Social Justice & Peacemaking Ministering Unit

Social Justice & Peacemaking at College Hill Church
The objective of the Social Justice and Peacemaking Ministering Unit is to involve the congregation in carrying out the General Assembly’s call for peacemaking and to promote social justice in our community and around the world.  
Major activities include sponsoring forums on significant social justice issues; maintaining an advocacy role on social justice and peace issues with government officials; participating in city-wide events such as the Third Street Bridge gathering and other peacemaking activities at the local and denominational church levels.
Please join us!  We meet the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30PM in the main conference room (Room 104).

Social Justice and Peacemaking submits comments asking the Office of Comptroller of Currency to strengthen, not weaken, the Community Reinvestment Act

To the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency RE: Docket ID OCC-2018-0008. Comment regarding “Reforming the Community Reinvestment Act Regulatory Framework” The Social Justice and Peacemaking Ministry Unit of College Hill Community Church urges the OCC to modernize and strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act so as to promote investment in low income and minority neighborhoods. Our Church is a racial and cultural rainbow that values all people. We are located in a mostly African American neighborhood in northwest Dayton, Ohio. Many around us are low or moderate income. Our community has been a target for numerous kinds of disinvestment, and is often described as a food desert, a healthcare desert, and a retail desert. It was a former ground zero in the foreclosure crisis, where predatory mortgage lending first appeared. Supermarkets, retailers, and restaurants have left for wealthier white suburbs. Hospitals have closed. Schools are closing. Abandoned strip malls and boarded up foreclosed on homes are prevalent. Employers have closed their factories. What new employment there is may require purchasing a motor vehicle to get to.  Small businesses struggle and often fail. Unemployment among disadvantaged groups like minority youth and citizens returning from the penal system remain high. Bank branches have closed as well. Many people are unbanked, suffer from the digital divide, and are taken advantage of by high cost lending. The Community Reinvestment Act is one institution that encourages investment in communities and particularly low and moderate income communities and communities of color. We see a severe need for investment, both personal and business lending, in these communities. The CRA must keep up with the changes in the financial industry and technology, but do so in a way that preserves its intent that the entire community benefits, including those that are most often excluded. It should include all kinds of financial institutions and their affiliates, raise the standards as to what is acceptable, and meaningfully keep up with the use of the internet in promoting access to lending throughout the society. The late Dayton City Commissioner Dean Lovelace was a dedicated advocate for using the Community Reinvestment Act to improve investment in low income communities. He was an official in the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and took part in shaping their views on the CRA and its needed improvement. We urge the OCC to seriously consider NCRC’s views on the details of how to strengthen and improve, rather than weaken, the CRA. The CRA remains crucial to making the financial industry responsive to the needs of the most needy. Thank you for your attention. Social Justice and Peacemaking Ministry Unit Stanley Hirtle: Chair College Hill Community Church, Presbyterian (USA)

College Hill Church Social Justice and Peacemaking. Recommendations for the Dayton Public Schools

College Hill Community Church intentionally includes all God’s children as we live in faithful obedience to God’s command to love one another and seek justice. Accordingly the continuous disinvestment in Dayton’s black communities, the failure to educate too many of Dayton’s children to the levels expected in other communities, and the continuing structural barriers to education that bring this about are both harmful and wrong.


  1. Structure and adequate funding.
    1. We call on the entire greater Dayton community, including suburbs, suburban churches, area businesses, banks and universities to support the education of all Dayton children with finances and know how.
    2. We call on State Legislators to fund all schools adequately regardless of amount of poverty or the value of properties around them, and without need for property tax levies.
    3. We call on State Legislators to fund all schools adequately to overcome the disadvantages of poverty in cities like Dayton.


Social Justice and Peacemaking annual report excerpts

  • What is the primary goal and purpose of your ministering unit?


Our primary goal is to carry out the Bible’s call for justice, peace and loving relationships between people.


  • What specific objectives were to be accomplished this past year?


We sought to expand the Church’s understanding of and commitment to social justice and peacemaking, and to engage the community in action.


  • What significant achievement did your ministering unit accomplish this year?
  1. We welcomed Rev. Dr. Young as the church’s new pastor, with his commitment to social justice issues. We said goodbye to the interim pastor Rev. Zuercher thanking him for promoting social justice issues in many ways.
  2. We looked at the church’s hunger ministry and did the following:
  1. We recommended that the church revise its FISH offering, collect it as a first fruits offering on the first Sunday;
  2. Some of us volunteered at the nearby Fairview United Methodist Church food pantry;
  3. We cosponsored the Catholic Social Justice event with Monsigneur Ray East, who spoke on “Ministering in the Mercy Mode” promoting love of all neighbors. .
  4. We sponsored letters to legislators as part of Bread for the World Offering of Letters Campaign.
  5. We promoted the Crop Walk;
  6. We followed developments to combat the food desert in our area such as the community gardens on Salem Ave. and the beginnings of a food cooperative.
  1. We provided blank forms on which people could write letters to federal and state legislators to express their concerns.
  2. We participated in local activism in the Dayton area including
  1. LEAD organization in favor of bus service for people with disabilities at the Dayton Mall and educational issues. This year LEAD will work on mental health issues and Economic Development as well. A film “Free to Ride” was made and shown concerning LEAD’s successful effort to bring bus service to Beavercreek.
  2. Miami Valley Organizing Collaborative concerning various issues of housing, youth, Daytonians Against War Now, Opposition to the Death Penalty, The One Human Family effort.
  1. We promoted a sister church relationship with Presbyterian Church in Columbia. Several of us journeyed to Columbia in June, visiting the Colegio where the peace process there was discussed, as well as Afro-Colombian poverty areas near the church.
  2. One member participated in the Presbyterian Peacemaking “Mosaic of Peace Tour” of Israel and Palestine, and reported to the congregation, legislators and others concerning the need for just peace in that region.
  3. We promoted voter registration and voting, including early voting, and reported on litigation against purges of the voter rolls. We supported the Candidates’ Night at Precious Blood church.
  4. We promoted two services at the MonDay Community Correctional Institution.
  5. We planned and participated in the Christmas Eve Worship service.
  6. We Sponsored the Peacemaking and Christmas Joy offerings.
  7. We donated $50 to the Jail Chaplaincy Ministry’s annual recovery and restoration event for ex-offenders
  8. We supported Amnesty International.
  9. We supported the MLK march, the Good Friday Walk for Peace and Justice and the Peace Bridge Event.
  10. We took part in events promoting understanding and acceptance of Moslems in the Dayton area.
  11. We encouraged Rev. Zuercher to preach on social justice issues.
  12. We organized a joint book discussion group with Harmony Creek Church which read and discussed “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson and “Becoming White” by Thandeka. These were well participated in and we plan to continue.
  13. We supported the book “In the Land of Promise” concerning poverty programs in Dayton.
  14. We conducted a forum on police/citizen violence in Dallas, with a former member, who now lives in Dallas, participating by Skype.
  15. We investigated the way Social Justice and Peacemaking could use the church website.

Mosaic of Peace Conference on Israel and Palestine

College Hill elder Stan Hirtle attended the Presbyterian Church’s Mosaic of Peace Conference this April.


Call to the Land of Promise – Book Review March 13th after Worship

Join us after worship this Sunday, March 13th in fellowship hall for a book review by our Social Justice and Peacemaking Ministering Unit!
Call to the Land of Promise

Call to the Land of Promise

The book is:   
by Frederick M. Finney (the late husband of our own Gladys Turner Finney).