from the ELCA Advocacy office in Washington, D.C. – the Rev. Amy E. Reumann, director
ADVOCATES RESPOND DURING EXTENDED SNAP COMMENT PERIOD: When new information from the Department of Agriculture was highlighted, estimating that more than 800,000 students access to free and discounted meals if a proposed rule change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was adopted, Lutherans used an extended comment period to express their opinions.
The proposed rule change to “categorical eligibility” of extremely poor communities would terminate SNAP access for nearly 3.1 million people. Thank you for your response through the ELCA Advocacy Action Center. We will continue to monitor the situation and report updates.
PARIS AGREEMENT WITHDRAWAL REACTION: Religious and community partners are deeply concerned by the United States’ formal withdrawal from the Paris Agreement as announced Nov. 4 by the Trump administration. Global cooperation is required to address this critical moment in time. Future generations will live with profound impact of the actions we take today.
“We see the despoiling of the environment as nothing less than the degradation of God’s gracious gift of creation,” reads the ELCA social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice.” Caring, serving, keeping, loving, and living by wisdom, the statement continues, sum up what is meant in Scripture witness by acting as God’s stewards of the earth. ELCA Advocacy staff and partners will be at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in December and will continue working with faith-based actors addressing climate change together.
GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY ACT COMMITMENT: In the wake of more pandemics, such as HIV, SARS, Avian flu, Ebola and Zika, more action is needed from the global community to address the health care needs of our communities. If passed, the bipartisan Global Health Security Act of 2019 (H.R. 2166) would revitalize U.S. government commitment to advancing global health security.
H.R. 2166 would strengthen U.S. commitments under the Global Health Security Agenda, a multilateral initiative launched in 2014 to build countries’ capacity to manage infectious disease threats and elevate health security as a global priority. An Action Alert in the ELCA Advocacy Action Center is available to facilitate messages of support to legislators.
SUPPORT FOR PEACE IN SOUTH SUDAN: For the past six years, a power struggle among different political and military factions in South Sudan has subjected its people to a high level of violence. Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, and millions have been displaced. In late October the U.S. Senate introduced a resolution (S. Res. 371) to reaffirm U.S. government support for South Sudan.
The resolution calls on parties to ensure implementation of the September 2018 agreement between the factions, including formation of a new transitional government. Additionally, the resolution encourages the U.S. Secretary of State and the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development to continue providing humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese and work with other agencies to hold corrupt officials and human rights abusers accountable. ELCA Advocacy thanked senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Todd Young (R-IN) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) for their leadership.
WEBINAR TO EXPAND ELCA CREATION CARE: The ELCA is responding as stewards of God’s good creation, and we need more #CreationCareAmbassadors to spread enthusiasm and information and to help strengthen our response. You can learn more on Dec. 11 from the free webinar “ELCA Caring for God’s Creation Today: Pass It On!”
The moment is now. The opportunities are many. The resources exist and are expanding. Learn about what’s happening and how you can make a difference, through this webinar hosted by ELCA Advocacy and our ecumenical collaborator, Blessed Tomorrow, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Maybe being a #CreationCareAmbassador is for you. Let’s pass it on! Registration info from facebook.com/pg/elcaadvocacy/events/.