At a time when various religious groups are vying for national attention, a group of congregations has been quietly working together for the good of communities across the country. 26 years ago, Congregations Organizing for Renewal was founded by a Jesuit priest. The goal was simple–get rid of feral dogs in Oakland, California neighborhoods. It sounds like a strange start, but from that point the idea of working as one blossomed. COR is now comprised of 50 religious groups nationwide.
What makes COR different? Though they come from different denominations, they come together to work towards the common good. The group cleans neighborhoods, helps people get affordable housing, and promotes community probjects. They work with politicians for legislative change and work in communities on small projects like removing graffitti.
Those in power have taken notice of COR’s achievements. In 2004, the group was invited to Washington, DC to discuss such issues as affordable housing. In 2005, the 4,500 California delegation met with the Governor’s office on health care.
With Federal and State money dwindling for domestic programs, the role of groups like COR is vital. Without them, many small community clean up projects would never get done. Issues that affect the poor and the voice less would not be heard.