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Leaders For Justice Training Sponsored by ESTHER and JOSHUA

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En español: content/capacitacion-de-lideres-por-la-justicia-patrocinada-por-esther-y-josue

This is an ideal opportunity for new leaders and for experienced leaders who want to work more effectively.  The training includes:

  • Basic overview of faith-based community organizing
  • Building relationships through one-on-one conversations
  • How to create and strengthen core teams
  • How to hold effective meetings and build strong organizations
  • Issues and how we work together to address issues
  • Planning actions to bring about strong and just communities

Date: August 26-27

Friday: We begin at 5:00 PM with a dinner followed by time for reflection. We continue with the training until 9:00 PM

Saturday: We work from 8:30 AM until 3:30 PM

Place: Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 740 East College Ave, Appleton

Cost: $20 including Meals (dinner on Friday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday)

Languages: You will be able to choose between English and Spanish

Registration: To register, contact Stephanie Gyldenvand by email at or by phone at920-216-0891. In the email, include your full name and your congregation or organization. Also, please let us know if you want to stay with a family on Friday night. Please send a check made out to ESTHER to 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah, WI 54956.


Capacitacion de Lideres por la Justicia Patrocinada por ESTHER y JOSUE

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In English: content/leaders-justice-training-sponsored-esther-and-joshua

Esta es una oportunidad ideal por nuevos lideres asi como lideres experimentados que quieren trabajar mas eficazmente en sus organizaciones y comunidades de fe.  La capacitacion incluye:

  • Ideas basicas de organizacion comunitaria basada en la fe
  • Maneras de construir relaciones por medio de conversaciones cara-cara
  • Maneras de crear y de fortalecer equipos
  • Metodos para manejar reuniones y para construir organizaciones fuertes
  • Problemas y como podemos trabajar juntos para enfrentar las mismas
  • Planeacion de acciones para realizar comunidades justas y fuertes

Fecha: 26-27 Agosto

El viernes: Empezamos a las 5:00 PM con una cena y con tiemp de meditacion. Continuamos hasta las 9:00 PM.

El sabado: Trabajamos desde las 8:30 AM hasta las 3:30 PM

Lugar: Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 740 East College Ave, Appleton

Costo: $20 con comida incluida (la cena del viernes y el desayuno y el almuerzo del sabado.

Idiomas: Usted puede escoger enter espanol y ingles

Registracion: Para registrarse, contacte a Stephanie Gyldenvand por email a o por telefono a 920-216-0891.  En el email ponga su nombre y appellidos y su congregacion o organizacion. Tambien cuentenos si quiere quedarse con una familia la noche del viernes. Por favor, envie un cheque a favor de ESTHER a 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah, WI 54956.

Joint Finance Committee Public Hearing on the WI State Budget

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 New location of Joint Finance Committee Hearing - Neenah!

10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
April 13, 2011
Pickard Auditorium, Neenah High School

Speak out for a just state budget! 

We will all be impacted by the proposed state budget.  Those that will sacrifice the most are those that are the most vulnerable in our midst.  The poor and working low-income families, students, seniors, immigrants, and those in need of health care will see dramatic cuts to service.  At a time where we need a focus on jobs to increase the quality of life, we call for our state legislature to consider first the quality of life for the those with the most to lose. 

If you can’t attend, please consider making a written statement (click here) for us to give to the committee.  To read WISDOM's statement on the budget, click here and visit the website Pray for Justice in Wisconsin.


Click on link above to watch an interview of ESTHER leader Penny Robinson during the Joint Finance Committee hearing in Stevens Point held on April 8th.

Speak Up for Justice at Wisconsin Budget Hearings

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Wisconsin's BudgetLet Your Voice Be Heard

Joint Finance Committee Budget Hearings April 7 in Stevens Point!

Tell the Committee That the Budget Must Support Social Justice!

When: Thursday, April 7 at 10:00 AM – SAVE THIS DATE

Where: The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Lee Dreyfus Center

Read more…

Legislative Action Day Videos Available

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Crowd walking from church to CapitolThree stirring videos from 2011 Legislative Action Day, held in Madison on March 15, are now available on ESTHER's YouTube channel – rousing talks by Rev. Steve Savides from First Congregational U.C.C., Appleton; Rev. Willie Brisco, president of MICAH, Milwaukee's WISDOM affiliate; and ELCA Bishop Bruce Burnside.


