Advocacy and Social Justice
As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. Together, we achieve things on a scale and scope that we could never do otherwise. When we act as a coordinated network of advocates and reach out to officials on relevant, timely issues, we effectively impact public policies. Click here to visit the ELCA Advocacy page.
Are you an ‘advocating congregation’? This means your congregation is:
- One that, amid our diversity of opinions, uses our voices to communicate to elected officials regarding the critical social issues of the day.
- One that believes that striving for justice and peace is part of our baptismal vocation.
- One that makes the connection between acts of charity and acts of justice.
Has your congregation committed to at least three of the following activities?
- Convening an advocacy Bible study.
- Hosting a forum with elected officials.
- Holding an offering of letters.
- Sending members to Faith Advocacy Day at the Capitol.
- Attending rallies and other public events that support our policy beliefs as outlined in our denomination’s Social Statements.
- Making public policy work a line item in your church’s annual budget.
- Collecting a special offering for designated Advocacy work.
We look forward to the opportunity to work with you in partnership on behalf of our local neighborhoods and communities on the task of advocacy in today’s ever changing world.
ARIZONA ADVOCACY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES
Mount of Olives Lutheran Church, Phoenix, AZ, food pantry and thrift store. In addition, there are on-site community outreach programs (not associated with Mount of Olives).
AZ WIC Information
The federally funded Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) teaches Arizona families about nutrition. To learn more about this program click here.
AZ Council on Faith Based & Community Initiatives
The purpose of this initiative is to develop leaders and advocates to foster collective community efficacy so that every child, adult and family in the state of Arizona will be safe and economically secure. To encourage and foster dialogue between faith-based and community organizations, and existing systems of care. For more information or sign-up to receive their monthly e-newsletter visit the AZ Council on Faith Based & Community Initiatives website. Click here to view the Council’s current agenda and meeting archives.
AZ 2-1-1 Update
Community Information & Referral (CIR), an Arizona 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has recently been designated as lead entity and the provider of 2-1-1 services in Arizona. Persons in need will be able to call this easy-to-remember number, 2-1-1, to access information on shelter and food emergencies, and all health and human service resources. To read more about this important resource click here.
AZ Roster of Human Services Program Contacts
Click here for the current roster of Human Services Program contacts with the Arizona Department of Economic Security. These individuals and programs may be of specific help to your congregation in its current and future outreach work and to individuals who approach your congregation for specific assistance. The AZ DES team has identified individuals in their service units who are readily available to answer questions and to help connect Arizona citizens to services that may be critical for their ongoing health and well being. Please do not hesitate to use these resources as you deem appropriate.
Health Care Reform/Debate Issues
Click here to view the website of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and sign up for the online publication “Thinking Out Loud”, their monthly newsletter discussing AZ health care and policy landscape.
Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work
An in-depth look at how organizations of all types, acting in diverse settings, are implementing a collective impact approach to solve large-scale social problems.
ARIZONA ADVOCACY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE OPPORTUNITIES
Pocket Pals at Ascension, Paradise Valley
The Pocket Pals at Ascension donate their Time, Talent and the Funding needed to purchase, create and sew quilts that have been designed with a large pocket attached so a child can store and carry their belongings when they are getting moved from one home to another. The group works directly with the Department of Economic Security (DES)/Child Protective Services (CPS), who pick up the quilts and distributes them to children who have been removed from their homes. Click here to learn how you can be involved with Pocket Pals and reach out to the children of Phoenix.
Help our Veterans by Donating
MANA House, a transitional living center for veterans, houses 51 veterans who are working towards independence and self-sufficiency. MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) House, located at 755 East Willetta Street in Phoenix, provides a quality, stable environment for veterans, with services to assist with benefits, education, employment, and permanent housing. They currently house veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts. MANA House can use all the usual donations: monetary, detergent, toilet paper, clothing, etc.
National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI Valley of the Sun is an affiliate of NAMI Arizona. Dedicated volunteer members and leaders work tirelessly to raise awareness and provide essential education, advocacy and support group programs for people in our community living with mental illness and their loved ones. More information available on the NAMI Valley of the Sun website.
AZ Coalition for Military Families – Guidelines for Care Project
The concept behind this cross‐sector effort is to bring together key stakeholders from the military, government and community to establish guidelines for the care and support of the military and veteran population. As far as is known, this is the first such effort to undertake this type of process. The end result will be that service members, veterans and families will be connected to the right program, resource and/or benefit at the right time. For more information on how you can help click here.
NEVADA ADVOCACY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES
Pr. Mike Patterson is the Assistant to the Bishop for Advocacy in Nevada. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Lutheran Social Services of Nevada . There is a new feature on the Nevada State Legislative website that makes it incredibly easy to stay informed on issues and even have a say in the debate.
“Ashes to Go” is a report by Pr. Patterson about his experience offering ashes to the Nevada State Legislature on February 18, 2015.
ELCA ADVOCACY RESOURCES
The Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA is very proud to support the social statements of our faith denomination through specific Advocacy work. We encourage you to view the Churchwide website at ELCA for easy reference to these materials on our denomination’s Social Statements and to frequently visit this website for updates on specific activities in the Advocacy arena.
ELCA Advocacy Website
ELCA advocacy ministry speaks for biblical values: peacemaking, hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with hunger and disease. Click here to visit their website.
As a public church, we have a responsibility to address issues that affect our neighbors in communities throughout the world. Through advocacy efforts, ELCA members and other Christians can work through governmental channels on behalf of biblical values. Thank you for your interest and participation in this endeavor.
If you would like more information about Advocacy and Social Justice in the Grand Canyon Synod please call our office at 602.957.3223.