Pastor Mateo – Immigration Program at Tapestry Lutheran in Richfield

Pastor Mateo Chavez from San Juan Bautista Lutheran Church in Tucson, AZ, preaching at Tapestry Lutheran in Richford, MN on July 14, 2019. The gospel reading was Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan. Listen as he relates the lessons of the Bible passage to the situation of immigrants and asylum seekers at the US border. Translation for the many visitors was provided by Pastor Melissa Melnik Gonzalez of Tapestry. That same evening, Pastor Mateo, with others from his family, told stories of people arriving at the Nogales border crossing area. Many Lutheran Advocacy-MN advocates attended and appreciated the hospitality (including dinner) of the Tapestry congregants.  Click here to see the full video: 

Advocacy Update – June 2019

Renewable Energy: Does your church have a solar array? (Or do you have it at home?) Send pictures and a short description! Also, send those pictures and description to your state legislators and tell them that Minnesota and the country need to move faster to more clean energy!

Immigration: Lutheran Advocacy-MN extensively publicized an immigration program with Pastor Mateo Chavez from San Juan Bautista Lutheran Church in Tucson, AZ, at Tapestry Lutheran in Richford, MN (July 14, 2019). The gospel reading, Luke 10:25-37, was the Good Samaritan story. Listen (below) as he relates the lessons of the Bible passage to the situation of immigrants and asylum seekers at the US border. (Pastor Melissa Melnik Gonzalez of Tapestry does great translation). Pastor Mateo, with others from his family, also told stories of people arriving at the Nogales border crossing area. We hope to share some of those stories soon. Many Lutheran Advocacy-MN advocates appreciated the hospitality (including dinner) of the Tapestry congregants.

  • Visit Members of Congress over August recess and/or have a letter writing activity at your church or group. Find the sample letter on our website. Call Tammy at 651-238-6506 for talking points to use in visits.

Moving Forward – A Guide to Climate Change Webinar

WHEN:
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 12 PM – 1 PM CDT

WHAT:
Webinar opportunity with ELCA collaborators Blessed Tomorrow who will discuss content of “Moving Forward,” a recently released guide to climate action for your congregation and community

WHY:
Changes to our climate reach into communities across the U.S. and around the world. ELCA members, as individuals, congregations, and ministry groups, are responding. This webinar will share ideas to expand your response in scope and efficacy. The issues are pressing – and the solutions are within reach.

HOW:
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4744202857618562059 . Instructions for connecting to the webinar will be sent after you register. You can register up until the time of the webinar.

Whether or not you attend the webinar, find the resource “Moving Forward A Guide to Climate Action For Your Congregation and Community” at http://elca.org/environment

Advocacy Update – May 2019

Minnesota Legislative Session:

Significant disagreements between the House and Senate bills meant negotiation meetings at all hours in the final official weeks of session. Committees kept meeting “unofficially” following the May 20 “end” and then the legislature kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a 21 hour special session!

Affordable housing came out better than every other issue & agency, though need still outstrips appropriations. Clean Energy had disappointing results. A session summary will be available on our webpage. Thanks for many calls, emails & visits with legislators!

Events &Presentations:

Minnesotans from five synods participated in the ELCA Advocacy Convening on “advocacy in the context of disasters enhanced by climate change” (April 29-May1, Washington, D.C.) The group had several good meetings, though there is more work needed with some of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation.

LA-MN Director, Tammy Walhof, presented on Lutheran Advocacy-MN to pastors from the SPAS South Metro at their Conference Meeting (May 2). Later (May 17-18), she did similar mini-sessions at their Synod Assembly, passed 300+ action alerts, and spoke in depth with several participants.

Tammy had many wonderful conversations at the SW Minnesota Synod WELCA Convention (May 3-4), and was able to give out 230+ action alerts after being allowed a brief announcement about decisions being made by legislators. LA-MN’s Lutheran Affordable Housing Event (May 6) was followed by a rousing Homes for All Rally in the capitol rotunda with hundreds of other housing advocates from across the state.

We’ve Got Until Midnight for Affordable Housing & Clean Energy!

Hey Friends – We can still make a difference until midnight! Tell your legislators to push their conference committee negotiators to act for Clean Energy and Affordable Housing. The language in the previous action alerts   is  still usable.  Find the content here:

Legis-2019-Update-SPASAssembly

What are the specifics?

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: This message language is a little more specific than the action alert, but either will work. Tell, tweet, or tag legislators: “We need a bonding bill. Please support #Bonds4Housing! More than half a million Minnesota families pay more than they can afford for housing, and that number is growing. Support the Homes for All agenda including #Bonds4Housing, $1 million for the emergency services program, and $5 million for the affordable #HousingTaxCredit. We need action this session for affordable homes. Thank you!”

CLEAN ENERGY: The discussions haven’t been going well for clean energy!! We know that legislation for 100% carbon neutral energy by 2050 is not going to be included, but tell legislators: “Include policy language on clean energy to move us faster to more renewables by 2030. Xcel Energy has pledged to get to 60% renewables by 2030, and the rest of the utilities should get close to that. Also support Clean Energy First, meaning that if carbon neutral energy is less expensive, it should be used before fossil fuels. Studies have shown that renewable and battery technology can easily handle 60% of our states electrical usage by 2030. Renewable energy is already significantly less expensive and batteries are predicted within 3 years to make even new renewable infrastructure less expensive than fossil fuels.” (This should be a no-brainer, but strong interests are pushing in the opposite direction).

After midnight, the bills go to the Reviser’s Office to make sure they are all in proper legal language & the legislators come back on Thursday for a 1-day special session to pass the final versions of all those major bills.

Legis-2019-Update-SPASAssembly

Ash Wednesday Reflections

Ash Wednesday Readings: Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

While learning Spanish, I was struck that the word in my Spanish bible for both righteousness and justice is the same: justicia! As it turns out, that is true in many languages, including Hebrew (tsedek). In each case, the words refer to right relationship. Right relationship with God; right relationship with our human and non-human neighbors; right relationship within and between people, communities, nations; and right relationship within and between all that God has created.

What a beautiful vision of how the world should be! Yet, we have not been faithful to God’s calls for right relationship. Where do you see the broken relationships in your community? Don’t just think about between individuals! Are all in our communities well? Do our various municipal, state, and federal government policies reflect a desire for of what is good for all, or do they only reflect the interests of a few? Where have things broken down in our nation? How have we broken relationships with God’s creation around us? Have we been eager to point out the brokenness we see elsewhere, but hypocritically neglected our own role in what is broken?

Take a moment this Ash Wednesday to reflect on all the different relationships and levels of relationships that should be “made right.” Pray for God to guide and lead you and all of us together into right relationship with God, with everyone and everything that God has created.

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