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Celebrating ten years of building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice

Upcoming Events

Please join us for any of these upcoming ESTHER events!

  • To learn more about a particular event, click on its title
  • To see the complete ESTHER calendar, click on 'more' at the bottom right of the listing
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 6:30pm ESTHER Immigration Task Force Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Appleton
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 11:00am Religious Leaders Caucus First United Methodist Church, Neenah
Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 4:30pm ESTHER Leadership Board First Congregational UCC Church, Appleton, Downstairs River Room
Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm ESTHER Leadership Board Retreat Day Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Appleton
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 (All day) People of Faith United for Justice - Madison, WI, April 29 State Capital, Madison, WI

Does the Proposed State Budget Reflect Your Values?

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We who seek to express our faith values in political action understand that the state budget is a moral document. It determines how our shared resources are used. Our state budget's priorities testify clearly to our collective commitment to our values.

  • Do we believe that we ought to provide every citizen with opportunities for a decent life?
  • Do we believe that our criminal justice system ought to be humane and try to rehabilitate?
  • Do we believe that our communities should not exclude people because they are poor or handicapped?

People of Faith United for Justice, Madison Action Day - 2015

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Give Voice to Your Values; Take the ESTHER Bus to Madison on April 29!

Come with us on the bus to Madison on April 29, 2015. We will join people of faith from all over Wisconsin to learn, be inspired, and advocate for justice. We will gather at Bethel Lutheran Church just off the Capitol Square, to hear stirring speeches by Hannah Rosenthal, president of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and Rev. Everett Mitchell, pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, and Community Relations Director for UW-Madison. After educational workshops and lunch, we will march to the Capitol to meet with our legislators and discuss prison reform, driver’s cards for immigrants, and public transit access and equity.

Register Now

Support Team ESTHER in the Human Race

ESTHER will have a team in the Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin's annual Human Race event. The walk itself will be on Saturday, May 2nd.  Our fundraising goal is $5,000— used to support leadership training and community-building that we will do this year.

There are two ways that you can help us meet our goal! First, you can join the team! And second you can help support us financially by visiting our team page and making your pledge: http://humanrace2015.volunteercenter.net/2015/ESTHER

World Interfaith Harmony Week 2015

Interfaith harmony wheelSupporters of interfaith harmony in the Fox Valley are gathering on Thursday, February 5 at 7:00 PM at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah to reflect on the purposes of World Interfaith Harmony Week and to break bread together. All are welcome! Click here to download a flyer for printing and sharing.

Sikh Temple of the Fox Valley Joins ESTHER

Sikh Temple signESTHER welcomes the Sikh Temple of the Fox Valley as a new faith-community member. Sikism is a monotheistic, South Asian religion originating in 15th-16th-century India in the region near the present-day India-Pakistan border. The Menasha-based temple is led by Priest Bhagwant Singh Balli and Dr. Kamaljit Paul, president of the Board of Trustees. Sunday services at the temple are open to everyone (with heads covered, out of respect) and are usually followed by a meal.

Reform Now: Solitary Confinement

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Title screen of solitary confinement videoOn October 1, 2014, members of WISDOM, Wisconsin’s statewide network of faith-based social justice organizations, gathered on the Capitol steps in Madison for an extraordinary event calling attention to the abusive overuse of solitary confinement in Wisconsin’s prisons, including practices that most of the world considers torture. (Click on the image to view Tim Coursen's video of this event.)

ESTHER's 2015 Officers Announced

At the December meeting of ESTHER’s Leadership Board on December 11, officers for 2015 were elected.

  • President - Father Joe Mattern (newly elected): Father Joe has been an active suppporter of ESTHER for many years, especially through his work with immigration and Casa Esther in Omro
  • Vice President - Mamadou Coulibaly (continuing): Mamadou represents the Fox Valley Islamic Society on our board. Both he and the Society are strong supporters of ESTHER.
  • Secretary - Connie Kanitz (newly elected): A long-time supporter of ESTHER, Connie belongs to the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She recently attended Gamaliel's week-long leadership training program.
  • Treasurer - Paul Siket (continuing): Paul is a member of First United Methodist Church, Appleton, and begins his second year on the ESTHER board.

Board members expressed their gratitude to retiring president Penny Robinson, Appleton, and retiring secretary Mary Gage, Menasha, for their two years of dedicated service and effective leadership on behalf of ESTHER.

Tenth Anniversary Banquet a Great Success!

Sr. Helen Prejean speaking at ESTHER's 10th anniversary banquetWhat an evening! More than 300 people (a record attendance) gathered at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton on December 7 to celebrate ESTHER’s ten years of growth and victories. People who had been active in ESTHER for many of those years spoke of our successes in promoting social justice, and Sister Helen Prejean inspired us with the story of her journey of faith and commitment in fighting against the death penalty. Master of Ceremonies Roger Bertschausen shared his 14 favorite things about ESTHER, and Fr. Joseph Mattern and friends dedicated their jazz piece to Sister Helen, who is from New Orleans. Warm ESTHER thanks to all who joined us to mark our first ten years!

Immigration Changes Offer Hope

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We are thankful for the first steps taken by our President to address the broken immigration system. Many families will remain united and find relief from some of their suffering, including those in the Fox Valley, as a result of this policy change.

While many have been discouraged by Congress's failure to act, we find hope in the courageous action taken by President Obama.

Comprehensive reform is still needed, and we continue to look to Congress to bring forward a solution, which a majority of Americans continue to call for.

Watch an except from the announcement here.

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