We were moved to coordinate the Social Justice Every Day ministry because we heard our fellow parishioners yearning to be more active in advocacy but uncertain about how or where to do it. This month, I wish to highlight the Episcopal Public Policy Network as one resource to answer those questions and even help you get involved from the comfort of your favorite chair in your home. They’ve certainly helped me do that!
Should I include advocacy in my faith, or is politics separate from religion?
Social justice advocacy is central to what we believe God is calling us to do as Episcopalians and Christians: to join God in healing a hurting world! This includes prayer and charitable giving, but it also involves work to remove the barriers and root causes that keep people poor and powerless. In the words of CRCNA Synod writings, “If the church were to avoid calling for changes to unjust structures, then it would be guilty of proclaiming a truncated gospel. Pull on the string called ‘justice’ in the pages of the Bible, and soon enough you will get the whole book.”
How do I find causes to support or what the Episcopal Church’s positions are?
Sign up for EPPN’s action alerts! Each email apprises me of a specific public policy issue. It thoroughly explains what the national office’s recommendation is on a matter of social justice and how that is part of our baptismal covenant and shared faith. There are some weeks I may disagree with the recommendation—then I just don’t need to follow up on it. But I have found that on 95% of the issues, the national church’s position is right in concert with my own faith-walk.
I want to be more involved in social justice work, but I have limitations that don’t let me come to in-person rallies and offerings.
We’ve already learned over this past year how strongly the Holy Spirit is working in us even if we’re not gathered in person. EPPN helps harness that power to connect you with those who need to hear your voice. Each of their Action Alerts emails offers me a prepared template which I may send to our national elected officials. Bam, action right from my laptop! The template is arranged by my ZIP code so there isn’t any writing I need to do, though I can choose to add to it.
For instance, last month Social Justice Every Day highlighted our parish’s efforts for Creation Care. Coincidentally, the EPPN sent me this email which showed the national church’s advocacy for Creation Care. How timely! I found the national church’s position fully supportable and I responded by sending this pre-drafted email to Senators Smith and Klobuchar as well as Betty McCollum.
EPPN also offers resources like Faith and Citizenship: A Guide to Effective Advocacy for Episcopalians and Tips for effective communication with your representatives.
How about using this wonderful Spring month of May to make a difference? Talk up Creation Care at your dinner table; find an ear to bend about one thing you are doing to make a difference in caring for God’s creation. Sign up for EPPN’s action alerts to help all of us carry out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through contacting our elected representatives.
co-coordinator of Social Justice Every Day