March 28, 2014

Meal Packing Events and Ending Hunger as Lutherans

Meal-packing events are growing in popularity for congregations, synods and youth ministries as a way to address hunger. These events usually include contracting with an organization that provides bulk ingredients to be combined and packed into serving-sized portions of ready-to-cook, nutrient-rich meals. Volunteers can pack thousands of meals in a short period of time. The event is kept lively with music and friendly competition. Participants often describe the experience as fun and positive, and for many it is a first exposure to providing food for the hungry. ELCA World Hunger is our church’s response to eradicating poverty and hunger by […]

March 3, 2014

Letter to the Editor on the Pennsylvania School Breakfast Challenge

Holly Hoffman is a Diaconal Minister at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Carlisle PA. This letter was published in the Patriot News in February 2014. As a pediatrician, I am in full support of our local schools providing the opportunity for ALL students to eat breakfast before school. School breakfast programs support children’s health and education… basics that start children on the right path in life.  Sadly, more than 16 million American children live with food insecurity. SNAP (food stamp) benefits have been cut twice in the last four months. Children make up nearly half of all SNAP recipients, and […]

July 17, 2013

Gateways Out of Poverty Initiative

July 17 – Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania, as part of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Justice Coalition, has joined with Rep. Dave Reed (R – Indiana) and the House Majority Policy Committee this week at the start of a statewide initiative exploring ways to combat poverty. Approximately 1.5 million Pennsylvanians – more than 12 percent of our population – live in poverty.  The numbers are growing in all areas of the commonwealth – rural, urban and suburban communities alike. “Persistent poverty in Pennsylvania diminishes all of us and tolerating it is a moral failure,” said the Rev. Amy Reumann, LAMPa director.  […]

May 28, 2013

A Payday Loan Trap

A payday loan trap – a letter to the editor written the The Rev. Paul Lubold, LAMPa Advocacy Developer May 27, 2013 12:03 am http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/a-payday-loan-trap-689253/ “A rose by any other name” equals a rose. “Put lipstick on a pig” equals a pig. “Micro-loan program” equals a predatory payday loan/debt trap. Seeking to protect vulnerable people from being trapped in a vicious debt cycle, Pennsylvania has long outlawed the usurious practice of predatory payday loans. However, lenders are trying to undo these limits. Last year, House Bill 2191, which would have undone this 100-plus-year-old protection, thankfully never made it to the […]

March 1, 2013

Fighting Hunger through School Breakfast

by Tracey DePasquale, LAMPa Associate Director Breakfast. The name alone should tell us as Christians that it is important.  It is, after all, breaking the fast to which we look forward all through Lent. In this season of fasting, the bounty of the Lord’s table and our need to be fed there become clearer. Even if the name itself did not underscore its significance, studies show breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. Research points to a healthy breakfast as essential in supporting educational success, fighting hunger and promoting lifelong health. Despite the research, many of our […]

February 5, 2013

Creation Advocacy: A Voice for the Voiceless

Reflections on participation in Lutherans Restoring Creation Retreat and Training, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, January 25-26, 2013 By Ann Dentry, Gettysburg PA There are many ways to think about workshops; weekends when people convene from different parts of Pennsylvania to put the passions closest to their hearts into action.  Over the past weekend, the group Lutherans Restoring Creation offered training at the seminary in Gettysburg.  Purpose:  To give Christians concerned for the fate of our earth tools for common effort.  Those tools include knowing one another.  In your mind’s eye, imagine small pieces of a puzzle scattered all over […]

October 31, 2012

LAMPa Op-Ed: Stop Jailing So Many Immigrants

by the Rev. Paul Lubold, LAMPa Advocacy Developer Last August I attended a Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) “Lutheran Leader’s Summit” in Minneapolis. The “Summit” provided us with current information about the ministry of LIRS, as well as valuable insight into the everyday struggles of those who are seeking to become citizens. I went to this event feeling like rather well informed, but found out how naive I was. Linda Hartke, President and CEO of LIRS and Stacy Martin, VP for Mission Advancement, told us what LIRS was doing. And Jon Partee, LIRS Media Relations, helped us recognize what […]

September 10, 2012

Payday Lending Update and Actions

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee is holding a hearing on September 19th on HB 2191, the Payday Lending Bill. LAMPa, in partnership with the Center for Responsible Lending, is organizing a faith leader sign-on letter to share with committee members. The signing deadline is September 14.  If you wish to sign on, send your name and title, Congregation/organization and address and send to rachel.anderson@responsiblelending.org (this address is not a link – please cut and paste into your email). The text of the joint letter is below: Dear Senator: Payday lending is modern-day usury – a scheme that robs the […]

July 26, 2012

Payday lobbyists didn’t take a summer vacation

Although the General Assembly has been in recess since passing the budget, lobbyists are working hard in the districts to make sure their priorities are addressed when legislators come back in September/October for a short (just 8 session days in the Senate) fall session.  Among the hardest working lobbyists this summer are those championing HB 2191, a bill that would allow payday lenders into Pennsylvania by removing our current 24% interest rate cap and instead allow lenders to charge more than 300% APR!  Since they are hard at work, we must be too.  Here are two important facts about payday […]

July 10, 2012

A Lament for General Assistance

By Marissa Harris Krey, LAMPa Advocacy Developer I have to be honest.  I’ve always found LAMPa’s mission statement to be a little long and a bit cumbersome.  But when it comes down to it, there’s simply no better way to explain what the ministry of LAMPa is all about.  As a reminder… The mission of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania is to advocate in both public and private sectors of society on behalf of, and in partnership with, those persons who are denied justice, dignity, reconciliation, peace, and access to basic human rights, and who lack adequate representation and voice […]

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