Category Archives: Uncategorized

October Events

Housing

The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) is hosting a series of five webinars on topics related to affordable housing in Minnesota. Come to one or all five webinars to learn about these topics and prepare for the 2022 Legislative Session. Both those new to the issue and experienced housing advocates are welcome.

Webinars will be held the first Thursday of the month from October-January from 6:30 to 7:30 pm CST. You can register for the Zoom event here.

 

Creation Care

Fresh Energy is hosting a webinar about the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which begins on October 31st in Glasgow, Scotland. Join J. Drake Hamilton, senior science policy director at Fresh Energy, to learn what to expect from the conference and how Minnesota fits into the process.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, October 20, at 12pm CST. You can register for the Zoom event here.

 

Hunger

ELCA World Hunger produces “Hunger at the Crossroads,” a webinar series about the intersection of hunger and other issues including racial justice, housing, and climate change. Attend their October webinar to learn more about how climate change exacerbates world hunger and how we can respond.

Ryan Cumming and Brooke De Jong from ELCA World Hunger will host the webinar on Wednesday, October 27 at 6pm CST. You can register for the event here.

 

 

 

Voting Options and Issues to Raise with Candidates

New ELCA Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement

Minnesota Voter Information

Voter Registration

Voting During a Pandemic

Election Help Needed/Get Involved

Candidate Contacts & Questions

New ELCA Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement


The 2019 Churchwide Assembly requested a new social message on government and civic engagement. The document titled “Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy” was adopted in June of this year by the ELCA Church Council.

This offers a great opportunity for study and discussion by congregations, and can even work as a Zoom group discussion. There is a Study Guide, along with a Leader’s Guide for those facilitating groups. A Spanish translation is being prepared as well.

 Minnesota Voter Information
The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office has very helpful information on their website. The picture below shows just what the top part of the page looks like. Much more information is available when you scroll down. https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/

Voter Registration
Although you may already be registered, you probably know people who are not yet registered! Think about the young adults in your life. Are they registered? Do you know any immigrants who have become Naturalized U.S. Citizens recently? What about low-income people or homeless with whom your church is engaged. People who have moved recently may not be registered yet under their current address. Give these folks a call, email or text them the link. Please be COVID safe while encouraging registration. Anyone may check to make sure their registration is current. Where to Register or Update Registration Online: https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterRegistration/VoterRegistrationMain.aspx

Voting During a Pandemic
Many of us do not want to be at our polling place on November 3. Several states saw outbreaks of COVID-19 directly connected to lines at primary voting places. In Minnesota, we have various options.

  • Vote By Mail: Order an absentee ballot and vote by mail. Your ballot must be postmarked before or on Nov. 3, but don’t wait that long. Get it in as soon as possible! Order your ballot here: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/vote-early-by-mail/
  • Vote Early: Many cities and towns offer early in-person voting, and county election offices do as well. This is technically absentee voting, but the election judges present will make sure you do it properly & you have the certainty that it’s done! I voted last Friday, and felt confident with the health safety measures taken (mask up before going). https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/vote-early-in-person/
  • Multiple Ballots?: I discovered on Friday while voting early that apparently I had asked for a general election ballot at the same time as my primary ballot. Since I hadn’t remembered that I’d already asked for a ballot, I had considered submitting one of the three ballot request forms from various organizations that arrived to my home. It’s a felony to vote more than one time, and I got a sick feeling in my gut realizing that I had already requested a ballot! But, Minnesota’s tracking system will only allow one vote to be submitted, so using my driver’s license number, the election judges cancelled any other ballot request and I was instructed that if a ballot arrived, I was to destroy it. Even if I tried to submit it, it would not be allowed or counted, but DON’T test the system with multiple vote attempts.
  • Track Your Ballot: In tracking my ballot from Friday, that the system recorded it on Monday as “received and will be counted.” It also showed that my primary ballot, which I had sent by mail for the Primary Election was received and counted. Track your ballot here https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx
  • Voting In-Person on Election Day: Of course, if you choose not to vote early or by mail, you may still vote in person. Some communities are changing polling locations to be in a larger venue that allows for better distancing, so check your location in advance! (And wear your mask!!!) https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/election-day-voting/

Election Help Needed/Get Involved

  • Become an Election Judge: These are the people that staff the election process, whether for early voting or on election day. Many of the regular volunteers are retired, and are in higher risk categories for COVID-19. Are you healthy and young? Help is still needed!
  • Other Options: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/get-involved/

Candidate Contacts & Questions (Check their campaign websites for how to connect)

Candidates are trying to get your vote. They may be calling, stopping by, or holding online forums, which means you have the opportunity to talk with them & ask them questions. Be sure to mention that you are Christian, Lutheran, and an advocate with Lutheran Advocacy-MN. You can also email them!

