FAST stands for Faith and Action for Strength Together. It is a congregation-based community organization whose purpose is to train residents from diverse congregations to identify root causes of community problems and take action on these problems. Through FAST, diverse people come together to powerfully address the needs in their own communities.
Currently FAST has forty member congregations and fifteen more are exploring membership. East Lake United Methodist Church is one of the member congregations. As such, there are persons in our congregation who have pledged to be Justice Ministry Network Members which means they will be attending four large meetings a year, they will bring at least three persons to the Nehemiah Action in April, and they will financially support FAST’s work. In addition some of those people work on research committees. Those committees work together to find the root causes of the problems that have been identified when the congregations come together each Fall to choose which issues on which they will work in the coming year. Based on their research, the research committees make recommendations of action solutions to meetings of the FAST’s Board and to meetings with the public officials whose responsibilities include the areas being addressed. The public officials are invited to the Nehemiah Action in April where they are publicly asked if they will support the action found by the research to be solutions.
The issues chosen by the member congregations this year are Education, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice for Youth.
Pastor Jay was elected as the Vice Chair of FAST’s Board for the coming year. Pat Peterson and Lois Rogers-Watson are Board members. They are also leaders of teams of Justice Ministry Network Members as are Judy Keats, Pastor Jay, and Carl and Janet Prueitt. Please feel free to approach any of these persons to ask questions you have about FAST.