Identifying Interest in the CPA idea within faith denominations – a reality check


To contact at least three different faith leaders (by October 31st) to assess their interest and the potential interest of their congregations in joining a CPA planning group.


For me personally, having individuals who focus on this work from a faith in action perspective will be very helpful.  It will give me a sounding board, allow me to see where my own language could be improved, and to have a sense of not being in it alone.  These will be individuals who I respect as well and create a space for me to engage with them on a new and deeper level.


Time is the biggest obstacle.  Finding time to craft my email and follow up if necessary.  Enabling them to find the time to respond and reflect.  In addition, different denominations work differently.  One of the individual works statewide, another is focused only in the metro area.  It will also be important to take time to develop a clear “elevator speech” with enough detail to allow them to consider the possibility.  This will be difficult as one obstacle is the lack of breadth in my understanding of what a community purchasing alliance is and could look like in our context.

Skills and Knowledge:

During this time, I will better understand the workings of CPA and the goals of a CPA.  In addition, I will garner a better knowledge of the internal structures and obstacles in other faith denominations.  I believe I will also have a better sense of my own passion for this work.


In addition to the people with whom I am to speak, I will also enlist a small learning cohort.  The Bishop who opened up doors within the Lutheran Church, an IAF leader, my interfaith learning group, and my coworkers in the office.

Plan of Action:

  • Develop talking points and create initial email by October 15th
  • Send email with potential times to meet and/or talk.
  • Meet with individuals.
  • Write up a summary of key learnings and identify follow up points.


5 thoughts on “Identifying Interest in the CPA idea within faith denominations – a reality check”

  1. I certainly resonate with your comments about connecting to faith leaders. They can be a bit challenging to connect with, but it’s worth it. Anytime you can have an introduction (as you are through the Bishop) really helps!


  2. I wonder if in addition to creating your ‘elevator speech’, you might want to also consider thinking about the self-interest of the faith leaders or congregations. Connecting the need to the possibility could help make buy-in a little easier. If two of the three leaders are interested, what do you think the next step should be?

    I can’t wait to hear about the conversations! Even if all they share is their concerns, it will be helpful to better understand those so we can plan accordingly.


  3. Paul. Grounded, focused, clear. Kudos on a great first post.
    What led you to focus on building out your planning group? I think it’s a wise move. How will you know if the three leaders you work with are a good fit? What qualities will you be looking for?

    Section 1 of this post I wrote: “how to recognize a leader” summarizes five qualities I gleaned from a training I recently went to and have found the articulation of these qualities helpful:

    What questions do you plan to ask in these 1-on-1 meetings? What personal stories do you plan to share to help reveal some of your deeper values and commitments?

    “create a space for me to engage with them on a new and deeper level”
    What’s most exciting to you about this?
    What personal benefits are you most hopeful for around this work?

    “I will also enlist a small learning cohort. The Bishop who opened up doors within the Lutheran Church, an IAF leader, my interfaith learning group, and my coworkers in the office.”

    What do you imagine this could look like in 6 months or a year?


  4. Paul: Good stuff. First and foremost, I just want to put it out there that I’m totally jealous of your city and state. In addition to its sheer beauty (I love mountains), there’s such a cooperative spirit and culture that seems inherent of all those that venture(d) west. With that admission out of the way, I would push you a bit on the pitch you will make to faith leaders (and others) about your vision. No one wants to join another group or even talk about creating a new one unless there’s a compelling idea. That idea doesn’t need to be new or different, but I think at the very least it needs to answer the question, “Why?” Why is this “worth” my time? What unites us with respect to issues we want to solve? Or what problems might this solve for my congregation, parish, synagogue, organization, etc.? As I’ve watched and listened to Felipe and his team lead this work in DC, I’m most amazed by his ability to listen and identify answers to those questions sometimes without even asking them directly. I suspect that you’ll need to leverage your current relationships and listen a lot to inspire folks with a vision of what’s possible will be more important than any one draft of an email ask. Prioritize meetings with all the amazing folks you mentioned (the Bishop who opened up doors within the Lutheran Church, an IAF leader, my interfaith learning group, and my coworkers in the office) to hear their hopes, thoughts, ideas, and challenges before you spend too much time planning an initial meeting of “leaders.” Hope this is helpful in some small way. Happy to connect more offline too. Best, Justin


  5. REflection Script:

    One of the most important thing I have reflected on from what I read, is that I need to continue to think more about the self interest of those faith leaders with whom I am going to connect. To go into aware of what their interests might be and also to listen carefully to them to identify what their needs are and what their personal and professional interests are.


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