Today, we present our ELCA Advocacy Update for the month of November. Please read below for important information on ELCA Advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., 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.
TO GUN VIOLENCE AND HATE: Our nation is in mourning this week following the
tragic deaths of 11 worshipers and the wounding of law enforcement and others at
the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This act was quickly identified as a
hate crime, committed by a gunman espousing anti-Semitic vitriol and carrying an
AR-15 and other weapons intending to take the lives of people because of their
Jewish faith. The same weekend, two African American shoppers were gunned down
by a white man in Kentucky, an act also being investigated as a hate crime. As
disciples of Jesus Christ, we cannot become numb to mass shooting tragedies. We
are called as God’s own people to promote peace and the dignity of persons all
by engaging in prayer, addressing community violence, and vigorously opposing
anti-Semitism, white supremacy and all form of hate through our words and deeds. Lutheran bishops in Pennsylvania joined in a shared statement in response to this tragedy. As Pennsylvania Lutherans reflect on recent events, read more about actions taken by ELCA bishops and faith leaders in the full state update.
And, when Congress returns to work following the November elections, it is also
imperative that we address the gun violence in our nation. An Advocacy Alert
facilitating your faithful action is available at http://elca.org/advocacy/actioncenter.
2018 NOVEMBER ELECTION UPDATE: Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6,
and it is a critical time to get out and vote! Voting is a first step toward
faithful civic participation – a deliberate process of naming our faith values,
then acting on them through our vote. Be sure to visit elca.org/votes
and the ELCA Facebook page for
more resources, Bible studies, shareable graphics and tools in the lead up to
INDEFINITE CHILD DETENTION, FLORES: On Sept.
7, the administration proposed a regulation change that will undermine existing
child protection standards for immigrant children and the standards set by the
courts in the 1997 Flores Agreement. While the agreement outlines that children
are not safe in detention facilities and should not be detained for longer than
20 days, the proposed regulation allows the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) to keep children in detention
indefinitely, despite the psychological and physical toll. ELCA Advocacy shared
an action alert in October, encouraging advocates to submit comments
and share their perspectives on the rule. The current deadline for submitting
comments is Nov. 6.
GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY ACT, SIGNED BY
PRESIDENT: Earlier last month, the Global Food Security
Reauthorization Act unanimously passed in both the House and Senate. Its
passage extends congressional authorization for Feed the Future, a U.S.
government initiative charged with combating chronic hunger and food insecurity
around the world.
Globally, 815 million people
suffer from chronic hunger; the majority of whom are women. Approximately 45
percent of deaths of children under the age of 5 are caused by malnutrition.
Through initiatives like Feed the Future, participating countries have been
able to increase agricultural and nutritional investments. As a result, farmers
can feed their families and communities and contribute to their countries’
economic growth. ELCA
Advocacy sent a message to advocates who took action on the bill,
celebrating the extension following its passage in October.
IPCC UPDATE: The
U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international
that assesses the science related to climate change, issued its 2018 report
titled “Global Warming of 1.5°C.”
The report expressed the urgency of needing to take
rapid strategic action over the next decade to limit global warming to 1.5ºC
to avoid the risks associated with long-lasting or irreversible change.
ELCA Advocacy will be publishing
a blog later in November focusing on Lutheran teachings on good stewardship and
how to take action through advocacy. The blog also illustrates the links
between the consequences of climate change with other issues such as forced
migration, famine, food insecurity and more. This summer, the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was officially accredited by the U.N.
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Observation Liaison Unit, and
will be attending the next UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) with several
young adult leaders.
Lutheran Office for World Community
PEACE AND SECURITY WEEK:
side events took place Oct. 21-25 on the sidelines of the annual Security
Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. The events emphasized the
vital role of women in preventing conflict and helping to forge peace. Despite
that, women are far too often prevented from participating fully in peacemaking
processes. Between 1990 and 2017, women constituted only 2 percent of
mediators, 8 percent of negotiators, and 5 percent of witnesses and signatories
in all major peace processes.
the 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325 of the Security Council will be
celebrated. The resolution highlights the nexus between long-lasting peace
agreements and the participation of women in peace negotiations.
HOUSTON CONFERENCE AFFIRMS AN INCLUSIVE
conference on “Jerusalem: What Makes for Peace?” organized by Bright Starts of
Bethlehem was held in Houston on Oct. 11.
Different panels emphasized the realities of Jerusalem today; the
importance of inclusive religious discourse involving Jews, Muslims and
Christians; how to achieve a balanced U.S. policy on Jerusalem under the Trump administration;
and the need for urgent action. The Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon, executive director of
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) emphasized six tasks: 1) pray for the
peace of Jerusalem; 2) heed the cry of the church in Jerusalem that is
Palestinian; 3) repent and lament; 4) be prophets; 5) be pragmatic and
strategic; and 6) be willing to not give up hope. A concluding
statement by the four sponsoring organizations – Bright Stars, the
National Council of Churches, CMEP and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference – included
a nine-point call to action.
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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