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 email@example.com so I can share them with others in the synod!
The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick
Assistant to the Bishop
Today, March 12, the church commemorates Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome (540-604 CE). During this season of Lent, let us hear again these words from Gregory’s homily on Matthew 4:19-23: “Let none of us who see other people giving up great possessions say to ourselves, ‘I should like to imitate people like these who have such contempt for the world, but I have nothing to give up.’ You give up much if you give up the desire to possess. The Lord looks at your heart, not your fortune; he considers the love that prompts your offerings, not its amount.” (From More Days for Praise, 59)
A Moral Call for Ecological Justice
By Melissa Woeppel , Pastoral Associate at Peace Lutheran Church in Charlottesville
Members of Peace Lutheran Church, Charlottesville, traveled to Buckingham on Feb. 19th to stand with the community of Union Hill and attend A Moral Call for Ecological Justice in Buckingham. Union Hill was founded by former slaves and freed people, making it a place of significant cultural and historical worth. Yet for the last four years, the community has worked to fight the construction of a natural gas pipeline compressor station in the community, a project that has severe environmental impacts on a largely black community. The Rev. Dr. William Barber, II and Former Vice President Al Gore spoke alongside community members who gave their own testimonies.
2019 Domestic Hunger Grant Awards
ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants accompany congregations and their partners throughout the U.S. and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to attack the root causes of poverty and hunger. This year, grants have been awarded to 77 ministries across the U.S. for a total three-year (2019-21) investment of over $1,187,000 (an average of $15,400 per ministry). The Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry (WARM) was one ministry that received a grant in our synod. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger — for good.
ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving
This Lent, you’re invited to join with fellow members and supporters of ELCA World Hunger to study, reflect and give during ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving. Explore the connections between faith and our shared ministry to end hunger and poverty. With our new resources, discover new ways to engage in the longstanding traditions and practices of Lent.