It’s not hard to see the great work that CPA is doing. The cooperative has brought hundreds of organizations together. And, together, these organizations have invested nearly $10 million in minority-owned businesses. Together, these organizations have redirected hundreds of thousands of dollars to renewable electricity and away from fossil fuels. Together, these organizations have contracted with facility cleaning companies that pay employees a living wage. But CPA does something else with all this togetherness—perhaps less intentionally—that gets me really excited as a Christian: CPA is radically healing the divisions in the church body.
Team members of CPA Co-op recently had the chance to meet with leaders of Randall Memorial to learn more about their deep roots in Northeast DC as well as their 108 year old roof that was (not surprisingly) leaking and in need of constant repair after a century of use.
Randall Memorial United Methodist Church was founded in June of 1912 in Northeast DC. Standing in their beautiful sanctuary, one cannot help but imagine the thousands of worship services, meals, acts of kindness, choral concerts, assemblies that have taken place under their roof.
Last month CPA Co-op executive director Felipe Witchger hosted a strategy input session on how to breathe new life into a broken economy. Felipe set the stage for the call by sharing CPA Co-op’s success adding value on contract decisions for organizations who work together to tackle ambitious, mission-aligned economic actions. These actions position CPA to help community institutions writ large to think about all of their economic transactions, and integrate their values and mission and purpose into not just their purchasing, but also their real estate and their investing. Felipe brought together representatives from stakeholders across the country: co-op organizing and finance, credit unions and church mutuals, national co-op organizations and new start-ups, to explore this new economy. What follows is a series of highlights from this conversation.