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Advocacy Days — Set a Welcome Table!

May 19, 2019 - May 20, 2019

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, 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.”

Learn more about the Keynote and workshops below.


8:30 — Registration opens. Continental breakfast available.

9:15 — Welcome & Keynote

10: 15 — Issue Workshops

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

1:00 — Advocacy Training — Hunger Issue Brief 2019

1:30-2:15 –Worship

2:30 Buses depart for Capitol

3 – 4:30 p.m. 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, 2000 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.


Setting a Welcome Table with Neighbors of Other Religious and Worldviews

In today’s rapidly changing ecclesial, ecumenical, and multi-religious context, it is tempting to be paralyzed by all of the uncertainties of the future, on the one hand, or to depend too heavily on models of the past, on the other. Our work, as advocates for God’s greater vision of unity, justice, and peace for all people, and for all of creation, requires us to reconsider our core inter-religious commitments. When we do so, we will find ourselves setting a welcome table with our neighbors, rather than for them, as people who are both welcomed and welcoming. We will find ourselves simultaneously seeking mutual understanding, and cooperation for the common good. Most importantly, we will find our own self-understanding and religious commitments strengthened through our engagement at the welcome table, as we witness to Christ through our ministries of presence, service, advocacy, and accompaniment, and receive the unique gifts of our neighbors made in the image of God.

Kathryn Lohre serves as the Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations & Theological Discernment.


MONDAY WORKSHOPS — 10:25-11:25 a.m.


A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Church in America 

This year, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly will consider the unanimous recommendation of the Church Council to adopt, “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” This new policy statement was developed by a task force of inter-religious activists, scholars, and practitioners appointed by Bishop Eaton in 2016, and has been improved by the input and feedback shared through consultations across the church and with ecumenical and inter-religious partners. This workshop will explore the contents and implications of the policy statement, especially as they pertain to advocacy. Participants will be invited to share best practices and to think together about new possibilities. The 12 commitments that form the core of the policy statement will serve as a guide for our work. You can find the full document, as well as additional background information, at https://elca.org/Faith/Ecumenical-and-Inter-Religious-Relations/Inter-Religious-Relations/Draft-Policy-Statement

Presenter: Kathryn Lohre, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations & Theological Discernment

Combatting Human Trafficking in PA 

At the close of last session, after many years of work by advocates, the Safe Harbor bill to protect child victims of sex trafficking passed unanimously and was signed into law by Gov. Wolf.  Now, state Rep. Seth Grove has introduced HB12 to take the battle against trafficking further.  In this workshop, Rep. Grove will explain his bill and companion Senate legislation to toughen penalties against traffickers and those who solicit trafficking victims.  Presenter: Representative Seth Grove, District 96

Hunger in Pennsylvania 

An estimated 1.6 million Pennsylvanians — 450,000 of them children — struggle with hunger. Despite good economic numbers in the news, our hunger ministries report growing need in every synod, and the state’s funding for its major anti-hunger programs is not keeping up. Learn about progress toward making Pennsylvania hunger-free and how to advocate for adequate funding for the State Food Purchase Program and the Pa. Agricultural Surplus System. Also, find out how your school is doing when it comes to reaching at-risk students with a healthy breakfast and if your congregation may be just the place for a summer feeding program because even when school’s out, hunger doesn’t take a vacation.  Presenter: Dave Lloyd, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Youth Programs Manager and Amy Hill, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Director of Advocacy & Public Policy

Renewable Energy — Making a Covenant with the Future 

Learn about legislation that looks to the future by promoting more renewable energy and climate action in Pennsylvania. Topics of discussion will include Rep. Rabb and Sen. Killion’s bipartisan 100 percent renewable energy legislation and Rep. Aaron D. Kaufer, Rep. Donna Bullock, Rep. Peter Schweyer and Rep. David R. Millard’s bipartisan Community Solar legislation. Presenter: Kelly Flanigan, Global Warming Solutions Associate, PennEnvironment

Prescription Drugs Don’t Work if People Can’t Afford Them: How PA can Act to Achieve Fairer, Lower Drug Prices

Rapidly rising drug prices hurt our families and communities by preventing them from getting the care they need. Over 1 in 5 adult Pennsylvanians in the past year alone did not fill a prescription due to cost. New grassroots and coalition efforts are working to change this in Pennsylvania by pushing for commonsense legislation that would make drug pricing fair and sustainable for everyone. Learn about these efforts and how local communities can be involved. Understand the political and legislative landscape in Pennsylvania, and how we can help those struggling with rising costs in our communities. Presenter:Patrick Keenan, Director of Consumer Protections & Policy, Pennsylvania Health Access Network


SUNDAY, MAY 19 Come to the Welcome Table!

Civil Conversations Project Facilitator Training — Inspired by Krista Tippett’s  “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 1:30-4:30.  Attendees will receive a certificate of participation hours. Though registration is required, participation is free because of the following co-sponsors: United Lutheran Seminary, United Methodist Advocacy, Pennsylvania Council of Churches and Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Action Network. Register here. 


May 19, 2019
May 20, 2019
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