Merry Christmas!

My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, and my spirit rejoices in you, You have looked with love on your servant here, and blessed me all my life through. Great and mighty are you, O Holy One, strong is your kindness evermore. How you favor the weak and lowly one, humbling the proud of heart.

You have cast the mighty down from their thrones, and uplifted the humble of heart. You have filled the hungry with wondrous things, and left the wealthy no part. Great and mighty are you, O Faithful One, strong is your justice, strong your love, as you promised to Sarah and Abraham, kindness forevermore.

  – Mary’s Song (Magnificat) from Luke 1:46-55, from Holden Evening Prayer  by Marty Haugen

When you read the end of Luke 1, do you find yourself breaking into a song of praise like that of Mary? While deeply personal, Mary’s hymn of praise is also prophetic and political. She continues in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets, who called the people back into right relationship with God, with one another and with all of God’s creation. Mary describes a world of wholeness in which the powerful are not lifted above the powerless, and no one goes hungry while others have their fill—a wholeness to which Jesus, the child inside her, is the key.

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of God’s love in human flesh: Jesus, the Messiah, who has come to heal our broken relationships. We see a glimpse of this in Luke 4, when Jesus announces his ministry as good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and letting the oppressed go free. Jesus has come to make us whole again!

As Christians we are called to show and share love, just as Jesus has shown his love to us. We are called to be God’s hands, feet and voices in the world. We are called to love our neighbor and work as God’s instruments of healing wherever brokenness is found, whether that involves homeless people in need of shelter, children impacted by pollution, families struggling with hunger, refugees seeking asylum, or anywhere where our neighbor or our shared creation suffers.

Join Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota as we answer God’s call to be instruments of healing. Help us work for justice and right relationship in our communities and God’s creation. Encourage elected leaders to promote policies that work toward justice in our government and our society. We need you in God’s work!

Prayer: God of love, help us to reflect your light in a world that sometimes seems dark. Wonderful Counselor, teach us how to be your instruments of justice, peace, healing, and love in this time and in this place. Prince of Peace, grant us your peace, and may a song of praise to you always be on our lips.

Advocacy Update: November 2018

Advocacy Update: November 2018

Homes for All Coalition: Meetings galore!!!  Never have there been so many proposals to consider for the coalition’s collaborative agenda! LA-MN Director Tammy Walhof, serving with the Homes for All Policy Team, engaged by listening to proposal presentations, evaluating proposals, and helping cull them to a more manageable list. One colleague thinks the team spent around 30 hours in that process!

Environmental Coalitions: LA-MN is part of Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP), the MN 100% Campaign, and the State Climate Table. Tammy, in leadership positions with both the MEP Energy Cluster and the Climate Table, has worked hard to bring more unity and common focus to the array of groups and coalitions. She will be turning over her MEP Cluster leadership to others, allowing more time with churches throughout Minnesota actually addressing issues.

Continue reading Advocacy Update: November 2018

Advocacy Update: September 2018

Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum

Lutheran Advocacy-MN actively promoted Homes for All’s gubernatorial forum. Both major-party lieutenant governor candidates, Donna Bergstrom and Peggy Flanagan, have housing and low-income experience. More than 500 people attended in person or by livestream.  Another 150+ have watched online. If you haven’t seen it, watch the forum!

Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota highlighted as Homes for All Partner 

LA-MN is honored to be the first partner featured on Home’s for All’s blog as it begins highlighting the work of coalition partners.  Learn more about our work on housing and how you can participate.

Questions for State Legislative Candidates

Election season is heating up!  Do you know where your state legislative candidates stand on issues that matter?  Here are some questions you can ask candidates before election day to make sure you’re making an informed decision!

On clean energy:

Minnesota’s legislature voted nearly unanimously to pass the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act. Governor Pawlenty signed it into law. It set a standard of 25% renewable energy to be reached by 2025 (30% for Xcel Energy), and encouraged energy efficiency. The law has helped Minnesota add many businesses and jobs, reduce prices with low-cost renewables (15% below national average), cut energy consumption by 1%/year, and dramatically lower emissions from power plants.

What would you do to continue Minnesota’s transition to renewable energy?

How would you support clean energy businesses and jobs?

On housing:

Across Minnesota, there isn’t enough affordable housing. High housing costs contribute to increased hunger rates. Families in minimum wage jobs must work 71 hours/week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. 450,000 Minnesota households are cost burdened.

What would you do legislatively to increase levels of safe affordable housing?

How would you protect existing affordable rental housing?

What would you do to prevent and end homelessness?

Family Separation and Reunification

So much has happened over the last month with the president’s new Zero Tolerance immigration policy of separating children from their families at the border that it can be hard to keep up. Here’s a refresher of what’s happened and what’s currently happening under this policy, and what the ELCA and advocacy partners are doing in response.

The policy: The Department of Justice announced in April that every adult who enters the country without immigration authorization would be criminally prosecuted, regardless of the circumstances. This includes refugees fleeing their home countries due to violence or other reasons, even though refugees are required under US law to present themselves at a point of entry—in other words, people entering the United States to claim asylum are not breaking the law.  Under the previous policy, people caught crossing the border or those claiming asylum would be held in immigrant detention pending the outcome of their immigration proceeding. Under the new policy, they are instead referred to criminal prosecution to determine whether they will serve prison time for crossing the border. Federal law classifies crossing the border without approval by an immigration official as a misdemeanor, not a felony; it is the criminal equivalent to trespassing on national forest land.

Continue reading Family Separation and Reunification

Advocating for Justice and Care for All of God's Creation