Building Community

It {the faithful city} must embrace those who are in the struggle for equity in our society… This vision must be inclusive enough to have a sense of balance… and love must be its motive and justice its means.” – Bishop John Hurst Adams

Building Community

GBM’s vision is a community-wide commitment to living out the pursuit of peace and justice.  We work with people across racial, economic, political, and social identities to build working relationships among faith communities, organizations, businesses, and social networks seeking to engage the entire community in responding to the call to justice for all people.

Our base consists of faith groups and local communities that mobilize together around values of justice and inclusion.  We want to facilitate community at all levels, from education and dialogue to collective action and advocacy.  We keep a resource library at GBM for all topics, including theology, public policy, and social action.  We offer “Trading Places” poverty simulations for local groups to develop awareness and empathy across income levels.  We developed the Women As Strength Program (WASP) to provide a safe space where women may share their stories and learn from each other’s experiences. We are also the home base for the Alabama chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign.

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Bringing diverse communities of faith together to identify the root causes of human suffering and raising issues of direct assistance and social justice is an integral part of GBM’s work. 

We have 19 member faith communities represented on the Board of Directors.  Our Faith in Community initiative encourages us to find ways for people to be guided more fully by their faith in the struggle for a more just and compassionate community.  We nurture interfaith collaboration in theological discussion and action, reflecting on the common thread in our many faiths and denominations to do right and resist wrong.

If you don’t find a good teacher, find a good book. ~ Amit Kalantri

Resource Library

Have you ever needed a video series to use in your congregation or group? Want to know more about the current economic situation in our country? What about more information on other religions or some theology of your own? The GBM Resource Library has it all! Our book collection now contains almost 700 books and our other media, such as DVDs, video tapes, and audio tapes, number over 100.

The categories of the materials are:

  • Public Policy Issues
  • Equality
  • Economic Issues
  • Faith
  • Social Action.

We also have periodicals such as “The Christian Century” and “Sojourns”, which can be checked out. We have some titles for Reference but they cannot be checked out. There are no restrictions regarding who can check out an item. Simply find the clipboard on the library desk and sign the check-out page. Be sure to show your email address so we can contact you if we need to.


For a database of available items click the button below

On the database, you can click on “Edit” then “Find,” just below the title “GBM Resource Library,” to search for a particular book or author. The “media” tab and the “books” tab are at the bottom of the screen.

The books are filed and sorted by the first three letters of the author’s surname. The category is listed on the database. We also have a few Spanish-language titles.

All items are donated. If you have books or other media that fall into the categories listed in the second paragraph, that you would like to donate, they can be put into the basket marked “donations” on the library desk. We are in the process of planning for more shelves so we can handle more titles. Currently, the books with the author’s surname of SO through Z are in the two large file drawers on the left side of the library desk. We hope to move these to new shelves soon.

We hope you make good use of the library. Enjoy!

“Empathy is the most revolutionary emotion.” – Gloria Steinem

Trading Places

Our “Trading Places” poverty simulations break down stereotypes by allowing participants to step into the real life shoes of families living in poverty.  Poverty is complex. This simulation allows participants to experience these complexities and learn how low-income individuals are impacted by the effects of poverty.

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What would you do if you were…
  • a single parent with limited resources, no transportation, and must find a way to get to work and your child to daycare?
  • an elderly person who must find a way to pay for both utilities and medication?
  • a young adult caring for siblings while your parent is incarcerated?
  • an elderly couple raising grandchildren and dealing with your health and employment issues?

After the simulation, participants have the opportunity to discuss what they have learned and share observations and insights from the experience.

GBM’s Trading Places Poverty Simulation can mean different things to different participants. For faith communities, it can help frame conversations around charity vs. justice. For service providers, it can help you better recognize the needs and barriers for your clients. For community leaders, it can help you create and implement policies and programs that address the issue of poverty more effectively. For everyone, it builds empathy and appreciation and inspires a commitment to make a positive difference in our diverse communities.

These workshops are on hold during the pandemic, as we usually have at least 40 participants in one room.  If you are interested in learning more about the simulation, contact Carolyn at

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“I am a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman. That’s me.” – Maya Angelou

Women As Strength Program (WASP)

The Women As Strength Program (WASP) is designed to create a place of trust where women may share their stories and learn from each other’s past experiences. Groups meet quarterly at GBM, and issues for discussion are offered at the beginning of each session. Topics often include health care, child abuse, domestic violence, affordable housing, lack of transportation, legal assistance, etc. All meetings also allow time for the participants and their children to share time with each other.

Purpose of WASP
  • To create a place of trust where women may share their stories and learn from each other’s experiences.
  • To emphasize the value of a community where people may live out their dreams without the constant interruption of fear.
  • To be kind, to be helpful, and to show respect for each other.
  • To understand what it means to be healthy when living without health insurance by learning what foods to remove from the diet and where free exercise programs are offered.
Goals of WASP
  • To network with other organizations/agencies to meet family and individual needs.
  • To encourage involvement in community activities like PTAs, public libraries, teacher’s aid programs, neighborhood meetings, and voter registration.
  • To increase awareness of programs that support families, single parents, and/or grandparents raising grandchildren.
  • To assume an active role in children’s education, passing on social and moral values to the next generation.
  • To become more familiar with the legal system, including individual and community rights.
  • To learn how to praise and encourage each other at every opportunity as well as to lift each other up in order to deal with negative feelings such as jealousy.