JOSHUA is a coalition of faith communities in Brown County dedicated to building and deepening relationships within and among faith communities. It empowers people to work together on issues of justice and community building. JOSHUA builds relationships in the public and private sectors in order to advance issues, which represent our common faith values.
JOSHUA dedicates itself to celebrating and respecting our diversity and our varied faith traditions. While we do not agree on every matter, JOSHUA seeks to unite our members around those faith values of justice on which we do agree and which bring us together. Because our diverse faith traditions tell us to stand up for the poor, the sick, and the marginalized, JOSHUA works to impact public policies that affect those who are most vulnerable. JOSHUA uses the tools of education (helping people to understand how their faith impacts issues affecting their community); advocacy (speaking with a common voice for our values); empowerment (ordinary people learning to effectively participate in issues of justice); and action (moving beyond the walls of our churches to make our presence felt and to transform our community).
JOSHUA membership is by faith community or organization. JOSHUA functions through a Board of Directors with presentation from every member and partner congregation or institutions. In addition to the Board, JOSHUA works through other committees and groups.
Each month pastors and other religious leaders gather at the religious leaders caucus to build relationships, to reflect on matters of faith and community concerns, to have opportunity for prayer, learning and encouragement, and to provide the spiritual foundation for JOSHUA to help shape it.
Issues task forces meet monthly to research, educate and propose impact strategies and actions around issues of community concern, which have been approved by the Board of Directors. Some of these concerns relate to mental health, restorative justice, environmental justice, health, and others.
JOSHUA is based on building relationships and within member congregations there are core teams, which meet monthly to respond to the concerns and passions of their congregations. Core Team members are intentional about meeting one-on-one with people in their congregation and in the public arena, to foster mutual understanding and clarity of purpose. All of the core teams of every member community are invited to meet periodically for large group gatherings.
JOSHUA supports itself through dues paid by congregations, “sustaining members” (individuals), fundraising and grants from foundations. JOSHUA is a 501 (c)3 organization. Charitable contributions to JOSHUA are tax-deductible.
JOSHUA is part of WISDOM, a statewide organization, of more than 150 member congregations. Our nearest WISDOM neighbors are RUTH in Manitowoc and ESTHER in the Fox Valley. Other sister organizations are CUSH in Kenosha, JONAH in Eau Claire, MICAH in Milwaukee, NAOMI in Wausau, RIC in Racine, SOPHIA in Waukesha, Menīkānaehkem on the Menominee Tribe, and MOSES in Madison.
Leadership training is a major component of congregational-based organizing. Members of JOSHUA are eligible for various leadership training opportunities at the local, state and national levels in both English and Spanish.
JOSHUA is non-partisan. JOSHUA does not endorse candidates. We have members from all political parties, and we believe in the need to hold public officials accountable, no matter what party they represent.