Jesus Was An Organizer

Episode Eleven

If you know about community organizing, it might be because our 44th President Barak Obama put a spotlight on his former job. But today’s guest says Jesus was organizing long before that. Emma Shafer, a Springfield native and community organizer, shines her own kind of light on the power for good that comes from working together for positive change.


Emma Shafer grew up in Springfield and returned to her hometown after completing a degree in urban studies to work as a community organizer for the Faith Coalition for the Common Good.



  • Don’t complain; organize.
  • Change happens when people organize around a common goal.
  • Effective change is accountable and measurable.
  • Charity is necessary but it won’t make change; only organizing can do that.




Emma’s connections

Faith Coalition for the Common Good

The New School

Gamliel Network

M.E.R.C.Y. Communities


Local issues, groups & causes

Pretrial Fairness Act

Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines

Moms Demand Action Illinois

Springfield Rail project



Emma’s playlist

  • Swimming to the Other Side, Pat Humphries
  • I Wish I Knew How it Feels to Be Free, Nina Simone
  • Everyday People, Sly & The Family Stone


Sister Marilyn Jean’s playlist

  • Come Back to Me (Hosea) by Michael Talbot
  • Let There Be Peace
  • How Can I Keep From Singing


Access the playlist on Spotify here.

1 thought on “Jesus Was An Organizer”

  1. I’ve known Emma for a long time and each time we talked, she was always happy to tell me of her leading involvement in activities at school, and in local organizations tohelp others. She was always giving her time and effort so that another persons life might be a little easier, and enjoy some of life’s necessities that we sometimes take for granted. She was a good person with a good heart and the world was certainly a better place due to her actions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *