Happy Easter greetings! Today, we present our ELCA Advocacy Update for the month of April. 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, visit our blog!
ELCA Advocacy, Washington D.C.
APRIL 21, PRAY. FAST. ACT: The April day to #PrayFastAct with The
Episcopal Church is Saturday, April 21. This month, our focus is on economic
opportunity initiatives, education workforce development and programs that help
low-income families break out of poverty.
poverty is a problem faced by millions of Americans. Many in our communities
cannot access education and training because they need a pay-check to feed
their family, and often there are too few affordable educational opportunities
accessible to them. While some in Congress have proposed adding requirements that the entitlement program recipients must be working to receive assistance, this has historically proven to serve as an additional barrier to achieving self-sufficiency. Look forward to resources around the day of fasting from The Episcopal Church and ELCA Advocacy later this month!
RACISM: The national A.C.T.
to End Racism rally,
organized by the National Council of Churches, took place in Washington, D.C., on
April 4. The event brought together faith leaders from dozens of denominations
across the country and coincided with the 50th anniversary of Martin
Luther King’s assassination on April 4, 1968. The rally, aimed at raising
awareness of racial disparities, came as new reports indicate that higher-income youth of color are more
likely to become poor than their white counterparts, and African American homeownership rates
have remained virtually unchanged since
and houses of worship have a special call to tackle the barriers of racism. The
ELCA social statement “Freed in Christ:
Race, Ethnicity, and Culture” (1993) affirms the church’s commitment to proactively engage
on just policies that curb inequity in society. Faith leaders across the
religious community continue to be advocates on civil rights issues, criminal
justice and safe policing communities. Read more about some of the goals and future initiatives of the march here.
CONGRESS PASSES BUDGET: In March, Congress passed a spending bill
to fund the government through Oct. 1, the end of the 2018 fiscal year. While
the recently approved budget carried record funding for housing programs, addressing
opioid abuse and sufficient funds for environmental conservation, many faith
leaders remain deeply disappointed by some federal policies that fail to live
up to our values by adequately funding programs that support the most
vulnerable members of our society.
more about the spending bill and how it affects some faith community priorities
at the ELCA Advocacy Blog.
REFORM: Senators Bob
Corker and Chris Coons have once again introduced food-aid reform legislation.
The Food for Peace Modernization Act of 2018 seeks to build efficiencies in the
U.S. international food-aid programs so that the same amount of funding can
serve millions more. The bill is timely given discussions around the farm bill
reauthorization. Representatives Ed Royce and Earl Blumenauer have introduced a
companion bill in the House.
Lutheran Office for World Community
LUTHERANS ATTEND 62ND
SESSION OF THE U.N. COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN: The Commission
on the Status of Women (CSW) took place at the United Nations in New
York March 12-23. The theme was “Challenges and opportunities in
achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”
Delegates also reviewed the 47th session agreed conclusions on the theme “Participation
in and access of women to the media, and information and communications
technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement
and empowerment of women.” At the end of the session, the Agreed Conclusions, the principal outcome document of the
CSW, were adopted.
Lutheran Office for World Community (LOWC) welcomed 20 delegates to the Commission on the Status of
Women this year. These delegates joined us from the United Evangelical Lutheran
Churches in India, Centro Bartolomé de las Casas in El Salvador (a Lutheran World Federation World Service
partner in Central America), ELCA Global Mission Diakonia and International
Leaders Program, Justice for Women Program, Washington Advocacy office and
United Lutheran Seminary (ULS).
participation was made possible by the LWF
Women in Church and Society
desk, ELCA Global Mission and the ELCA World
Hunger and ULS’ Nolde
Human Rights Fund. Lutherans came together on Saturday, March 11, for Ecumenical
Women at the U.N.
orientation day, and on Sunday, March 11, for a day of learning about global
Lutheran programs on gender justice, as well as an opportunity to learn more
about each other. They also worshiped at St.
Peter’s Lutheran Church.
their time at the commission, the Lutheran delegates were able to attend
official and unofficial U.N. events and meet with government representatives
from their home countries. On the fourth day, they hosted a parallel event, “Do you have Faith in the SDGs?.” The event highlighted faith-based organization’s
efforts to protect and promote women’s rights as well as urge the United Nations
and governments to acknowledge faith-based organizations’ contributions to
gender justice and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Read more about the
commission from delegate’s blog reflections:
“Proud to tell people LWF has a gender
“Half of humanity activating its rights”
“Reflection on the United Nations’ 62nd
Commission on the Status of Women”
Lutheran state advocacy efforts across the country
Find out all about the vast and incredibly important work and top priorities of Lutheran state advocacy networks across the country by visiting the ELCA Advocacy Blog.
(To view this email in web format, click here.)