Cover just one issue per email. With others you can divide up the issues for contacts because if you ask or write about all the issues at one time it may be overwhelming to the candidates. Mention that you will share their responses with others from your church, or family, or on social media. (Then don’t forget to share when you hear back!).

The following issues can be discussed with candidates for both the state legislature and for Congress. For each these issues, say something about why the issue is important to you, especially as a person of faith/Christian/Lutheran.

Housing Explain that we were in a housing crisis even before the COVID crisis hit. Now many renters are unable to pay their rent (as they’ve been out of work or working sporadically). In addition, there are many homeless across the state, and when the eviction moratorium ends, we will have significant cascading homelessness across the state. Ask them how they plan to work for more affordable housing statewide, and more safe shelter options.

  • Hunger Explain that the economic downturn has increased hunger and it is only increasing. Some of that responsibility is with the federal nutrition programs, as administrative rules have been working to limit access to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). What will they do to address and prevent hunger in our communities?
  • Renewable Energy Explain that renewable energy (wind and solar) are significantly cleaner and are now less expensive than fossil fuels which include fracked gas and coal. With increasing storage options and grid management, electric stability and consistency can be maintained with renewable, clean energy. Minnesota arrived at the goal of 25% of electrical energy from renewable sources many years ahead of schedule. Ask candidates
    1. What they will do to speed up the transition to a clean economy;
    2. How they will ensure that Minnesota & the U.S. will not get left behind in the manufacture of clean technologies, as many other countries are transitioning much faster to the energy economy; and
    3. What they will do to help workers currently engaged in fossil fuel extraction or energy development to transition to the clean energy economy? (The transition is occurring and fossil fuel related jobs are being lost at increasingly rapid speed. The options are to help workers transition, or leave workers behind!)
  • Climate Change We have several state legislators and some members of Congress who still deny the reality of climate change. You can talk about renewable energy with these candidates/legislators without getting into climate change. However, we do need to move them into reality! Point out that megafires in California, increased intensity and numbers of hurricanes and tropical storms are symptoms of the changing climate! So are the severe floods and droughts that Minnesota farmers experience with increasing regularity! Ask the candidates what they plan to do to slow climate change, and how they will help Minnesota communities, workers, and farmers adapt to changing conditions.
  • Racial Divisions The divides between the ways that people act or treat others based on race is very appropriately in the spotlight once again! So are the ways that our systems and institutions favor some and discriminate against others. Mention some examples about how Minnesota has one of the biggest racial equity gaps. Think of examples in your community and/or borrow from state information or this article from the Star Tribune. Ask what the candidate will do to reduce and eliminate disparities.

Once again, my post has gotten long, despite coming back to it various times to try to shorten it. However, I hope it is helpful, and that you can use it be an informed voter who shows up, and who helps others be informed and participate as well!

Take care! Don’t forget to pray also for safe and smooth elections! May God watch over, protect, and bless both our voting process and all voters (regardless of party affiliation) in the midst of this odd 2020 pandemic year.

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advocacy Update – August 2020

Minnesota

Tammy Walhof, Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota (LA-MN) lutheranadvocacmn.org

 

SPECIAL SESSION #2: A carefully negotiated bipartisan $1.8 billion bipartisan bonding/tax bill failed the supermajority needed by six votes in the House of Representatives.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has been holding bonding as leverage to force an end to the governor’s COVID emergency powers. House & Senate leaders hoped that a bipartisan bill could help House Republicans defy the Minority leader (we know of some who wanted to vote for the bill). However, the bill went down on a House party-line vote, despite Senate passage with broad bipartisan support.

Watch for mid-August’s Special Session when we get to do this all over again!

