Do Justice: May 21, 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

Thursday, May 21, is the Ascension of Our Lord. This festival, which occurs 40 days after Easter, commemorates Jesus’ ascension into heaven – as told in  Acts 1.6-11 . As we praise God this day, let us pray:
Almighty God, your only Son ascended into the heavens and in your presence intercedes for us. Receive us and our prayers for all the world, and in the end bring everything into your glory, through Jesus Christ, our Sovereign and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Upcoming Events

Becoming the Body of Christ Where All Bodies are Valued

TONIGHT- Thursday, May 21st, at 7:00 PM join in an ELCA Webinar on Racism being offered by the Southeastern Synod and featuring ELCA Presiding Bishop Eaton and several experts to guide conversation as we learn more about what it means to be “working toward a deeper understanding of slavery and its legacy, of institutional and structural racism, of white privilege, and of attitudes and foundations of white supremacy.” (2019 Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent). Register at:  www.elca-ses.org

Virginia Synod Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the Charleston Church Shooting

On June 17, 2020 our Synod, along with the ELCA will commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the murders of the “Emmanuel Nine” in Charleston, SC. Our Virginia Synod TAPESTRY Team is planning an online conversation and other resources for your use. We will be sharing information on how to join the conversation soon.

ELCA Social Message Feedback Needed

Dear church,

The idea of government was already very much in focus because this was an election year, and the pandemic has focused it more so. But what does the ELCA teach about the nature and function of government in relation to God’s purposes? What is a faithful Lutheran response regarding citizenship and civic engagement?

To help guide our church on these questions, the 2019 Churchwide Assembly asked for the preparation of a social message. At this time, the message is in draft form. Through May 27, you are invited to provide feedback on how to strengthen the message.

I invite you to click  here  to read “A Draft Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement: Discipleship in a Democracy.” To offer feedback, please fill out the survey. You may also choose to email comments to   draftsocialmessage@elca.org. The comment period ends on May 27. To learn more about what social messages are, click   www.elca.org/socialmessages.

In light of the feedback, the message will be revised and presented to the ELCA Church Council for a vote in June. Upon its adoption, the message and a study guide will be released over the summer, along with a Spanish translation.
To learn more about this social message and the process of its creation, please visit its webpage, which features “ Frequently Asked Questions. “
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this project—it’s through the wisdom of the full church that a strong message will be created.
God’s peace,
Rev. Roger A. Willer, Ph.D.
Director for Theological Ethics
Office of the Presiding Bishop

ELCA Guides for Finding Community Assistance Resources by States

ELCA World Hunger has created new Guides for Finding Community Assistance Resources by States to help potential applicants get started in applying for benefits they and their families may need. Each one-page guide has links to information and applications for each of the following programs for all 50 states and Washington, DC:

  • unemployment insurance;
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
  • Rental and housing resources from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and
  • child care assistance (for most states).

In addition, each sheet has contact information for the National Suicide Hotline, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Farmer Crisis Hotline.

Download Community Resources Document for Virginia

By | 2020-06-05T12:15:59-04:00 May 21st, 2020|Do Justice, News|Comments Off on Do Justice: May 21, 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