As the ELCA enters the spring synod assembly season, a select group of members gets an up-close look at their bishops, a post not always on the radar of parishioners. One of the other jobs these leaders perform is advocacy with elected officials. On April 2, 32 bishops from the ELCA’s 65 synods descended on Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional leaders.
“We as Lutherans take very seriously God’s call to serve the widow, the orphan and the sojourner,” Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton said at the Lutheran prayer breakfast in the Rayburn House Office Building. Bishops used Facebook posts to keep followers apprised of their day, as Bishop Larry R. Wohlrabe of the Northwestern Minnesota Synoddid by offering Eaton’s quote.
“The regular convening of ELCA bishops in Washington gives us a chance to get up-to-date on those public policy issues about which our church has spoken and to speak as a public church to those issues that affect the lives of all God’s people,” Bishop H. Julian Gordy of the Southeastern Synod and chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops Immigration Ready Bench — one of six such groups that develop expertise among bishops for advocacy — told ELCA News Service.
In Washington the benches promoted comprehensive federal immigration reform, the Millennium Development Goals of aid on behalf of child and maternal health, an increase in the federal minimum wage as part of an overall strategy to address U.S. poverty, and justice and peace in Palestine and Israel through the Peace Not Walls campaign.
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