by Rob Hartmann, Social Justice Advocacy Program, Faith in Action
Want a front row seat for social justice advocacy? Well the best seat in the house is right in your own home!
The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations (OGR) – the public policy branch of the Church attached to the Presiding Bishop’s office – advocates for the Church on Capitol Hill on public policy issues. The OGR has created the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN), to enable individual Episcopalians to actively add their voices to public policy advocacy. Visit their website to receive advocacy resources, action alerts, and sign up for their email newsletter.
For further information on how you to advocate or lobby at the national, state, and local levels from your own home, visit the Friend’s Committee on National Legislation.
Other avenues to tap into regarding social justice advocacy are Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and Network Advocates for Catholic Social Justice. The CMEP offers education and advocacy opportunities to help advocate for equality, security, and human rights for all people in the Middle East. Network Advocate’s mission focuses on the tradition of Catholic Social Justice which encompasses not only the written teachings of the Catholic Church but includes the witness of all Christians and people of faith committed to proclaiming the love of the Gospel and the justice of God’s kingdom in the public sphere.
Finally, many of you may have attended the Sunday, June 28 Zoom Forum with Sister Quincy Howard, a government relations specialist with this Network. Sister Quincy introduced us to a new report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century. If you’re interested in social justice advocacy or are just concerned with the state of America and American democracy, this is a must read. For those who don’t know this group, the Academy was founded in 1780 to honor excellence and to convene leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”
As reported in recent Crossroads articles, the Vestry has approved the creation of a Social Justice Advocacy Program at St. John’s, under the umbrella of Faith in Action. As part of that effort we have created the St. John’s Do Justice News action alerts to help us respond in a timely manner to issues before the Montgomery County Council that affect our community.