JOSHUA (Justice Organization Sharing Hope United for Action)
MISSION JOSHUA builds relationships in the public and private sector to advance issues that align with our core values. JOSHUA inspires and equips people to work together on systemic justice issues in Northeast Wisconsin.
VISION JOSHUA envisions a fair and equitable future where everyone in Northeast Wisconsin is an active participant in building a strong and healthy community.
VALUES JOSHUA’s core values are essential to our vision. Although we are composed of diverse faith-based organizations, we welcome people of all backgrounds. We believe in the Inherent Worth & Dignity of Every Human Being. We believe in Equity, Education, Advocacy, Racial & Social Justice, and Community & Relationship Building.
Current Issue Work is Transformational Justice (legal system reform), Environmental Justice, and Religious Leaders Table.
Crafter and Caring Ministry
The Crafter and Caring ministry serves our congregational and larger communities. The group makes and distributes prayer shawls, makes meals for community members, organizes fellowship events, organizes outreach to our neighborhood elementary and middle schools and raise funds for these projects through donations for hand-crafted items. We typically meet the first Thursday evening of the month September through May.
Candle Making Ministry
From the beginning, the small, lighted candles distributed to Moravians in America were made from beeswax. Beeswax, considered the purest of all animal or vegetable waxes, suggested the purity of Christ. The candle, giving its life as it burned, suggested the sacrifice of the sinless Christ for sinful humanity.
Over time greater emphasis came to be placed upon the candle as representing Christ, the Light of the world and the light shed by the burning candle suggesting our Lord’s command, “Let your light shine”.
Until the end of the nineteenth century, only the children received candles, and this is still the case in some churches. But the innovation of giving candles to the whole congregation has become an accepted and beautiful part of the Christmas Eve vigils in many places. The grownups are permitted to share in the childlike joy of the Savior’s birth, to become children again, if only for a brief moment. When everyone lived within walking distance of the church, the children tried to keep the candle burning until they reached home, where it would be used to light the candles on the Christmas tree.
The Men’s Brotherhood sponsored candle making project makes candles for many of the Moravian churches in North America. Each year, beginning in early fall the group begins making thousands of candles for distribution to churches for Christmas Eve services and other special events. They received orders from congregations throughout the province and even from congregations of other denominations. The revenues generated from the sales of the handmade candles is utilized to support the various ministries of the church. Everyone is invited to share in this wonderful outreach program.
This June we are organizing a trip to the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama to explore the story of racism and its impact today.
Summer 2024 plans are underway for a trip to work alongside our Moravian friends in Jamaica.
Racial Justice Team
Our congregation offers educational, spiritual growth and opportunities to do justice as we work toward God’s justice in our congregation and community. We promote workshops offered through the larger Moravian Church, congregational book discussions, community events, anti-racist youth and children workshops and this June members are embarking on a Mission trip for Racial Justice and Understanding to Memphis, TN and Montgomery, AL. We continue to hold to the faith values lifted up below.
We affirm the covenant we share as Moravians and specifically the words from the Covenant for Christian Living “We will not hate, despise, slander or otherwise injure anyone. We will ever strive to manifest love towards all people,” Par. 29) We have also heard the call of our Moravian community to “be strengthened by faith in Jesus Christ to overcome fear and become informed about racism and it’s impact on all human lives; confess the sin of racism; speak and act in love for all people; and work in every aspect of life to eliminate institutional, systemic, and personal racism.” (Provincial Synod, Moravian Church, Northern Province, 2018)
We acknowledge the sin of racism and barriers to fully living out this covenant. We commit to understanding individual and systemic sins of racism, past and present, and take steps to justice and healing.
Ecumenical Partnership for Housing
On Sunday, May 14th 2023 we officially became a partner congregation with the Ecumenical Partnership for Housing or EPH. EPH has been active in our community for 30 years. EPH is a faith-based organization partnering with 18 congregations in the Green Bay area. EPH provides transitional housing to families moving from homelessness to long term stability. Once a family is supported with immediate need of basic housing EPH companion them with budget counseling, resume building, job searches, educational attainment and other services.
Partnership congregations support EPH and the families with children it serves through prayer, leadership, volunteer help prepping homes to welcome new families and in financial support.
Care for God’s Creation
We worship a God who creates all and strive to answer God’s call to share in creation care. We installed solar panels on the Fellowship Hall roof over 10 years ago to reduce our use of fossil fuels. Our congregational investments are held in socially responsible funds. We also work to compost coffee grounds, replace plastic, rain barrel system for our cemetery grounds, Styrofoam with biodegradable cups and cutlery, and have installed more efficient lighting systems. We support the work of JOSHUA in advocating for sustainable changes in our city. We continue to explore ways be good stewards of God’s creation.