More than 400 people, including 35 from ESTHER, participated in the event, which was organized by the Wisconsin Council of Churches, WISDOM, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, and Madison-area Urban Ministries. We were inspired, we learned, we rallied, we marched, and we visited with legislators to ask that our values as people of faith be respected in the shaping of public policy for our state.

WISDOM Statement on Worker Rights, Budget Repair Bill

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WISDOM, the interfaith network of congregation-based justice organizations, calls on Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislature to abandon any plans to undermine or remove the collective bargaining rights of workers.


Our religious traditions speak clearly about the fundamental right of workers in the public and private sectors to be organized into unions which can defend their interests.  We are pleased to see that Methodist Bishop Lee, Catholic Archbishop Listecki, Rabbi Biatch and ELCA Bishop Burnside are among those who have spoken out against the radical policy changes being proposed in the “budget repair” process, which would take away long-established rights from many Wisconsin workers.


ESTHER / JOSHUA Interfaith Communities

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ESTHER, a WISDOM affiliate aims to stop predatory payday lending

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WISDOM Religious Leaders Call on the State of Wisconsin to Rid our State of Predatory Lending

As an organization of people of varied faith traditions, WISDOM believes that the regulation of lending practices in Wisconsin is a moral imperative. All of our faith traditions have a core belief that it is wrong for anyone to profit from the desperation of the most poor and needy on our midst. For example, the prophet Isaiah (3: 13-15) says:
The LORD arises to contend,
         And stands to judge the people.
 The LORD enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people,
         ‘It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
         The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
    ‘What do you mean by crushing My people
         And grinding the face of the poor?’
         Declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
The Predatory Loan industry, often charging in excess of 500% interest on loans to the most economically disadvantaged among us, is clearly guilty of usury. Our own experience has shown us countless examples of needy people – often members of our religious communities – who have thought they were getting short-term help for a specific need, only to find themselves trapped in an endless cycle of interest payments and rollovers, until they have lost everything. 
We believe that it is imperative for the state of Wisconsin to enact serious regulation, which will cap interest rates, limit rollovers, and ensure that individuals will not be crushed by interest and unpayable debt. This is a political and economic issue, to be sure. But, it is a clear moral and religious issue – one that is addressed directly by the Sacred Scriptures and teachings of every one of our religious traditions.
No amount of lobbyists or campaign contributions can erase the clear moral and ethical imperative to protect the needy from the unscrupulous. 
WISDOM is comprised of 10 local congregation-based organizations around the state of Wisconsin. It includes more than 140 congregations, and 17 different religious traditions. WISDOM gathers diverse people to build stronger and more just communities.


ESTHER Area Legislative Contacts 2010

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State Senate

Robert Cowles
Room 319 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Phone:(800) 334-1465
(920) 448-5092

Michael Ellis
Room 7 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: (608) 266-0718
(920) 751-4801

Randy Hopper
Room 108 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: (608) 266-5300

Alan Lasee
Room 130 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Phone:(608) 266-3512
(920) 336-8830

Joe Leibham
Room 5 South
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Phone:(888) 295-8750


State Assembly

Penny Bernard Schaber
Room 412 North
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (608) 266-3070

Gorden Hintz
Room 322 West
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (608) 266-2254
(920) 232-0805

Dean Kaufert
Room 15 North
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (888) 534-0055
(920) 729-0521

Tom Nelson
Room 214 West
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (888) 534-0005
(920) 759-7404

Alvin Ott
Room 323 North
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (888) 534-0003

Roger Roth
Room 316 North
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (608) 266-7500

Richard Spanbauer
Room 121 West
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (888) 534-0053

U.S. Congressional Representatives

Steve Kagen
333 West College Ave
Appleton, WI 54911
Phone: (920) 380-0061

Tom Petri
490 West Rolling Meadows Drive, Suite B
Fond du Lac, WI, 54937
Phone: 800-242-4883

U.S. Senators

Russ Feingold
1600 Aspen Commons
Middleton, WI 53562-4716
Phone: (608) 828-1200

Herb Kohl
14 W. Mifflin St., Suite 207
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 264-5473

Wisconsin Governor

Jim Doyle
PO Box 7863 Madison, WI 53707
Phone: (608) 266-1212



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