Stories of Faith in Action – Your Offering at Work highlights ELCA ministries that span this country and the globe, some of which illustrate the way challenges can lead to God-given opportunities. You are part of each of these stories – through your faithful, regular offering, a portion of which is used to fund ELCA ministries beyond the congregation, which is called Mission Support. Combined with gifts from other ELCA members, Mission Support advances the work of your congregation, your synod and the work we do as a wider church. Thank you!
ELCAvotes Encourages Congregations to Speak Out
Lutherans have a unique voice, and it’s one that should be heard. That’s why ELCAvotes was created, to empower church members to become civically engaged – in local campaigns, the presidential election in November and beyond – by providing faith-based resources regarding voting and public issues.
“The point of this initiative is not to tell people who to vote for … (but to get them) voting on the local level or national level or serving on (their) school board, (so) that we don’t live in seclusion in a little cave somewhere, that we’re active in our local communities,” said Jennifer Manis, a campus minister at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, and an ELCAvotes ambassador.
ELCAvotes is not about pitting one candidate against another, said Kwame Pitts, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in South Holland, IL, and one of the leaders of the movement. It’s about educating yourself on public issues and having open, faith-filled conversations about advocacy and justice.
The initiative, spearheaded by ELCA Advocacy, ELCA Racial Justice Ministries and ELCA Young Adult Ministry, launched in February, through work that started in fall 2015.
Pitts, who wrote the ELCA’s social policy resolution that calls on churchgoers to protect the voting rights of all citizens, already has written a Bible study that examines that the Bible says about injustice.
The study is one way to participate in ELCAvotes, but congregational members also can make sure their church is a polling place, contact their representative in Congress about issues they feel strongly about, or join churches that are doing advocacy work, Pitts said.
“When people just come to church, sit in the pew, hear that God loves them and then go home and don’t do anything, that’s when everything ceases,” she said. “Whatever your (comfort) level is, do something.”
A portion of your offering is used by the ELCA churchwide organization to fund ELCA advocacy work in Washington, DC. For more Stories of Faith in Action, visit www.ELCA.org/Resources/Stories-of-Faith-in-Action