“What times we live in and how hungry our world is for hope and moral wisdom,” Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda began in her keynote address to those gathered for Lutheran Day of Advocacy 2017. “You gather here today because the God who called you into being, the God who loves you beyond measure, whose love for you will never cease — this God sends you into this beautiful and broken world to bear God’s justice-seeking love into it. This God lives within you so that you will embody for the world God’s holy hunger that all may have life abundant. God’s dream becomes in you the quest for more compassionate, just and earth-caring ways of shaping our lives and our society.
“It is, as you well know, a confusing, complex, confounding and blessed quest,” said the Lutheran theologian and author. “In this quest, in your efforts, imperfect as they are you, embody a power for the good that can be stopped by no force in heaven or earth. It is the power of God’s healing love for this world. Recall this: For all your inadequacies, for all of the ways in which you and I fall short in this work, we are fully forgiven. We remain God’s precious creatures.”
Lutheran Day of Advocacy 2017 drew more than 160 people to Trinity Lutheran Church in Camp Hill on May 22. Focused on the theme of “Always Re-forming! Being church together for the sake of the world, in Pennsylvania,” attendees learned about justice issues around the commonwealth — from clean water to human trafficking — and were prepared to act by connecting with policymakers and being voices for reconciliation in their communities.
In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Luther’s own advocacy, attendees nailed their advocacy commitments to our own version of the Wittenberg Door (built by policy council member Terry Brown). Many signed up to contribute lectionary reflections or join a statewide team of advocates focusing on issues such as hunger, racial justice, creation justice, health/mental health/addiction, poverty/housing/employment, immigration, criminal justice reform and education funding. Learn more about this new way of deepening discipleship and healing division. To add your name or have a conversation about how you might get involved, contact us here.
At the center of the day, we celebrated the advocacy being done in each of our synods. Read stories of the advocates who were recognized. The day ended with sending worship, but some continued the conversation over dinner with Mary Campbell, ELCA Director of AMMPARO, to establish a statewide network of support for migrant minors and their families. To learn more or add your name to that group, contact us here with AMMPARO in the subject line.
An announcement of next year’s advocacy day will be coming soon!