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Given bonding bill defeat, Housing Infrastructure Bonds and Public Housing bonds were unable to move forward. Although amounts never made it to the levels we were advocating, $100 million was included for housing infrastructure and $16 million for public housing (significantly higher than where the Senate had been).

We appreciate our advocates’ efforts to increase housing bonds, push leaders to bipartisan agreement, and thank several leaders from both parties for their diligent work.

COVID EMERGENCY & HOUSING: Gov. Walz announced $100 million of CARES Act federal funding will be used for housing assistance. Nevertheless, if Congress doesn’t reinstate extra unemployment funding, many Minnesotans will default on rent. (Please see ELCA Advocacy’s alerts on those federal negotiations!).

CLEAN ENERGY: Several small(ish) projects that could help the transition to clean renewable energy also don’t pass without bonding.

POLICE REFORM: A bill banning most chokeholds, requiring intervention to prevent excessive force by fellow officers, and outlawing “warrior training” passed despite huge differences in positions. Various legislators want to come back to deeper racism dismantling within policing structures, and we hope to engage these concerns.

[LA-MN Director: Tammy Walhof / 651-238-6506 (call/text) / tammy@lutheranadvocacymn.org. Website: www.lutheranadvocacymn.org]

Action Alert – Affordable Housing in MN

Hello Friends –

As the legislative special session seems to be coming to a close, we need your helpPlease check the Action Alert below, connect to the Homes for All link, and send your personalized email to state lawmakers! 

Homes for All legislator email links:
…posted on the H4A blog here and direct Link here: click here

 

We are in living in unprecedented times! We’ve been hearing that a lot, and changes in our routines make it obvious daily. However, full comprehension the waves of change we are experiencing is less understood. I’ve included a fuller discussion below the Action Alert. We’ll need to come back to many of those issues in the weeks and months to come!! [Meantime, if you’d like to watch/listen to/read “My Heart is Broken: A Modern-Day Psalm of Lament” it was posted a couple of weeks back on our Facebook page.“My Heart is Broken” video link: …(link here)]

Quite honestly, it doesn’t look like much will be accomplished in this special session, especially in the areas related to our agenda. In policing reform, while the House is working on transformational legislation, the Senate is mostly looking for tweaks or reforms to the status quo. Clean energy and climate could have a role in the types of projects in the bonding bill, but today it is looking unlikely that House and Senate will agree regarding a full bonding amount and spending priorities, much less that a two-thirds majority will be achieved, particularly as Rep. Kurt Daudt (House Minority Leader) has pledged to prevent his caucus from passing the major bonding bill until the Governor’s Peacetime Emergency Executive Order has been ended.

The one area where some things could still happen before the Senate’s promised adjournment tomorrow is in housing issues. There are some COVID-related housing concerns that could still be addressed, and the senate seems intent on putting housing bonds into it’s own bill (separate from other bonding) which could be something that gets negotiated yet with the House. However, the senate is proposing bonds at at very low dollar levels, particularly compared to the extreme need and to our Homes for All original & revised requests. It is also possible that the senate may decide to keep working awhile longer, and there is discussion that another Special Session may be called in July.

Hence, the need for this action alert. Please know that action tonight could still have a significant impact on what happens yet tonight or tomorrow!!!

ACTION ALERT

What is Needed?

1)      $100 million in housing assistance (available from federal funding) designated to address COVID related concerns and job losses;

2)      Changing the rental eviction moratorium to align with federal policy, and a grace period for rental payment (especially important if the rental assistance isn’t designated)

3)      $225 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds, with $25 million of it designated just one time for shelter use (especially important with distancing needed during the pandemic, but was needed ever before COVID)

4)      $100 million in Government Obligation Bonds to address Public Housing (including rehab or rehabilitation of apartment units)

How to Act?

Send an email via the Homes for All system which will automatically send to your senator and representative. The message language there is very general. Please use your own words or borrow from the above “What is Needed” listMost importantly, share why you care and/or your own experiences with housing, what your church does to help address housing concerns, or the housing situation in your community(statewide we have a severe lack of affordable housing).

Homes for All legislator email links:
…posted on the H4A blog here and direct Link here: click here

Advocacy Update – February 2020

Faith Leader Housing Summit: Many Lutheran leaders participated in a Faith Leader Housing Summit through long-time advocacy partner, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC). It was exciting to hear Gov. Walz talk about housing priorities!

