The Washington Interfaith Network at St. Mark’s

To receive occasional updates about WIN actions, and to learn of engagement opportunities at St. Mark’s, email win@stmarks.net.

St. Mark’s joined WIN in 2021.

We support WIN with our time, talent, and treasure. This engagement enriches all of us: those at St. Mark’s, those in the larger DC religious/spiritual community, and most important those whom WIN actions affect. We accomplish far more together than we could alone.

WIN accomplished much in the 2021 pandemic year.

We’re now working with WIN to

  • push the city to be more accountable for reducing fossil fuel dependence in buildings,
  • work with the Senior Housing at the Potomac Gardens public housing on Capitol Hill for maintenance attention, and for residents’ rights education and power organizing on a federally funded renovation initiative (RAD), and
  • expand affordable housing opportunities in Ward 3.

This page describes What’s Next for St. Mark’s in WIN and How We Got Here in 2021 and 2020.

More about WIN itself: on Facebook and on the web.

Love Your Neighbor: WIN’s organizing starts with listening to your neighbor to learn what people care about and what their concerns are. And then WIN builds relationships. This is the way WIN supports residents across the city advocating for safety, affordable housing, and to be treated with dignity. It is key to St. Mark’s engagement with WIN.

What’s Next: This Saturday (11/6) – Support Public Housing Needs with residents & WIN ; Right NOW – YES to Green

This Saturday, 12-1:30pm, join WIN and DC Public Housing Authority residents in Ward 7 at the Benning Terrace football field (17 mins from St. Mark’s.)The new DC Housing Authority (DCHA) Director, Brenda Donald, has agreed to meet with DCHA residents and WIN for an onsite, outdoor and physically distanced action hosted by Benning Terrace residents.  We will ask her for a commitment!

As part of a WIN city-wide effort, St. Mark’s has been working alongside residents of Senior and Family Housing pushing for resident-led redevelopment without displacement, and to address long neglected maintenance issues like mold and pest control.

Your physical presence sends a powerful message to residents that they are not alone in this fight and that the faith community is behind them. Your presence also sends a direct message to the Director and other DC officials that voters are watching and will not stand by while residents’ basic rights to safe and healthy housing are ignored.

Join us Saturday Nov. 6th from 12pm- 1:30pm at the Benning Terrace Community Football Field (641 46th St. SE 20019)  If you can’t make it in-person, join and “like” the Facebook stream.

Sign-up for in-person event or Facebook here: bit.ly/WINatBenning  Contact win@stmarks.net, or Kit Arrington (kit@tulsablue.com) with questions, or to carpool!

Let’s Act to support Public Housing Needs and show the residents that St. Mark’s is with them!

Right NOW: Sign on to say YES to Green Legislation

The Sierra Club and WIN are collecting signatures calling for legislation that requires that all newly constructed and substantially renovated DC government buildings be free of inefficient and unhealthy fossil fuels. Please take a moment to add your name: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepjq3AbnJfukx2kb2-n-kaIVbtvgaI2V5UUAvZsn_H0gzznw/viewform

We Got Here by Showing Up

The St. Mark’s Team

St. Mark’s work in WIN is coordinated by Kit Arrington, Edna Boone, Josie Jordan, Betsy Agle, Steve Dalzell,and Christoph Berendes.

64 St. Mark’s parishioners have joined the parish WIN email list to stay informed about ways to take action and learn more. Many have stepped into “boots on the ground” participation and many have turned out as “butts in seats” – showing up when asked because numbers matter – online and now in-person!

Contact win@stmarks.net to join the email list or for more information.

