Why should I attend the Nehemiah Action?

Many of you have heard some of us talking about Nehemiah Action. This annual gathering is part of the work of Justice Knox. St. James is part of Justice Know which unites 18 congregations in addressing community problems. We hold house meetings in the fall, select problems to address, research solutions, and then move to our Nehemiah Action where we ask leaders to make commitments to implement solutions.

Where does that name “Nehemiah Action” come from? I am glad you asked. During a time of exile, Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king of Persia. He used this position to help the Hebrews rebuild the walls of Jerusalem so that his people who were still there would have some protection. The book of Nehemiah tells this story. There is more to the story.

In Nehemiah Chapter 5, we hear that the Jewish leaders in Israel were charging high interest on loans given during a time of famine. Farmers were losing their land, and having to sell their children into slavery in order to pay the debts. Nehemiah heard the cries of the people and he responded. Scripture says the Nehemiah got angry (vs. 6) and called together a great assembly (vs. 7) to confront the leaders. The leaders relented and promised to stop their unjust practices.

Justice Knox uses this practice of gathering a great assembly to influence leaders. We do this to demonstrate the power of organized people to bring change. Your presence at the Nehemiah Action helps us exercise people power. Whether you attend in person or online, officials will know how many people are engaged in calling for justice in our city.

To register for our May 3, 2021 Nehemiah Action click HERE.

To learn more about the issues we are addressing click HERE.

Your attendance makes a difference. It lets the leaders who do come to our action know that there is community support and will for changing policies and systems in our community. I am excited about the leadership that is engaging our work and making commitments to change. There are also leaders who have stopped taking our calls, refuse to meet, and tell us that this is not how things are done. Your presence at the Nehemiah Action send the message that we will not stop speaking up for justice. It lets leaders know that we will persist in the ancient practice of organizing people.

Come and join us as continue in this practice that enacts God’s call to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.


Fr. John Mark

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