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 firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share them with others in the synod!
The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick
Assistant to the Bishop
Let us pray…Everlasting God, the whole universe sings a new song of praise; the rivers clap their hands, the hills ring out for joy. As you have raised us to new life in Christ, give us voices ready to cry out for justice and to proclaim resurrection joy wherever your Spirit leads us. In Jesus’ name we boldly pray. Amen. (Offertory prayer in worship at Rural Retreat Parish, April 29, 2018)
Malaria Awareness: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea
The Virginia Synod’s companion synod in the New Guinea Islands District (NGI) has begun a Malaria Awareness Program which includes education through songs and videos, many led by youth from the New Guinea Islands District. The Malaria Awareness Program also includes providing treated mosquito nets to people in the Islands District, especially mothers with young children. The project has begun, as you can see from the photos of the faithful gathered at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, led by Pastor Tobby Eleaser, President of the NGI.
Thank you for your prayers for and support of our siblings in Christ in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea!
Together with the presiding bishops of the ELCA and The Episcopal Church, we PRAY, FAST and ACT in support of federal programs that support higher education and learning.
The ELCA is grateful for the role public universities and colleges play in preparing people to serve competently in their callings and responsibilities. In the ELCA Social Statement, “Our Calling in Education,” college and university education are mentioned as the principal – almost exclusive – a way for people to gain access to higher earnings and occupational or professional status (p. 48). Access to higher education is moreover vital to the common good, which we are to serve and promote as part of our vocation (p. 46).
Eternal God bless all schools, colleges, and universities, that they may be lively places for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ Our Savior and Lord. Amen.
—Evangelical Lutheran Worship, pg. 78
We fast on this day in solidarity with all who struggle to gain the education and skills needed to live and thrive in the abundance of our world, particularly those with low incomes, people discriminated against in higher education based on race, ethnicity or gender, and working-class individuals.
We act together today by contacting our lawmakers to support strong funding for our current education programs and oppose efforts like the PROSPER Act that threaten the affordability of higher education for students.
Thank you for your leadership and support on this critical issue. Visit ELCA.org/PrayFastAct for more resources and updates as we continue to pray, fast and advocate together.
Double your gift to the Global Farm Challenge
Let me introduce you to Elise. She lives in Beni, Malawi. As a farmer, she relies on her maize harvest as her primary source of food. So do most of the children in her village. At the church’s nursery school, children gather to sing, learn and eat porridge made from maize flour. Elise and other farmers not only donate their harvest, they also donate their time to prepare the meal and teach the children.
This goes without saying, but when drought or floods cause the maize crop to fail, there’s so much at stake.
The Global Farm Challenge is a yearlong, youth-led challenge to support the agricultural projects of ELCA World Hunger. After the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, we’re more than halfway to our fundraising goal. And thanks to generous donors, all of our gifts toward this goal – up to $515,000 – will be doubled!
P.S. Check out our resources to help you bring the Global Farm Challenge to your congregation, including our Do-It-Yourself “Field Experience” guide (coming soon). And be sure to watch our 360-degree video, “The Seeds of Change in Malawi.”