2021 St. Mark’s/WIN Overview

Throughout the year, in spite of the pandemic, St. Mark’s parishioners responded to WIN’s calls for support, time after time, and gave WIN the numbers it needs to have an impact:

  • Temple Courts Affordable Housing Groundbreaking on Zoom!
  • PEPCO Rate Increase Public Hearing: WIN turnout resulted in direct meetings w/PEPCO resulting in collaborations on higher wages; DC jobs pipeline & training
  • WIN December End-of-Year Meeting: 150 total – 10% St. Mark’s!
  • WIN @ St. Mark’s meeting – Celebrating the WIN inspired Epiphany Sermon Series: Hosted 13 folk from 5 congregations to learn about Public Housing; Public Safety; Green Housing Campaign; Pepco & Jobs; Reservation 13
  • Bringing Both Sides of the River Together at Reservation 13: 350 Online and in-person – 10% St. Mark’s + 4 speakers from St. Mark’s!
  • DMPED (Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development): Developer Proposals for Reservation 13
    • 500 Registered!
    • 350 Signed On!
    • 65 in City Webex – 5 asking questions
    • Washington Post Interview | WUSA story
  • St. Mark’s WIN Update
    • Internal September 21st event to update interested parishioners
    • 20 in attendance with five small group breakouts
  • WIN District-wide event

    • With Meetings at 4 locations across the city + ZOOM (First Rock Baptist Church in Ward 7 across from Benning Terrace; Representatives from 9 congregations Meeting in the RFK Parking Lot; a NOMA gathering & Ft. Reno in Ward 3); WIN leaders gathered to connect with each other and to learn about upcoming actions on Public Housing; creating Affordable Housing and Black Home Ownership opportunities; and Congregation-level opportunities for greening through retrofitting with BlocPower group.
  • Benning Terrace Public Housing Event with the new DC Housing Authority Director, Brenda Donald

    • St. Mark’s families were encouraged to participate
    • 140 people in-person + 50 on Facebook Streaming (includes St. Mark’s participation)
  • Building Black Equity through Home Ownership Policy Matters – Nov 16

  • Through our work in classes and on Research teams, parishioners learned how to build relational power and gained insight about the issues facing our neighbors:
    • Building Your Dream Team: Building people power in your organization through the skills of relational organizing
    • Get into the Driver’s Seat of Organizing: Public Lands & Housing Affordability
    • Race, Power, and Black Wealth: An educational session presented by Rev. Wm H. Lamar, Pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
    • Fighting Public Housing Displacement during Redevelopment (RAD) – Rental Assistance Demonstration – an alternative federal funding program for public housing
    • WIN Public Safety Teach-IN – A New Approach: Festival Center & members of WIN invite religious leaders in D.C. to join in conversation about the work ahead
    • Imagining a Just Green Future Workshop & WIN Environmental Action: WIN and members of the Sierra Club “Methane Gas: A Public Health Crisis Within a Climate Crisis

Some Recent Actions

June 11: RESERVATION 13 – WIN’s response to Developer Proposals

WIN has had a team of leaders analyze the proposals and the affordability numbers based upon WIN’s standards — which call for ⅓ below 30% MFI (Median Family Income, a similar measure to Area Median Income which the District uses in its official documents), ⅓ below 60% MFI and based upon the city’s requirement of ⅓ below 60% MFI and ⅓ below 120% MFI.

Not one of the proposals meets the standards of affordability set out by the city in the RFP, let alone the standards that WIN is calling for.

We know these standards are not just aspirational. This type of project is possible, especially on public land. As you know, WIN worked to ensure that the housing at NW1 (Temple Courts) will be ⅓ below 30% MFI and ⅓ below 60% MFI in perpetuity. Let’s do it again!

This is a key opportunity to maximize the use of the District’s public land. We are telling DMPED to ask each development team to go back to their proposals and increase the levels of affordability, especially the numbers of units below 30% MFI and 60% MFI, and ensure that each team offers opportunities for mixed income homeownership.

April 24 Action on Reservation 13
Photos of parishioners Kit Arrington, Ruth Roman, Todd Trafford, and Edna Boone speaking at the April 24 Action, with Betsy Agle and others in the audience.

St. Mark’s participation in WIN’s Reservation 13 Action, April 24

The Action took place on Saturday, 24 April at 10am. About 70 WIN members were onsite, with more than 200 online via Zoom, to show developers that we stand strong for our demands.