Precinct Caucuses: LA-MN Advocates had the opportunity to bring resolutions to their caucuses on housing & homelessness, and clean energy! We hope that major parties will include  statements on the party platforms.

 “Clean Energy First” Legislation: Clean Energy First refers to prioritizing clean renewable energy over other sources, if more economically viable. Wind and solar energy have become the lowest cost option, but tweaks are needed to update current law. The Senate Energy & Utilities bill rolls back current statute and redefines clean renewable energy in ways that are not actually clean, but does include positive language regarding jobs and transition. LA-MN advocates have made many contacts with legislators to improve the bill, but action is still needed as most of the problems remain.

Housing: Many LA-MN advocates contacted legislative leaders to push for $500 million in affordable housing bonds. We appreciate feedback, and welcome the legislative responses advocates share with us.

Upcoming Events:

 Now the Green Blade Rises: The Easter Gospel for the Whole Creation

(2020 EcoFaith Summit) – Flier / Registration
Saturday, March 28, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 418 8th Ave. NE, Brainerd, MN 56401

From the Upper Midwest? Join this event!! Includes worship that sings Easter for the whole creation; young activists sharing their motivations; breakout sessions; faces of the climate crisis; messaging on climate & difficult environmental issues; networking for musicians, students, creation care teams, church gardeners, youth leaders, preachers, public advocates, and more!

2020: Serving the Common Good
Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) Day on the Hill – Info./ Registration
Wednesday, April 1, 8:30 a.m. – afternoon legislative visits
InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, 11 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55101

 

 

Advocacy Update – December

2020 Agenda

Two Year Process: In 2020, Minnesota is in year two of the legislative biennium. Legislation introduced last session is still active. It does not need to be re-introduced, can be picked up again by committees, or if passed through part of the two chamber process can continue in that process. This means that legislation we addressed last year could still be passed.

2020 State Priorities: The LA-MN Policy Council decided early on that brand new issues should not be considered, but rather that work started on unfinished issues should continue.

1)   Affordable Housing, Homelessness & Related Services:  Although 2019 was not a bonding year, bonding for affordable housing was passed and was really the only issue that got significant attention from both parties and both chambers. However, the legislature was and remains behind on what needs to be passed to catch up with the statewide housing crisis.

For that reason, as part of the Homes for All coalition, we are calling for $500 million in bonding for the creation of new housing and rehabilitation of existing stock. While that may sound (including to legislators) like a huge amount of money, it is really only a down-payment on what is actually needed. Other states in similar situations with similar sized budgets have passed $900 million to $1.4 billion in bonding for housing. We will also be working to continue to address aspects from last year’s Minnesota Housing and Human Services agenda, and to make policy improvements to help bring tenants more rights in a system significantly weighted toward landlords. While these changes won’t impact good landlords, they will help prevent abuses by slumlords.

2)  Clean Energy, Clean Air, Climate, and Jobs: Minnesota surpassed early the Renewable Energy Standard set in 2007 of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025 for electric energy and 30 percent for Xcel Energy. Last year, the House of Representatives passed significant legislation for 100% clean energy by 2050, but it went nowhere in the Senate. Both chambers debated “Clean Energy First” provisions, which we support, with the idea that if clean energy (renewables and efficiency savings) are less expensive than energy from fossil fuels, they should be considered first. The senate version has lots of loopholes.

Much of our work on clean energy in 2020 will be focused on the senate – a) educating regarding remaining misunderstandings about the climate crisis, b) calling generally for 100% Clean Carbon Neutral Energy by 2050 and Clean Energy First (without debating every detail within the various 100% bills), and c) calling for transition provisions to help communities where fossil fuel jobs will be lost (while supporting the rapidly growing clean energy economy & jobs), and d) working for adaptation and resilience for those most impacted already by the climate crisis, especially low-income communities and farmers.

Federal Priorities: LA-MN will continue to partner with ELCA Advocacy to aggressively protect programs important for vulnerable people and our vulnerable earth, with special focus on protecting and welcoming vulnerable immigrants.

Advocacy Update – November 2019

STATE ADVOCACY UPDATE FORM

This form is to be used as a template for state public policy office updates each month.

