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Do Justice: January 23, 2020

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Welcome to Do Justice, a semi-monthly newsletter of the Virginia Synod, lifting up God’s call and command that we, God’s people, do justice. You will find helpful info about justice ministries in congregations, around Virginia, and through the ELCA. If you have stories of justice to share from your congregation, please share those with me at bayerderrick@vasynod.org so I can share them with others in the synod!

The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick
Assistant to the Bishop

Almighty God, we lift before you all who govern the Commonwealth of Virginia. May those who hold power understand that it is a trust from you to be used, not for personal glory or profit, but for the service of the people. Drive from us cynicism, selfishness, and corruption; grant in your mercy just and honest government; and give us grace to live together in unity and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From ELW Prayers for Civic Life, Government, Nations)

Day for All People Advocacy Day at the Virginia General Assembly Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Day for All People is organized by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, the ELCA Advocacy office in Virginia. About 20 Lutherans gathered with 200+ sisters and brothers of all faiths to advocate for justice for all Virginians. People came from across the Virginia Synod: First, Norfolk; Christ, Richmond; Grace and Glory, Palmyra; Peace, Charlottesville; Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg; and Christ, Roanoke; as well as Pastor Amy Reumann of the ELCA Advocacy Office in Washington, and Bishop Bob and Barbra Humphrey and Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick from the Virginia Synod Office. We followed God’s command to love our neighbors by meeting with state senators and delegates to advocate for paid sick leave for Virginia workers, for payday lending reform, for driver’s licenses for all Virginians, for protection against wage theft for Virginia workers, and for environmental justice.

Some highlights from those who gathered:
Merrie Jo Milner (First, Norfolk) It was an awesome day……Today I attended Day for All People. Virginia Interfaith organizes this day for people of all faiths to visit their legislators and to advocate for a fairer and more compassionate Virginia. As a group, in my district we spoke for driver’s licenses for all, to end predatory lending, and to promote a living wage for working people. We also heard a hopeful message from Rev. Yearwood, and were offered some social justice workshops. I am so energized after meeting and being with Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics, Unitarians, Muslims, Quakers, Jews, and many other people of faith who have hope in making just laws.
Joe Shaver (Grace and Glory, Palmyra) We gathered in the sanctuary of Centenary United Methodist Church for preparation. Then we left to meet with our senator and delegate. Those meetings were a challenge due to scheduling problems; and because of the size of the whole group and going through metal detectors, we were about 10 minutes late to our first appointment with our senator. We were told that a few folks from VICPP had arrived on time and got in to see Senator Peake. I know his Assistant, George, and did manage to get us in for 5 minutes. Rob Bell was not in the office, but we did have a nice conversation with his administrative assistant. We went back to Centenary UMC and had a decent lunch. After lunch some interesting workshops were planned, and they were pretty good.
Finally, back to the sanctuary to hear the keynote speaker, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus. I found him to be extremely motivational in talking with us about the need to become enthusiastic for pushing for change for the young people he works with. They are expecting us to fight for the next generation and are calling 2020 the year of Truth. He urges a focus upon Faith and Love to address what the younger generation is saying that we aren’t face with a future of Justice or Equity but rather with a future of Existence. For me he was the highlight of the day.
Diane Bayer (Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg) It is always a wonderful to have the opportunity to exercise the Freedom of voicing our concerns with
our local elected Officials. VICPP’s work is very important for all religious background
nondenominational, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and many others.
Meeting with our Senators and Delegates or their Aides to share the Bills that the Center supports and having open sharing conversation can create change. Remembering what Rev. Lennox Yearwood said in his Keynote speech, Love and Faith go Hand in Hand and the actions we take today will leave an imprint for the Future. I especially liked his comment about the young people of today, they are not Revolutionaries they are rather Solutionaries! I look forward to continuing to work with VICPP and ensuring Social Justice for All Virginians!
I would like to encourage anyone with an interest in the work of the Center to try and attend “The Day of All People” next January and to also go to the Center’s website, www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org to learn more about all the work of the Center. You can also learn more about the Center’s 2020 Legislative Priorities.

Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust 2020

Monday, January 27, commemorates the 75th anniversary of when Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945. On January 27 each year, the United Nations (UN) remembers the Holocaust that affected many people of Jewish origin during World War II. This day is called the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. We join in prayer for the families of Holocaust victims and for peace and reconciliation among all people. For ways to commemorate this day, you are invited to visit the website above and to consider the ELCA Guidelines for Lutheran-Jewish Relations.

By | 2020-01-23T16:15:27-04:00 January 23rd, 2020|Do Justice, News|Comments Off on Do Justice: January 23, 2020

About the Author:

Emily is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Synod. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned her BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Digital Studies. If you have an announcement, upcoming event, or news story idea you would like to share, get in touch with Emily via email or by phone at (540) 389-1000