The Scribe asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28a-31a
Lutherans and Episcopalians understand that governments are a means through which God can work to preserve creation and build a more peaceful and just society. As a public church, we have a responsibility to address issues that affect our neighbors in communities throughout our neighborhoods, state, nation and world. Through advocacy efforts, Lutheran and Episcopalian members and other persons of faith can work through governmental channels on behalf of biblical values. There are many ways that we live out our faith in the public witness of advocacy read through our website and join our work!
Be a public church in your regular worship services! Pray for our local, state, and federal legislators; with and for those who are poor, vulnerable, or suffering; for justice for all; and, for perseverance in your faith community to address injustice when it exists.
Plan an Advocacy Sunday to lift up important advocacy and justice ministries in your community. Invite LEAMNJ staff to participate in worship and help facilitate a discussion hour.
As you have been learning about issues together, organize a congregational letter-writing campaign. Remember to bless the letters that you have written during a worship service, and then send them off.
A list of Bible verses and stories related to justice and advocacy can be found on the page "Biblical Texts."
Even though this is not an exhaustive list of Biblical references to advocating against poverty and injustices, it demonstrates the importance of advocacy. Such references point out the Biblical mandate to care for those who suffer from hunger, loss, and poverty. Caring includes addressing the needs of the poor on a micro-level by literally giving out food, clothing, and other forms of care. But our call to work for justice also includes engaging in advocacy, which strives to change the larger power structures of the world so that they are more in line with a Godly view of justice.
For the list of Biblical texts, click here.
For an introduction to forms of advocacy, click here.