Guidelines:  Describe advocacy actions taken, events attended/hosted, issues you are working on. For spacing and consistency reasons, we encourage you to avoid bullet points, but encourage you to divide your policy issues into separate paragraphs. Make sure to indicate if there is any information you provide which you would NOT like to have made public (on our blog). When you complete this form, please send to washingtonoffice@elca.org.

 

STATE: Minnesota (Tammy Walhof ) DATE: Dec/3/2019
UPDATE:
Immigration/Migrant Monday Replaced

As new executive orders continue to appear, immigration remains a key issue to people contacting Lutheran Advocacy-MN. LA-MN’s director, Tammy, made two presentations in November on immigration/asylum at the southern border. Despite the interest, weekly Migrant Monday postings on Facebook will be replaced by Monday or Tuesday postings about clean energy and climate change, and Thursday postings about affordable housing in preparation for the upcoming session.

Climate Bonding Proposals:
With Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP), LA-MN is considering principles for evaluating bonding projects based on how they impact harmful emissions to the atmosphere as legislation in the 2020 session. Those should be available soon for you to promote with your legislators.

The MEP Energy Cluster is also evaluating specific bonding proposals. Out of 25 possible options for the upcoming session, Lutheran Advocacy-MN hopes to focus on just a couple that help Minnesota transition to clean energy and fewer carbon emissions (possibly proposals related to making solar energy available for schools, improving solar accessibility to Minnesotans generally, or something related to agriculture/land use/cover crops).

Clean Energy & Carbon Pricing:
Clean Energy proposals are the most basic step to major cuts of carbon emissions. Unfortunately, by itself, clean energy doesn’t do enough – much more needs to be done (quickly) as devastating impacts of climate change are occurring more rapidly than scientists predicted.

Lutheran Advocacy-MN (including many of you) has been working for various proposals that would achieve

a)      50% renewable electric energy by 2030,
b)      100% renewable energy by 2050, or
c)       a carbon-neutral Minnesota by 2050.

Minnesota surpassed its 25% renewable threshold two years ago, and each of the last three years Xcel Energy has committed to larger proportions of renewable energy and dramatically reduced carbon emissions. However, Minnesota’s full legislature hasn’t passed legislation that 1) pulls other utilities into doing more, 2) addresses sources of emissions beyond the electricity sector, or 3) offers pathways to employment for people transitioning from jobs in industries related to fossil fuels.

 Nationwide, many organizations, climate scientists, politicians (Democrat & Republican) and others are calling for a price or tax on carbon emissions (conservatives usually prefer “carbon pricing” language). In November, Tammy was engaged in events and conversations about the shape those proposals might take in Minnesota. She’s gleaned a checklist of criteria for proposals. It will be posted for your perusal and feedback. In addition, within a few days a new talking points guide should be on the website for Christmas cards to, or meetings with, legislators in December.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

Thanks to those everyone who submitted comments to the USDA proposed rule change. Whether you commented this most recent time, or one of the other times in 2019 the administration proposed changes (while setting the comment period at minimum allowed), your help to prevent cuts to SNAP which would result in millions of seniors, children, disabled, and other people being eliminated from the program is GREATLY appreciated!

Urgent Action Alert to Gov – Affordable Housing Bonds

Tell the governor to go big and bold in his 2020 bonding request by including $500 million for affordable housing in their proposal!!

 

ACTION: Call or email the Governor

MAIN MESSAGE POINTS:

  1. Tell them who you are & where you’re from
  2. Tell them “Please go big and bold and include $500 million in your 2020 bonding proposal for affordable housing!”

ADD A REASON OR SAY WHY YOU CARE:

 (Choose just 2-3 from below or use your own. Try to use your own words.)

