As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), we share a deep love for all of God’s creation and a profound responsibility for it. Made in the image of God, we are called to continue what God is already doing for the earth (Psalm 104), enabling it to flourish. God assigns humans to care for the earth as God does, in loving servanthood. (Philippians 2:7, Genesis 2:15).
Daily we witness the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. At the same time, we also witness in too many instances how the earth’s natural beauty, a sign of God’s wonderful creativity, is defiled by pollutants and waste, resulting in ecological crisis. As a member church of The Lutheran World Federation, we affirm “that the global ecological crisis, including climate change is, human-induced. This is a spiritual matter. As people of faith, we are called to live in right relationship with creation and to not exhaust it.” Continue reading “ELCA Presiding Bishop Issues Earth Day Statement”
This statement of solidarity with our children from the ELCA Council of Bishops calls us to consider taking part in the March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC or in its satellite city events, as our children and youth are leading us forward as peacemakers. Click on March for Our Lives to find a march near you! Contact Mark Carlson about other events on March 14th and April 20th.
STATEMENT IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Our children and youth are like a young Jeremiah prophesying to the people: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)
Recently, the students, faculty and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida experienced tragedy. Seventeen people – students and teachers – were killed by a 19-year old shooter. In response, students have invited their teachers, families and allies around the nation to join
with them for a March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC; calling our country into a deeper conversation about school safety and second amendment rights and responsibilities.
This month we focus on international programs that support women and girls overseas. Although the U.S. government has historically been a leader in funding programs that address the needs of women and girls globally, there are indications that such initiatives are in danger of being significantly reduced or eliminated. Cutting funds and eliminating programs would negatively impact communities that depend on the support of our government to improve the lives of women and girls.
This week, there will be a vote in the U.S. Senate to protect Dreamers. Unfortunately, there will also be attempts to take away trafficking protections for unaccompanied children, make it harder for people to seek asylum and actively separate families. Follow us and ELCA Ammparo to find out what you can do to take action!
Call your legislator through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and say the following:
“My name is ___. I am your constituent from (city/town) and a person of faith. As the Senator considers how to vote on immigration amendments, I urge him/her to support legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers without harming other vulnerable people. Please vote no on any policies that take away trafficking protections for unaccompanied children, restrict family or diversity visas, make it harder for people to seek asylum and carelessly increases border enforcement”
A highlight for January was the ELCA World Hunger Leaders Gathering in Washington, D.C., with about a dozen people from the three synods that cover California, including two students from California Lutheran University. A “Day on the Hill” included delegation meetings with staff for Senators Feinstein and Harris, and a number of meetings and drop-in visits with California’s large House delegation. Farm Bill re-authorization was the focus, and a primary emphasis was on the food aid provisions, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
As we head into 2018, public interest in anti-poverty programs is rising. Contributing factors include limited wage growth, limited access to training and educational opportunities, and automation and innovation that further limit opportunities. Yet some in Congress are seeing opportunities ahead to cut these programs under the auspices of “reform.” Continue reading “Pray, Fast, Act for January”
Nearly one in every six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and not being properly nourished. This applies to those who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and those who don’t have access to the healthiest possible food options. The issue is severe enough that the AARP reports that seniors face a healthcare bill of more than $130 billion every year due to medical issues stemming from senior hunger.
To learn more go to the Aging in Place webpage of the National Council for Aging Care.
ELCA Advocacy Update for the month of January. Please read below for important information on ELCA Advocacy efforts in Washington, across the country and throughout the world. To read the full version of the update and for more information on advocacy efforts from our Lutheran State Advocacy offices, including Mark Carlson’s update from California, visit ELCA Advocacy’s Blog!
ELCA Advocacy, Washington D.C.
#FOR SUCH A TIME: The January day to #PrayFastAct is Sunday, Jan. 21! This month, we are mindful of major programs that help curb poverty, namely Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and the good they provide for those in the greatest need. People of faith have been champions and voices of support for anti-poverty programs for decades, which continue to serve as a backstop to ensure a minimum level quality of life and security. Be on the lookout for a shared statement from ELCA Advocacy and the Episcopal Church later this month!
HUNGER AND THE FARM BILL: Lutherans from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C., in January for the annual ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering to discuss and take action to address the impact of hunger in communities. The event occurs as lawmakers begin to discuss reauthorizing the Farm Bill, legislation that sets critical agricultural, conservation, energy, rural and hunger policies. While hunger leaders meet with their lawmakers on January 23, ELCA Advocacy will encourage our national advocacy network to stand in solidarity with these advocates by contacting Congress via the Advocacy Action Center. Continue reading “ELCA Advocacy Update for the month of January”
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The December day to #PrayFastAct is Thursday, Dec. 21! This month, we focus on our commitment to supporting Sustainable Development Goals by engaging in prayer, fasting and advocacy for a just world. During this Advent season, we are directed to God’s steadfast resolve for peace and the signs of God’s reconciling love and restoration at work in our troubled world. As we await the arrival of the Prince of Peace, Lutherans and Episcopalians around the country, alongside churches’ leadership, are praying, fasting and committing to advocate together in support of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals as part of our ecumenical “For Such a Time” campaign.