The Reconciliation Team was formed last summer as part of the revitalized Outreach efforts and arose out of people’s interest in finding new ways to engage the world as people of faith. Although we don’t all meet together frequently, we keep in contact via e-mail announcements, and a variety of interesting initiatives have arisen out of this team. For example, one is Sacred Ground, which you can read about in another post on the newsletter.
A new option that is being created for the fall is a political advocacy team. This team would take the published statements of the national Episcopal Church and bring these positions to elected officials of both political parties in local, state, and national government. This team will make in-person visits to elected officials at least once a quarter and might also participate in letter-writing or other advocacy efforts around particular political issues.
A few things to remember:
- Churches are allowed to engage in the political process. As non-profits with tax exempt status, we are not allowed to lobby for a political party or a particular candidate. We will always abide by these guidelines.
- Faith, and Christianity, are political. Most of Jesus’ teachings were commentary on the religious, political, and economic practices of his day. We are called to prophesy about God’s beloved community to the world and bear witness to an alternative kind of society.
- We will be using published position statements of the Episcopal Church. Individuals might not agree with all of these statements. People on the teams can always choose to refrain from particular visits based on their own beliefs.
If you would like to raise your voice as a person of faith to influence the laws in our country, you will be invited to sign up to join the political advocacy team at the Ministry Fair on August 25. Using that list as a foundation, we will convene the group. The group will meet a few times to learn basic advocacy principles, choose a first issue, and become educated about that issue. Then the group will work to schedule the first round of visits with elected officials. We will repeat this process (minus the initial training) about once a quarter.
If you are interested, please sign-up on August 25 or let Jennifer know. Thank you for your courage in stepping out in faith for the sake of the world.