Emily Wirzba: Putting our faith values to work

October 23, 2022

This witness was presented during Sunday worship by Foundry member Emily Wirzba on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

I first moved to Washington DC almost a decade ago, right after graduating college. I came to start a year-long advocacy fellowship, and was eager to get to work addressing climate change, one of the many issues I felt passionate about. I was also eager to find a church home that was committed to addressing social justice issues, and so my parents had sent me to DC with a long list of churches that they thought I should check out. 

My first four Sundays in DC, I tried a different church each week. They were all fine, but the moment I walked into the Foundry sanctuary on that fourth Sunday, I felt immediately at home. The music was moving, the preaching was grounded in social justice and action, and the sanctuary just felt full. There was a strong spirit of community that I immediately sensed, and from that moment on, I knew I had found the place where I wanted to worship, build relationships, and give my time and resources. 

From my first Sunday here, I felt welcomed by those sitting next to me in the pew. And over the years, I’ve found adopted grandparents, looked forward to my weekly hugs, had important conversations about theology and spirituality with my friends forged through a small group, and to this day continue to meet new people through Foundry’s Great Day of Service and other volunteer efforts. 

But beyond the community I’ve forged, I am constantly inspired by the commitment by Foundry to address social justice issues and provide opportunities for all of us to take action to make the world a better place. 

In the past decade, whether through the ending homelessness team, the sacred resistance team, and now the green team, I have had chances to connect my faith with current events and the issues I care most about. When I’ve felt discouraged, angry, or even scared by the many harms happening in our neighborhoods and society, I’ve been so grateful to know that I had the space to come together with others at Foundry – connected by our shared faith values – to grieve, reflect, and then take action. 

And as someone still working on climate change issues professionally, the work Foundry has done to provide a sustainable coffee hour, green our own physical building through things like solar panels and a more energy efficient cooling system, and grow a native plant garden are tangible demonstrations of how Foundry is taking action to be better stewards of Creation.

This attention to growing community and taking action is made possible through our own giving of our time and resources. Making an annual estimate of giving is one important way that we can all participate in the vital work of Foundry, and I hope you’ll join me in making your estimate today. Thank you.