment. 

Learning/serving opportunity will include projects in three areas:

•    Recruitment of lay and clergy persons to join the Advocacy Network, respond to faith-in-action alerts, participate in coalition meetings and public witness activities

•    Relationship-building meetings with legislators, church leaders, and community residents in key geographic areas of the state

•    Research and writing and/or speaking on PCG policy priorities and legislative initiatives.

Supervisor:

Laura Dean F. Friedrich, Deputy Director of PCG, serves as the site supervisor for seminary interns.

She has supervised a number of seminary field education students at PCG and, previously, at ChildServ, a child welfare and family service agency serving Lake, Cook and DuPage counties.  She understands supervision to be a collegial experience, one in which there is mutual respect and growth.  She gives feedback and guidance and expects to receive the same from students.  A typical supervisory meeting is task-oriented--reviewing work plans, checking progress, and discussing next steps on projects--interwoven with conversations about the practice of ministry and the way in which one's faith informs the work and how the work challenges and nurtures our understanding of pastoral and prophetic leadership in church and community.  She looks forward to the useful insights students will have on PCG's organizational life, and she helps students consider the challenges involved in moving local church laity (and clergy sometimes!) from charity to justice ministries, from personal (private) expressions of faith to public witness.

Directions:

PCG is located in the Chicago Temple building at the corner of Clark and Washington, right across the street from Daley Plaza.

By train:  Take the Metra (stops at 551 ,  591 ) into the Loop.  Get off at the Randolph Street station, go one block south to Washington, and walk approximately 3 blocks to 77 W Washington.  Or, use the Pedway to walk underground (out of the weather!) from the Metra to the Cook County Building located next door to the Temple.

By car:  Take Lake Shore Drive to Randolph. Drive west on Randolph to Clark, turn left and go one block south on Clark to Washington.  Randolph is one way west; Clark one way south, and Washington one way east.

Grant Park (underground)  parking can be accessed from Michigan Avenue.  The North Garage is closer to PCG than the South.   Another garage is located on Washington just east of Wells (two blocks west of PCG's location) with entrances on Washington and Madison.

Note: Driving is not recommended due to the cost of parking in the Loop.