ID Ministry

Thanks to Mary Jacobs at UM News for sharing this Great Idea!

In her post, Ministry Helps People Obtain IDs, Mary Jacobs quotes Jackie Wright, social justice program manager at Foundry UMC in Washington, DC as saying, “You really cannot function as an adult without an ID… You need an ID to get a job, housing and most health care services, to withdraw money from a bank, or to put your children or yourself in school. Not having an ID is a huge problem.” In many places, ‘documentation requirements are also limiting some people’s ability to vote’.

Thousands of people in rural and urban settings, across the state of Minnesota, struggle to obtain the documents that enable them to procure state or federal identification. Navigating the legal, technical, and logistical hurdles, not to mention filling out the requisite forms, can be a significant burden.

Congregations can be a great source of support in this process – not only in the physical/logistical process, but in the emotional, spiritual, and relational challenges that arise: many documentation barriers are the result of adoptions, divorces, poverty, or clerical errors – sometimes that are truly errors and sometimes grounded in racism.

Referrals to Foundry UMC’s ID Ministry come from word of mouth and other established organizations and service providers, such as social workers and healthcare agencies.

Read the full article here.

How might your congregation support individuals in retrieving necessary documentation to enable procuring a state-issued ID?

How might you create a safe space in which people from all walks of life, with all sorts of stories, might share those stories – or discover them – with empathetic listeners and intentional allies present?

Foundry’s ID Ministry name has a double-meaning – both indicative of ‘identification’ documents and the recognition of everyone as bearing the imago dei, the image of God.