ELCA Advocacy Alert



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.

FSAT April 2018

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.

Cyclical 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!


Rally2End 2018RALLY-2-END 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 the 1960s.


Churches 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.


Read more about the spending bill and how it affects some faith community priorities at the ELCA Advocacy Blog. 


INTERNATIONAL FOOD-AID 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.   


LOWC Apr 2018The 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).


Their 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.


During 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 justice policy

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.

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