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Building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice since 2004

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.

Sister Helen Prejean on How to Pronounce Her Name

Sister Helen Prejean, the keynote speaker at ESTHER's Tenth Anniversary Banquet on December 7, has a sense of humor!

Rather than listen to endless mispronunciations of her last name, the author of "Dead Man Walking" has taken matters into her own hands and recorded a video in which she clarifies the matter.

We hope you enjoy it!

Tickets to the ESTHER banquet, where you can meet and hear Sister Helen first-hand, are available online here.

10th Annual ESTHER Banquet Featuring Sr. Helen Prejean

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Join us as we celebrate a Decade of Justice at ESTHER's 10th annual banquet!

Sunday, December 7th - 5:00 PM

Radisson Paper Valley (333 W College Ave), Appleton

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online here

We are very excited to have Sister Helen Prejean as the keynote speaker for our gathering!  Nobel Peace Prize nominee, most prominently known as the author of the book Dead Man Walking, also adapted into a movie and opera. She is steadfast in her fight for fair treatment of those incarcerated and her stance against the death penalty. Sr. Helen sparks the national dialogue on capital punishment and compassionate treatment of prisoners. She engages the faith community to take action.

Meal options include pistachio crusted mahi mahi, roasted sirloin, and vegetable stir fry (vegan/gluten-free).

Download a copy of the flyer for printing here.


Make poverty a priority when you vote!

torn worn shoesPeople of faith called to respond to the scandal of poverty. Sign the letter!

About 60 faith leaders recently participated in the ESTHER-sponsored Poverty Summit and were shocked to learn that in Wisconsin the fastest growing and largest group of poor are children. One in ten of us lives in poverty, according to a presentation by Ken Taylor of Wisconsin Council on Children and Families and Robert Kraig of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

ESTHER calls upon all people to read and sign a letter composed by 100 Wisconsin faith leaders: Faithful Citizenship. Read Faithful Citizenship here. For instructions on how to add your signature, send email to You'll receive an auto-reply with a link and instructions.

Calling for a fairer balance for local roads and transit options

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Move to a Better Balance for Wisconsin’s Transportation Needs

Community Presentation in the Fox Valley

Presented by the Move Wisconsin Alliance

Thursday, October 16, 5:00 PM

Thompson Community Center

  (820 W College Ave, Appleton)


A comprehensive, well-maintained transportation system is vital to our state and our local economies.  To thrive and grow, the Fox Cities and the surrounding communities need good local roads, efficient transit service, and safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists.  But state funding for local transportation needs has been declining for years and has resulted in deteriorating infrastructure, inadequate maintenance, and transit service cuts in many Wisconsin communities.

The Move Wisconsin presentation will explore the challenges we face, delve into funding issues, and offer thoughts on better balancing Wisconsin’s transportation priorities.

Come join us for a lively discussion about Wisconsin’s transportation future. Free and open to all.

Poverty Summit for the Fox Valley: September 23rd, 2:00-4:30 PM at St. John UCC in Appleton

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Please join us!

Greater Fox Valley Poverty Summit especially for Faith Leaders, Ministry Leaders, and People of Faith


When: Tuesday, September 23rd

Time: 2:00-4:30

Where: St. John UCC, Appleton (1130 W Marquette St.)


Join us for an afternoon of learning and sharing as we grapple with:

  • What poverty looks like in Wisconsin and in the Fox Valley region?
  • What is our distinctive voice as people of faith in the public square?
  • How can we make a difference in alleviating poverty?


To RSVP, email us at or call 920-843-8083.

Click here to download a printable flyer.


Public Hearing & Candidate Forum on Prison Reform

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Inmate in a cellTell your legislators what you think! ESTHER’s Treatment Instead of Prison (TIP) task force is sponsoring a candidate forum and public hearing on Sept. 23 in Neenah. At the last forum, legislators came together for true dialogue around the table. The public gets to hear and better understand legislators’ positions on issues of prison reform. If you have a question or story to share, this is your chance!

Help spread the word; download and share the flyer here (PDF;1.6 meg)

Fox Valley Interfaith Gathering Set for September 21, 2014

Audience listening to speaker at Interfaith GatheringFox Valley Islamic Society Interfaith Gathering

103 Kappell Drive, Neenah

Sunday, September 21, 2014

3:00pm Program, 5:30pm Dinner


Once again the Fox Valley Islamic Society is inviting all churches, synagogues and people of faith in the Fox Valley to their Annual Interfaith Gathering at their mosque (103 Kappell Drive, Neenah). The meeting will gather over 200 people of faith in the Fox Valley to hear speakers talk about Establishing Peace based on Justice and Fairness from the perspective of various faith leaders in our community. September 21 is also the 30th anniversary of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace—What better way to demonstrate our striving for peace than this interfaith dialogue?

After the speakers and table discussions, our hosts have invited all to eat a special meal together. For many years this special event gathers people of many faiths, allows us to learn together, meet one another and share a common meal together.  All are invited.

(In case of inclement weather, the gathering will be held at St Mark’s Lutheran Church, 140 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah.)

For more information, contact FVIS President Mohammad Rashid at 920-809-5333

Freedom Summer Comes Home: Sept. 13th from 11:30 – 4:00



50th Anniversary Observation!

Sept. 13th from 11:30 – 4:00

Opera House Square in Oshkosh WI


Download flyer here.

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