  • [Share about the housing situation in your community]
  • [Share what your church is doing to try to help address the crisis]
  • “Churches and community groups can’t do everything that is needed. The state needs to step up in a bigger and bolder way.”
  • “Each $1 invested in state bonding additionally leverages more than 3 times that much in private, non-profit, and other funding.”
  • “I’m a Christian (Lutheran) and God calls all of us to work together to make sure those who are most vulnerable have what they need.”
  • “Justice and compassion for those most vulnerable are themes throughout the Bible. In those passages, leaders are called by God to do what is right.”
  • “More than 580,000 Minnesota households pay more than they can afford on housing.”
  • “Households that spend too much of their income on housing often cut family food budgets, forgo necessities like gas to get to work, or cut medicine needed to maintain their health.”
  • “State bonding is a vital tool that provides housing of all types across the state, creating stability for our most vulnerable populations, including seniors, children, and those with disabilities.”
  • “In addition to creating much needed housing, state bonding funds help create jobs & economic development in communities across the state.”
  • “Housing is a statewide issue. The shortage of affordable housing is a concern of both small and large communities – rural, small town, urban, & suburban communities.”
  • “Affordable housing concerns have always been bipartisan in Minnesota! We can solve this when we acknowledge the scope of the need and work together as One Minnesota to meet the needs across the whole state.”
  • Although $500 million sounds like a lot of money, compared to other states, it’s not actually that much. Massachusetts just passed $1.8 billion for housing bonds.

BACKROUND: Governor Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan are in the process of creating their proposal for state bonds which they will present in the new year. The state legislative bodies (House & Senate) will work from that initial proposal to determine final bond amounts in various areas.

The Homes for All Coalition, of which Lutheran Advocacy-MN (and you, through us) are a part, believes we need to go really big and bold this year!!

Each year, some resources get allocated to housing, the legislature feels like they are addressing the need, and then wonder why we keep asking for more and talking about Minnesota’s housing crisis. Unfortunately, the truth is that although what we have accomplished each year is significant, it still only touches the tip of the iceberg of need throughout Minnesota.

In addition, Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) has always made up the bulk of rental property across the state. However, in recent years that supply has been (and is being) decimated as investors buy older buildings where rent is less expensive, evict the residents, renovate the apartments, and turn the property into luxury rentals. Or they buy manufactured home parks for some other development purpose, once again evicting people! (Some who own their manufactured home will learn that there is either no place to move it, or that it is too old to be moved). The numbers of people being evicted from housing each year just because property changes hands are by themselves more than what the state can provide in new or renovated affordable homes/units, because the level of state funding just isn’t enough.

We need a bold ask for housing bonds because the need is so great!!! And we need a big, bold ask to help people throughout state government and the state legislature feel the urgency of the tremendous need in our state!

THANKS for your calls or emails, and all that you do for vulnerable people!!

Tammy

Earth’s Changing Climate with Will Steger

Thursday, November 21, 2019 – 07:00pm

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church – 900 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi, MN

World-renowned environmentalist and explorer Will Steger’s free presentation includes Q&A with a panel of faith & environmental experts: Buff Grace, Climate Justice Congregations, MNIPL; J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director, Fresh Energy; Diane Jacobson, Professor Emerita of Old Testament, Luther Seminary.

Steger, known for numerous polar expeditions, brings deep understanding of the environment to efforts increasing awareness of environmental threats. He has been an eyewitness to climate change, and has led teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history. Steger is the founder of two nonprofits, the Will Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, and Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, headquartered in Minneapolis with a focus on engaging educators, youth and communities in solutions to climate change.

Friends of Guatemala

Saturday, November 16, 2019 – 09:00am to 12:00pm

Easter Lutheran on the Hill, Eagan, MN

What does becoming a safe and welcoming church mean for us? How might we come alongside those who are vulnerable and looking for safety? These questions of faith should not be answered in a vacuum. We can start by listening to our partner congregations in Guatemala. They are our sisters and brothers in Christ, with whom we share a relationship. As we seek to gain a deeper understanding of how immigration issues impact them, we can apply that knowledge in the larger contexts of immigration, church, and sanctuary.
Rev. Karen Castillo (Pastor/president, Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala) share her perspective and insights via video. Tammy Walhof (Director, Lutheran Advocacy-MN) will help us process big migration questions, and begin a conversation about what this means for us. You are invited to join the conversation!

Hear about the 10 days the Easter Lutheran delegation spent with partners in Guatemala City and rural Maya Itza. Meet the 13-member Easter Lutheran delegation that recently returned from Guatemala. Hear about the ten days they spent with partners in Guatemala City and rural Maya Itza.

Representatives from St. Paul Area Synod will provide an update as well.

Everyone is welcome.