From the ELCA website:
As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. God uses our hands, through our direct service work and our voices, through our advocacy efforts, to restore and reconcile our world. Through faithful advocacy, the ELCA lives out our Lutheran belief that governments can help advance the common good.
ELCA advocacy works for change in public policy based on the experience of Lutheran ministries, programs and projects around the world and in communities across the United States. We work through political channels on behalf of the following biblical values: peacemaking, hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with hunger and disease.
See more at: http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy#sthash.QqojDsFc.dpuf
In the Southern Ohio Synod we engage in advocacy through our task forces. These task forces have been formed as a result of the interest of members of our congregations in these areas.
Disaster Response Task Force
Pr. Jim Dinkel, Chair
The Disaster Response Task Force works with Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) at a national level and at a local level. Our goal is to have every congregation in the Southern Ohio Synod prepare and maintain a disaster response plan. Additionally, we are working with Lutheran Social Services to offer Disaster Planning training, so we can have teams of people all over our synod ready and willing to serve our neighbors in our synod, our state, and in our country when disasters strike.
Please contact John Pyron, Director of Disaster Response, to arrange for a training session to be held in your area or for more information about how your congregation can be ready when a disaster strikes. He can be reached at 937.540.2507 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource materials are available below.
Preparing for Disaster-A Guide for Lutheran Congregations
ELCA Worship in Times of Public Health Concerns
Any time Lutherans help their neighbors in need following a disaster, they are being Lutheran Disaster Response for their community. You and your congregation can serve in important ways immediately when a disaster happens. Here are some suggested ways to serve:
- Organize Volunteers
- Open your Doors
- Hold a Special Service
- Provide Spiritual or Pastoral Care
The Hunger Task Force
The Hunger Task Force is active throughout our synod all year long, because hunger never sleeps, nor does it take a holiday.
This group of rostered ministers and lay people have a passion for the hungry, homeless and under-represented in our society—locally and around the world.
Each winter, the task force conducts a Congregational Hunger Leaders Day in which seasoned and new hunger leaders from our synod gather to hear from national hunger leaders, learn from one another, and take back actionable items to start, continue and increase hunger advocacy in our congregations.
Other programs and fundraising events supported by the Hunger Task Force and carried out by many of our congregations include the Souperbowl of Caring, A Potlucks to End World Hunger, and the Hunger Education curriculum.
For more information about hunger ministries and advocacy in the ELCA please visit the ELCA World Hunger web page.
Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry Website
ELCA World Hunger
Middle East Task Force
Skip is also available to work with local congregations teaching classes on the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.
Skip is also recruiting individuals to serve on the Middle East Task Force.
Contact him at wcornettIII@gmail.com or by phone at 614.775.0787 or 614.226.2410 for further information on these opportunities.
Resources For Understanding And Responding To Terrorism And Related Anti Muslim Public Speech
The Southern Ohio Synod Public Policy Ministry Team
Called, Equipped, and Sent to advocate for public policies that promote God’s Justice in our community and throughout Ohio.
The SOS Public Policy Ministry Team is called to use a prophetic voice with and on behalf of those who are in need to advocate for just public policies in Ohio that will prioritize the vulnerable, strengthen community, and recognize the dignity of all of God’s creation and people.
We Are Called to Advocacy by our Faith: As Lutherans, we believe advocacy is a public witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ where the Church speaks with and on behalf of others. Advocacy is an effort to identify how the whole community can live into God’s intended future. Just as Jesus advocates for us in front of God, we are called to advocate for our neighbors.
Some issues are controversial, but we still must engage: We cannot stand idly by while our brothers and sisters suffer. We want our neighbors to have economic sufficiency and stability, a healthy environment, and support when times are difficult.
Through collective action, we can address public issues: Charity work and personal responsibility are essential in addressing a crisis situation that appears in front of us today. Through advocacy work we are called to ask why the crisis situation exists and seek long-term solutions. Government is divinely instituted and it is where we should be able to come together in a civil manner to address public issues. The Church is called to witness to God’s justice and mercy for all and, when necessary, to lift up the voices of the marginalized in society within public discourse and debate.
A Concern for God’s Justice Guides our Work: Micah calls us to DO Justice. Multiple social issues such as discrimination, economic inequality, environmental degradation, violence and oppression are inter-connected. As the body of Christ – we are called to make those connections and advocate for just public policies accordingly.
What We Do:
Our ministry will work to identify how we can live into God’s intended future.
- Equip the Church: This ministry will provide training and resources for pastors, congregational leaders, and the community on how to organize and advocate for justice.
- Empower our Community: Work with other organizations, faith communities, and people to hear the voices in the wilderness of the oppressed and marginalized.
- Engage those in Authority: Bring the voices of the community to those with authority to align public policy with our call to justice.
Chairperson of the Southern Ohio Synod Public Policy Task Force is Mr. Nick Bates, Diaconal Minister. He can be reached at batesyep
Follow the Advocacy Team on Facebook!
Nick Bates, chairperson, email@example.com or 614-216-6306.
Ohio Budget Process: Budgets are moral documents that establish the priorities and reflect the values of our state. The Ohio budget will be introduced on February 2nd and goes into effect on July 1st. Legislators care what YOU think, get involved today!
Congregational Study Guides (for Leaders)
1. Receive with Thanksgiving, Study Guide on Economic Life
2. Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor, Study Guide on Healthcare
3. Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture, Study Guide on Race and Diversity Issues
4. Caring for Creation Now, Study Guide on Environmental Stewardship
ELCA Social Statements (link)
Click on the above link to access ELCA Social Statements, along with study guides. Social statements summarize the theology of the ELCA as it relates to different issues such as economics, criminal justice, healthcare, education, and many other areas.
Race Relations Task Force
Nick Bates, chairperson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-216-6306.
The ELCA confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.more information
We leverage the wisdom and gifts of all in our synod, including our partners and affiliates, to bring God’s creative and redeeming Word to the world.more information
We believe when a synod operates as a platform for connections that empower mission, the baptized are released to join Jesus in the restoration of the world.more information
Everything we have comes from God. We are caretakers of God’s resources, which he has blessed us with to meet our needs and to allow us to partner with him in meeting the needs of others.more information