We continue our reflection on God’s call to us through the ELCA’s “60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.”
DAY 23: Why Is Advocacy Important to Our Church?
As the ELCA, we believe God is calling us into the world to serve together. Through our direct service, we aid immediate needs before us. Through our advocacy work, we pursue systemic, long-lasting change.
The public policies written, amended, and ultimately adopted by our public officials can have ongoing effects on our neighbors who are struggling with hunger and living with poverty, and on God’s creation. By telling our lawmakers how Lutheran ministries help the world and by urging them to advance legislation that reflects these commitments, we create opportunities to overcome poverty, promote peace and dignity, and defend God’s creation.
Why does the ELCA understand advocacy to be part of its mission?
The ELCA social statement Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective explains, “This church must participate in social structures critically, for sin also is at work in the world. Social structures and processes combine life-giving and life-destroying dynamics in complex mixtures and in varying degrees. This church, therefore, must unite realism and vision, wisdom and courage, in its social responsibility. It needs constantly to discern when to support and when to confront society’s cultural patterns, values, and powers. We are also a church that thinks of governments as helpful ways God is active in our world. This is clear from the very first generation of Lutheran reformers and their actions. When you write your public official, you are uniting with an apostolic community of Lutherans concerned with how public policies work for our neighbors as a matter of faith.”
We are a church energized by lively engagement in faith and public life. We serve in response to God’s love to meet human needs and protect creation. When we, as ELCA members, lift our voices together to influence policies that advance the common good, we further God’s work in our world.
We are also a church that thinks of governments as helpful ways in which God is active in our world. This is clear from the first generation of Lutheran reformers and their actions. When you write to your public official, you are uniting with an apostolic community of Lutherans concerned with how public policies work for our neighbors as a matter of faith.