See more video and photos from the Action on Twitter.

Epiphany Sermon Series: “Adding Voices: Acts of Radical Love that Change the World”

The Reverends Michele Morgan, Cindy Dopp, Patricia Catalano, Justice Schunior, and Joe Hubbard

Watch these sermons from January and February below. Videos are cued to the beginning of the sermon.

Jan. 10: Intro, What Does Lending Your Voice Mean?- Michele

Jan. 17: Listening to the change – Cindy

Jan. 24: Seeing the world anew – Justi

Jan. 31: Teaching and learning – Joe

Feb. 7: In it for the long haul – Patricia

Feb. 14: Of change and being changed – Michele
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkjX_2nBVI0#t=18m23s

Vestry votes to join WIN and contribute dues for 2021

At its December 21, 2020 meeting, the St. Mark’s vestry passed a motion to contribute $3000 as 2021 membership dues to WIN.

The Vestry’s commitment recognizes and supports the many St. Mark’s parishioners who are ready to balance inward reflection with concrete action for social justice in the city. Over two years, our Realm email group has grown to 50 parishioners, driving great turnout and energy at WIN Zoom events in November and December. Membership is endorsed by the Outreach Board and the Rector and approved by the Finance Committee.

We are very excited to join with 42 other churches, mosques, synagogues and community organizations to address community issues and hold elected and corporate officials accountable in Washington, DC.

St. Mark’s stands up at WIN Action meeting (12/8/20)

Eighteen parishioners attended the December 8 WIN Action meeting (total 150+ attendees) to hear about WIN’s 2020 accomplishments and plans for 2021. St. Mark’s received a special shout-out for being one of the three top participants, along with Adas Israel Metropolitan AME. Fifteen hardy souls joined the St. Mark’s debrief immediately after.

Parishioner comments from the debrief:

Diverse group, involvement of lots of different churches, list of organizational affiliations, energy, discussion of power, success, meeting efficiency – well-organized and lots of information conveyed, focus and intensity, mentioning Pepco, the Mayor, other officials, MANY members from across the city (and good friendships among them), “turning the world upside down” the prayer at the end brought tears to my eyes, a yearning, Goal-driven, a plan for a new project (i.e., Leadership Development course in 2021), diversity of people from the city, success of organized power, so many different churches participate, the accomplishments were well explained, feels so good to be a part of this group.

2020. It’s been a year of awakening at St. Mark’s, as it has across DC and across the country. Through worship, study, and action in the streets, parishioners have deepened their awareness and their concern regarding systemic racism and other social justice issues and to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement. A growing number of us are working with the Washington Interfaith Network to turn our concerns into the concrete action so urgently needed.

WIN in DC. For 24 years, the Washington Interfaith Network has made a difference in DC. Just in 2020, it helped to get over $150 million for public housing, community-based safety, and Immigrant Justice Legal Services.

WIN accomplishes its goals by working from the ground up through one-on-one conversations in communities across the city through religious institutions, community organizations, and labor unions. This work is sustained by thousands of individuals across WIN member institutions and funds that support WIN staff and training for WIN members.

More on WIN’s 2020 accomplishments.

Co-founder in 1996. St. Mark’s was a founding member of WIN in 1996, providing strong participation and funding. Since 2018, we’re again moving into a stronger and deeper relationship with WIN. Our participation has grown from six parishioners two years ago to 18 this spring to 44 after a Zoom meeting with WIN early in November. At that meeting, parishioners expressed strong interest in the affordable housing planned for Reservation 13. They are interested in ensuring good grocery store options, sustainable development with green space and river access, and accountability for the DC government and developers for promises made.


Diane Fujino, professor of Asian American studies at UC Santa Barbara and author of Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama:

My people’s liberation is integrally linked to your people’s liberation. I cannot be free if you’re not free. We need to think about how things impact the most vulnerable among us, right, and work out of those best interests.