Do Justice: July 9, 2019

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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

On July 17, the church commemorates Bartolomé de Las Casas (1484-1566), missionary to the Indies. Las Casas was a Dominican friar, social reformer, and advocate for universal human rights. He worked for fifty years to end the slave system of the Spanish colonists, which included brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples. We continue to pray for the safety of indigenous peoples around the world, for those who live in poverty and oppression, and for those who work for justice and equality:
God of compassion, whose Son became poor for our sake. Help us to see the face of Christ in those who are poor, and in serving them to serve you. Give us generous hearts so that those living in poverty may have adequate food, clothing, and shelter. By your Spirit move us to affirm the dignity of all people and to work for just laws that protect the most vulnerable in society, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW p. 79; More Days for Praise )

Border Crisis Resources for Congregations (from ELCA Advocacy)

The God-given dignity in all people and value of family unity have been cornerstones of ELCA faith-based advocacy, and we understand that many of us, immigrants as well as families and neighbors, are both afraid and confused by recent developments. Ways to take action can be found in  our latest blog post , which includes worship resources, Action Alert links, meaningful  ELCA Ammparo  strategy ministries,  Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service  tools and more.

About Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

At the close of the Second World War, one in five Lutherans worldwide had no home. “Displaced persons,” refugees from a continent ravaged by war, fleeing poverty, disease and likely death, many sought a new hope in the United States.
To aid them, church founded Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in 1939. Eighty years later, LIRS remains a leader in its field. It is one of nine refugee resettlement agencies working with the Office of Refugee Resettlement and one of only two that serves unaccompanied refugee minors. LIRS also advocates for just policies and practices relating to immigration and detention.
Lutherans were not new to ministry among immigrants and refugees. For decades in the 1800s, our churches had established hostels and settlement houses near the great port cities of the East Coast. We were then, even more than we are now, a church built by newcomers to this nation, with a deep commitment to helping our bothers and sisters become part of the American mosaic.
Today, LIRS’s work embraces new Americans from many nations and religious traditions. But the fundamental tasks have not changed. LIRS provides refugee resettlement, foster care services, and family reunification. It works with new American communities to help them find work and foster welcoming workplaces, as well as teaching them to tell their own stories and advocate for their own rights.
LIRS remains a faith-based organization, which grows out of the distinctive experience of Lutherans in America, and which has touched the lives of nearly 400,000 people in need – and counting.
Offerings were collected at our Power in the Spirit communion services and will go to support the mission and ministry of LIRS. To learn more, visit: www.lirs.org

Lutheran Introduction to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Neighbors

Since 1974, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation has advocated for the full welcome, inclusion, and equity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their Church, congregations, and community. The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program of ReconcilingWorks is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations that publicly welcome LGBTQ people.
As a way to deepen and expand that welcome, ReconcilingWorks offers this resource as a basic introduction to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
By | 2019-07-24T15:01:43-04:00 July 9th, 2019|Do Justice, News|Comments Off on Do Justice: July 9, 2019

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