Posts in Publicly Engaged Church
Grant Dollars at Work: Open Space

As we enter the 2020 GCS grant process (applications open 9/2/19), we share stories from our 2019 Grant recipients, which you can see on our Grant Dollars at Work page. This week we share Open Space, in Tucson. AZ.

“One positive result has been some our new people taking the initiative to invite people and do evangelism themselves. They are not finding unchurched, urban, young adults a whole lot easier to invite to church than I do as a pastor, but they do get a better response. One member goes to raves and invites people there. And, believe it or not, had brought several totally non-Christian people to Open Space this way.”

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Grant Dollars at Work: Native American Urban Ministry

As we enter the 2020 GCS grant process, we have assembled stories from our 2019 Grant recipients, which you can see on our Grant Dollars at Work page.

This week we look at Native American Urban Ministry (NAUM), Phoenix.

“In our visit during Saturday worship, we heard of addictions and celebrated recovery. We heard of being lost and finding a home at NAUM. We heard of brokenness and God’s healing.”

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7/31 Prayer: United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 

United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Human trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation is a global issue affecting every nation. Women and girls account for almost three-quarters of all trafficking victims. Pray that the ELCA, our congregations and communities continue to work to end human trafficking, care for survivors and address root causes of trafficking, such as poverty, hunger and sexism.

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My Year as an ELCA World Hunger Fellow

In July of 2018, I began the ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellowship. This fellowship comes from a partnership between ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy, and statewide public policy offices across the United States. It’s a 12-month program that combines leadership development with impactful advocacy – working together to end hunger and poverty by engaging directly with local, state and national governments, and equipping people of faith to seek justice and equity.

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August recess opportunity to speak with legislators

Most years, Congress recesses for the month of August. Legislators return to their home states and congressional districts and connect with constituents.

This is a great opportunity for local advocates to engage with elected officials, ask questions and share concerns. Our August Recess Guide contains tips for communicating with your elected officials and candidates this month.

Here are some timely questions and talking points based upon ELCA Advocacy priorities.

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22 tons of clothing processed at Streams in the Desert Lutheran, Tucson

Pastor Tom Dunham of writes: “On Monday, July 22, two semi loads of clothing arrived from Pennsylvania at Streams in the Desert Lutheran Church in Tucson. The 44,000 pounds of clothing was unloaded by hand and stacked in the church’s storage shed in less than 3 hours. Members of Streams and many other area churches, totaling 50 volunteers, worked hard in the summer heat in this labor of love. Over the next three weeks trucks from McAllen, Texas to San Ysidro, California will be arriving to take loads of clothing back to the refugee and asylum centers along the Mexican border. We are truly the church together!”

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LSSN Peanut Butter Wars continue

Lutheran Social Services of Nevada holds a special drive every summer for one of our most popular food pantry items: peanut butter. Local churches, businesses, and groups are able to register to compete to see who could donate the most peanut butter, and the winner of the "war" will become our reigning champion and be recognized by LSSN. Will your church or business be able to take the crown from our reigning champions, New Song Lutheran Church?

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Young adults heading to Senegal

On Tuesday, July 15, four young adults form the Grand Canyon Synod will be heading to Senegal to further our companion synod relationship with the Lutheran Church of Senegal. Julie Gerrish (Esperanza/University), a former YAGM in Senegal, is leading the trip. Geraldine Carillo (Faith), Stephanie Petrilli (Our Saviour's-Phx), and Sam Perez (Faith) round out the delegation.

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Accompaniment on the Ground

In this post, ELCA World Hunger summer intern Aml Mohamed reflects on her experiences of accompaniment in her home country of Egypt.

“Why are you interested in this position at the ELCA?” A classic, expected question during an interview. I paused and asked myself three questions. What is the difference between interning at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a regular nonprofit? Would I care as a practicing Muslim to work at a Lutheran faith-based institution? Would my identity as an Egyptian allow me to work and understand hunger in the US?

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Not waiting for the next tragedy

It happens every single day. Somewhere in our country, gun violence shatters a community, a neighborhood, a family. Almost 40,000 people died in 2018 from guns. That equates with a city the size of Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, struck down in a year – year after year.

Although written in 1995, the ELCA social message on “Community Violence” reads as if describing today. “For some women and children, home is less safe than the street. Hate crimes continue. Neighborhood, schoolyard, workplace, or family disputes spark into violence and become lethal. They become headline news, reinforcing the atmosphere of violence and inspiring profitable entertainment media.”

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Situation Report: Refugees in Serbia

Since the closing of the Balkan Route to Middle Eastern refugees in 2016, Serbia has been gaining more and more refugees. UNICEF predicts that 18,000 people will transit through Serbia by the end of 2019.

Please pray for all those affected by the refugee crisis. Remember those who have lost everything and all those who are working to respond. You can use these prayers and resources in your worship services.

Your gifts are needed now to help with immediate relief. Gifts designated for the Middle East and Europe Refugee Crisis will be used in full (100 percent) to assist those directly impacted and have fled for safety.

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Pastor Mateo Chavez in Minnesota for worship and events

Our very own Mateo Chavez, pastor of San Juan Bautista Lutheran Church in Tucson, AZ, will be at Oak Grove Lutheran Church, in Richfield MN, this Sunday. At worship and dinner, Pastor Chavez will be preaching and sharing stories about ministry and work with immigrants and asylum seekers at the Nogales border crossing.

Pastor Chavez is a board member of Cruzando Fronteras, a collaborative border ministry between Episcopal, Lutheran, and Anglican communities on of borders with Mexico, Latin America, and elsewhere.

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Urge Congress to uphold access to asylum and fair immigration policies today

Click here to take action to secure funding for humane and just immigration system. Use your voice as funding decisions are made.

The ELCA AMMPARO strategy is a holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA to accompany people who are forced to flee their communities seeking protection from suffering or violence. As church together we work toward just and humane policies affecting migrants in and outside the United States.

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Stories of Grant Dollars at Work

As we prepare for the 2020 GCS grant process, we have assembled stories from our 2019 Grant recipients, which you can see on our Grant Dollars at Work page. We’ll be highlighting recipients in the coming weeks, and first up is Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Prescott Valley, AZ.

Their Feed the Hungry Program serves 125-145 hot meals on the second Friday of each month to anyone in the community who is hungry.

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