As a progressive Catholic young adult, I am grateful that there’s an organization like Call To Action where I can be part of building a Catholic community that incarnates God’s expansive and inclusive love in the world. Call To Action has fostered relationships and communities that continue to inspire, support, and encourage me, as well as give me hope.
In the six years that I have been a member of CTA, I have had the opportunity to get to know many aspects of our organization as a member of the anti-racism team, the conference planning team, the 20/30 group, and as chapter liaison. Every year, I work with CTA members from across the country as we discern how we are called to be a prophetic voice within our Catholic community and society– how we are called to respond to the signs of the times. I am proud that this discernment has led to increased programs, educational opportunities, and advocacy to dismantle the intersecting oppressions of racism, sexism, and homophobia both within the institutional church and in the wider society.
One way that I’m excited to see Call To Action carry out that vision is through the new 20/30 Project for Mentoring and Leadership. This project will bring together young visionaries and change-makers from across the country to support and inspire one another as they discern how their faith calls them to social justice. Each Young Leader will be paired with a mentor who will support them as they implement a project in their home communities that puts their faith into justice. Our young leaders will then travel to San Antonio for Call To Action’s National Conference on November 9-11, 2018 to share what they learned with our wider community.
When I first heard about the 20/30 program, I was reminded of all of the opportunities and support that I have had over the years to build my own skills and experience as a person of faith called to live a life of justice. I happily applied to be a mentor for this program in order to share my skills, knowledge, and passion with another young adult– and to encourage them in the ways that I, too, have been encouraged. From personal experience, I know that it is so much easier to live into who God calls you to be when you have a supportive community around you.
Young Adults are not the “future” of the church– we are the living, breathing church here and now! Call To Action’s viability now and into the future is contingent on our ability to engage with these young activists, leaders and prophets who are guiding the church today. That’s why I’m asking you to invest in Call To Action’s future by making a donation in honor of this groundbreaking program.
Will you join us by making a gift to our Annual Appeal? Your donation will help us empower and energize a new generation of Catholic social justice leaders.
Your donation will support the 20/30 Project for Mentoring and Leadership, as well as Call To Action’s other ongoing projects, such as:
- The creation of adaptable, supportive and efficient Chapter Tools and Templates, which enable CTA Chapters to quickly respond to justice issues in their local areas.
- Our White Supremacy and Catholicism Discussions where Call To Action members and others investigate how white supremacy and Catholicism are specifically linked, and how Catholics can work together to dismantle racism.
- An ongoing commitment to Lay Engagement, Church Worker Justice, Racial Justice, Women’s Equality, and LGBTQ Justice.
This is the kind of hope and transformation that you are enabling with your donation to CTA. We’re all in this together. In order to keep responding to God’s invitation for transformation in the world, we all need to do our part to love and support each other.
Thank you for your support and commitment to empowering today’s young leaders as they pave the way for Call To Action’s tomorrow.
Jennifer Reyes Lay lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband Roger and their dog Bella. She is a member of the CTA Anti-Racism Team and CTA 20/30 cohort. She cares deeply about the intersection of religion and racism, and is grateful for the opportunity to continue learning and growing as a second year seminary student at Eden Theological Seminary. Jennifer serves as Administrator for the Office of Presiding Bishop for the Ecumenical Catholic Communion.