Missouri Faith Voices engages the power of the faith community to shape public policy, debate, and dialogue on behalf of vulnerable people in our state. This statewide grassroots collaborative was born from the Missouri Interreligious Roundtable, a convening of sixty clergy and 200 faith community leaders who united in response to the growing health care access crisis in Missouri.
Through the Roundtable’s advocacy in 2009 – in partnership with Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance, Missouri Budget Project, and Partnership for Children – tens of thousands of children had the opportunity to gain health insurance through presumptive eligibility legislation and a streamlined enrollment process. In 2011, the Interreligious Roundtable was formalized as Missouri Faith Voices, a 501c3 organization with member groups such as Communities Creating Opportunity in Kansas City (100 participating congregations), clergy tables in Columbia and Springfield (20 participating congregations), and clusters of congregations in cities such as Marceline, St. Joseph, Kirksville, Joplin, and Clinton. “The ministers,” as elected officials have begun to call them, were a recognized force in the State Capitol.
Missouri Faith Voices has developed as a strong grassroots leader in Missouri.
We have led state efforts over the last 4 years to gain Medicaid Expansion.
While that issue has caused gridlock due to partisan politics at the State level we have continued to raise the moral argument and to maintain powerful public and prophetic witness. Our work on predatory lending reform has gained national attention. Our leadership and partnership with the PICO National Network in Ferguson has paved the way for more advocacy work in the area of criminal justice.
Our clergy caucuses and public assemblies have grown. We recently launched a clergy caucus in St. Louis and look forward to the development of a chapter there.
Our Columbia, Jefferson City and Springfield, MO chapters are growing and are vital in their communities.