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Advocacy Days — Set a Welcome Table!

May 19 - May 20

Bring Your Faith to the Table — On May 19 and 20, join people of faith from around Pennsylvania for inspiration, education and participation — in worship, service, learning and advocacy. We will focus on setting bigger, more welcoming, tables in our lives, our congregations, our communities and our Commonwealth.  Bring a friend — or a team!

MONDAY, MAY 20 — LAMPa’s traditional Lutheran Day of Advocacy — Set a Welcome Table! is part of a two-day event designed to equip disciples to live into the beauty of Psalm 133:1:  “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” Register online here. Paper registration forms may be found here.

Keynote speaker Kathryn Lohre, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations & Theological Discernment will offer a vision of what it could mean to live into the proposed Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment, to be considered at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. She will also lead a conversational workshop around the wisdom and work that went into the proposed policy statement.  The day includes worship, workshops on a range of policy issues, legislative visits, breakfast, lunch and a celebration of advocates from each synod. 

“Although we equip disciples for advocacy on a host of issues, part of our goal this year is to learn to set bigger, more welcome, tables,” said LAMPa director Tracey DePasquale.  “It is part of our work to help disciples live into their baptismal call.

“Although this theme was selected last summer, the need was underscored by the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in the fall. We are working within the Interfaith Justice Coalition to strengthen protections against hate crimes in Pennsylvania, but learning to set the table to build stronger relationships in our communities must be part of the work.  We are thrilled that Kathryn Lohre can be with us as we lean into this call.”


8:30 — Registration opens. Continental breakfast available.

9:15 — Opening worship

10: 15 — Issue Workshops

11:30-12:50 — Lunch & Celebration of Advocates

1:00 — Buses depart for Capitol.

1:30-4:30 — Rally, Keynote and Legislative Visits

4:00 & 4:30 — Shuttles return to Trinity.

Note: A final agenda, workshop descriptions and other details will be emailed to registrants. 

Location: Lutheran Day will begin and end at Trinity Lutheran Church, 12000 Chestnut St., Camp Hill, and include a trip to the State Capitol, just minutes across the river.

Registration: Early-bird registration (by April 29, 2019) is $30 for adults, $15 for students. Registration after April 29 is $35 for adults, $15 for students.  Registration closes on May 13 at noon. Walk-ins are welcome, though we cannot guarantee meals or space on a shuttle. Click here to register.


SUNDAY, MAY 19 Come to the Welcome Table! and join neighbors of many faiths for service, learning, prayer, artistic expression and a community meal — all with an emphasis on strengthening what unites us.


1:30-8:15 p.m. — Ribbon Tree Prayer Project —  As Lutherans, “we understand God to be deeply, mysteriously, and unceasingly involved in what happens in all creation….and that “humans, in service to God, have special roles on behalf of the whole of creation. Made in the image of God, we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the
earth. ” (ELCA Social Statement on Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice)  Yet, people of every faith share a common home that is threatened by climate change. Participants will be invited to reflect on what they love and would not want to lose to climate chaos and to write that on a ribbon that will be tied to a tree.  Those who cannot attend in person can send their ribbons in advance.  Throughout the day, participants will be encouraged to read the ribbons, and at the end of the day, to take one or more home with them and commit to pray for the concern and for the healing of the earth. Location: Kunkel Plaza, Front and State streets, Harrisburg. 

1:30-4:15 — Service and Learning Opportunities (More to come!)

Civil Conversations Project Facilitator Training — Springing from the “On Being” Civil Conversations Project and led by Interfaith Philadelphia, this training will give participants the skills to organize Civil Conversations in their congregations, workplaces, and communities. These sessions offer community leaders and “bridge people” techniques for grassroots civil conversations that support a thriving religiously diverse democracy. Training is free, but space is limited and registration is required.  This training will last from 1:30-4:15.  Attendees will receive a certificate of participation hours.  Location: St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 221 N Front St, Harrisburg, PA 17101, just 3 1/2 blocks from the Interfaith Blessing of Waters.  Register here.

Volunteer Service at Wildwood Park — Roll up your sleeves and spruce up the park. Volunteers may be weeding, picking up trash along the trails, trimming to make the trails easier to traverse or other things that go into maintaining this community environmental treasure. We’ll have a better idea of what you can expect as May 19 approaches and will email registrants more specifics. Volunteers should dress to work outside and get dirty if necessary.  This program starts at 1:30 (though later arrivals can be accommodated) and ends at 3:30 p.m.  Location: Wildwood Park and Olewine Nature Center, 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110, a 12-minute drive from the Interfaith Blessing of Waters.  Please register here to receive updates and waiver, and so that park staff can prepare.

Hiking and Arts Trail at Wildwood Park — There are many ways to enjoy Wildwood Park and Olewine Nature Center, but this spring brings something new — Art In The Wild trailside art installations.  Start at the Olewine Nature Center  anytime after 10 a.m.  to pick up an Art In The Wild brochure and enjoy the free exhibits about wetlands.  Then, head out to the trails for a three-mile walk.  The park manager recommends starting on Wildwood Way Trail and taking the loop around Wildwood Lake, which leads to the Towpath Trail and back to the nature center. Give yourself plenty of time to get back for the Interfaith Blessing of the Waters at 4:30 p.m.   Location: Wildwood Park and Olewine Nature Center, 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110, a 12-minute drive from the Interfaith Blessing of Waters.

Volunteer Service at Caitlin’s Smiles – Volunteers will creatively put together “Bags of Smiles.” Caitlin’s Smiles provides children in hospitals with arts and crafts kits and homemade cards.  Please register here as space is limited to 30 participants.  Click here to learn more. Program begins at 2 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Location: 3303 N. 6th St., Harrisburg, PA 17110, a 10-minute drive from the Interfaith Blessing of Waters.

Volunteer Service at the Five Senses Gardens – Volunteers will do some light gardening at this one-of-a-kind sensory experience part of the Harrisburg Area Greenbelt. Click here to learn more about the garden. Register here.  Dress appropriately. Program begins at 2 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Location: Click here for directions. A 12-minute drive from the Interfaith Blessing of Waters.

Eco-Justice Tour — Learn about the social justice ramifications of choices that affect our environment, as well as ways to build resiliency. Details to come. Contact us here and write “ECO-TOUR” in the subject line if you wish to receive an email with details when they are available.

2016 Interfaith Blessing of Waters at Kunkel Plaza. Photo by John Pavoncello.

4:30-5:15 p.m. — Interfaith Blessing of  WatersSusquehanna River at Kunkel Plaza, Intersection of Front and State streets, Harrisburg.

5:30-6:30 — The Welcome Table — Join us for a community meal with an emphasis on unity.  Tickets are $20. Make reservations here by May 12. Location: Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 310 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101, 3 blocks from Kunkel Plaza and Blessing of the Waters. 

6:30 – 8 p.m. — Caring for our Common Home — Learn ways of making a faithful response to climate change, starting here in Pennsylvania.  Participants will learn from scientists, policy experts and lawmakers about ways to reduce harmful footprints on the planet and be prepared for advocacy for our common home.  This program is free, but please register here so that you can receive materials in advance and so that presenters and hosts are prepared to best accommodate guests.

8:00 p.m. — Depart in Peace with Prayers — Participants will be invited to take a ribbon from the tree and pray for the concerns of the person who submitted the ribbon as well as the healing of the earth.


May 19
May 20
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