Community Organizing - AMOS

How it works

Much of the work for social justice at St. Thomas Aquinas Church—providing funds for rent and utilities through Love Your Neighbor, cooking at Food at First, helping at The Bridge Home, etc—involves charity for people in immediate need. Complementing that essential work is STA’s involvement in community organizing, which strives to change the conditions that put people in that need.

To work for justice in Ames and Story County, STA is a member of AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy). AMOS demonstrates its belief in the inherent dignity of each person through its Iron Rule: Never do for others what they can do for themselves. Therefore, AMOS strives to identify potential leaders among average residents and train them to act publicly in a non-partisan way. In this way AMOS leaders can address issues and concerns that affect their own families, communities and neighborhoods.

If you are interested in learning more about AMOS in Ames, contact Chris Rehmann at or Courtney Dufford, lead organizer, at


AMOS' approach results in systemic changes that outlive any single accomplishment. AMOS' base of congregations and their leaders sustains the permanence of its work. Improvements in Central Iowa driven by AMOS include

  • Securing access to free prenatal care for hundreds of uninsured pregnant women in Story County
  • Saving hundreds of Iowans from bankruptcy through the expanded charity care agreements with hospitals, including Mary Greeley Medical Center
  • Establishing the Story County Housing Trust Fund
  • Expanding affordable housing in Ames
  • Creating the workforce intermediary Project Iowa, which trains people for living-wage jobs


AMOS is made up of about three dozen member institutions from three geographic clusters: Ames, Ankeny, and the Des Moines metro area. Each member institution or congregation organizes its own leadership team or "core team,” and coordination between institutions occurs at regular cluster meetings, occasional all-AMOS meetings, and biannual delegate assemblies. AMOS is an Iowa affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation organized as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Contributions to AMOS are not eligible for tax deductions. AMOS does not accept government funding and is funded primarily by dues from its member congregations and institutions.