December 4, 2006
For the voiceless
I helped out in my daughter’s church school classroom this weekend. We talked about the coming of John the Baptist - how the angel, Gabriel, announced to Zechariah the miraculous news of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. I had forgotten that Zechariah was not able to speak until after John’s birth: You have not believed what I have said. So you will not be able to say a thing until all this happens. But everything will take place when it is supposed to (Luke 1:20). I thought about how difficult it probably was for Zechariah, not being able to talk about his joy - and astonishment - with his beloved wife, Elizabeth.
Later, I began to think about those in our society who don’t have a voice or public forum – like children, the poor – and how the ELCA speaks on their behalf through advocacy. The ELCA has a variety of ongoing advocacy issues in which it is involved, including children and young people, civil rights, Darfur, the environment, HIV/AIDS, rural concerns, and hunger and poverty.
Why does the ELCA do advocacy? According to the ELCA website: Advocacy is one way we seek to love our neighbor in response to God’s love given us in Jesus Christ. We are caring for, standing with, and serving people who are living in poverty and who are suffering when we work for public and corporate policies that advance justice, peace, human dignity, and care for the earth.
I thought I’d take a closer look to see how I can get involved in ELCA advocacy and related programs. I invite you to do the same.