Thursday, May 17, 2007

Church Leaders Call on Congress to Fight Poverty

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori joined four other church leaders in writing to the US Congress to urge that the federal budget address the issues of poverty and disease:

...In February, following the release of the President's FY 2008 Federal Budget, we wrote to the Congress regarding our vision of the federal budget and our belief that the nation's budget must represent a shared vision of justice and compassion for all of God's people, both in our own nation and around the world. In particular we expressed deep concern for cuts to programs that serve the health, education and well-being of millions of people living near or below the poverty line in the United States. We applauded the important investments our country is making in combating deadly poverty and disease abroad.

We are reminded in the Gospel of Luke that "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded" (Luke 12:48). The United States is a nation of great wealth and resources and, indeed, much is expected of us individually, as communities of faith and as a nation. Our denominations continue to do ministry in the areas of our historic Christian calling -- working for reconciliation and serving those most vulnerable in our world.

We continue to express profound concern regarding the cost of the war in Iraq and the cost of extending large tax cuts to those to whom much has been given, particularly in view of the deep need to fund efforts aimed at alleviating poverty and disease both at home and abroad...

...Our world continues to live in tumultuous times, and it is clearer than ever that our nation must reclaim its historic destiny as a source of hope and opportunity for its own citizens and for all people around the world. We pray for the Congress and all the leaders of our nation. And we pray for peace and a world restored and reconciled. We urge the Congress to seek peace and pursue it and, as the budget process continues, to embrace a vision of justice and compassion for all of God's children.

Signed by:

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

The Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Bishop Beverly Shamana
President of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society

The Rev. John H. Thomas
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
This is living out the Gospel, not just in words, but in deeds; "...serving those most vulnerable in our world."

In the meantime, Abp. Akinola held a press conference, in which he had a message for Congress as well:

...The breakdown in marriages in the USA is a scandal. It is causing a massive crisis in their own society and the rest of the world. But instead of admitting the problem and finding creative ways to strengthen traditional families we see a relentless promotion and protection of so called ‘alternative lifestyles.’ Recent legislative bill H.R. 1592 (Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007) passed in the House on May 3rd 2007, and the H.R 2015 (Employment Non-Discrimination Act.) being discussed are worthy of note. God will not be mocked.
So now the Primate of All Nigeria feels that, since his efforts to thwart basic human rights in his own country have been so successful, he can speak with authority on human rights in the US?

What was it Jesus said?

Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.
Let's get on with proclaiming the Good News of God made known to us through Jesus Christ with our every word and our every deed.


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