FEDERAL ADVOCACY PORTFOLIO GROWS DURING ELECTION SEASON

The Office of Government Relations is pursuing an aggressive public policy advocacy agenda in our nation's capital. MENJ is proud to support these initiatives with our congressional delegation and your outreach.

Policy Asks related to COVID-19 and other issues:

○ Increased SNAP benefits
○ Criminal Justice Reform, including police reform
○ End to predatory lending
○ Emergency assistance funding to help prevent housing instability and homelessness
○ Support for Indigenous communities and those living in Tribal areas
○ Expanded unemployment benefits, including for those who were not traditionally eligible
○ Paid sick leave
○ A living wage and hazard pay for front line and essential workers
○ Education equity
○ Programs to help with food insecurity and access to healthy food
○ Provisions and protections for people with disabilities
A social safety net that allows people and communities to have more resilience in the face of crises
○ Access to affordable healthcare, including preventative care
○ Ensuring full participation in the 2020 census
○ Protecting voting rights and the upcoming US election
○ Federal government funding to states to protect state-level essential workers, including sanitation workers, teachers, public transit workers and many others

For more information about the Office of Government Relations click here.
Presiding Bishop Understands Anger and Still Chooses Love

I am an African American man, blessed to serve as the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. In my 67 years, I have seen our country change a great deal. But what happened to George Floyd , Breonna Taylor , Ahmaud Arbery , Sandra Bland , Paul Castaway , Melissa Ventura , Eric Garner , Michael Brown , Trayvon Martin and countless others has been a sad constant.

Back in the 1960s and ’70s, my father ran the Human Relations Commission for the city of Buffalo. He organized sensitivity trainings for the police department, many of whose members he respected and liked. He also warned me to be careful whenever I interacted with the police, because he knew the dangers for a young black man were real. As events in Minneapolis have revealed, that danger has not changed. What has changed is technology: Today, cellphones document racial terror. That is why we see frustration, pain and anger rippling through our streets today. We should all feel the same.

When I think about what love looks like, I see us channeling our holy rage into concrete, productive and powerful action. In this moment, love looks like voting for leadership at the local, state, and federal level that will help us to make lasting reform. Love looks like calling on officials and demanding they fulfill their duty to protect the dignity of every child of God.


Read more here .


Poor People's Campaign Moral March Goes Digital
Saturday, June 20

The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, they will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-income people across this nation will be heard!

Network Endorses Faithful Democracy: Restoring the Voters Covenant

Living into our call to the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality, and the common good, the Faithful Democracy coalition calls for bold leadership to safeguard our nation’s founding principles. The faith community affirms that every human being is a person of dignity and worth. In a secular democracy, fair and just democratic systems are central to asserting that dignity and worth.

The faith community holds firm to our trust in the spirit of self-governance and the strength of the nation’s aspirational founding principles. Yet we have dire concerns about the well being of our body politic, concerns that are amplified by recent civil unrest, economic disruption and COVID-19.

Our nation is segmented into those who are “worthy” of a voice in our political system and those who are not. Democratic systems are used to perpetuate systemic racism and silence the voices of the marginalized, particularly poor people and people of color. Our democratic processes are corrupted at every level: through outsized financial contributions from anonymous and special interest donors; partisan gerrymandering; manipulation of the public discourse in bad faith; and voter suppression and intimidation, most recently in the context of a pandemic.

The faith community has a unique role in the public debate as the moral conscience of the state. As such, we call our elected leaders to reflect on the current state of our democracy.


Maine Conservation Voters Urge Bold Climate Action
It's difficult to see silver linings right now, especially during this public health crisis. But one thing this pandemic has again made clear is that we need leaders who believe in science-based solutions to the challenges we face.

We need leaders who will take the same science-based approaches to solve the other significant challenge facing our state and planet: climate change. Right now, the Maine Climate Council is continuing its work on a Climate Action Plan for our state, and it's up to us to make sure they are drafting a strong enough roadmap to reduce carbon pollution by at least 80% before 2050.

We have to speak out now and ensure that the Council takes bold steps to hit these critical goals while strengthening Maine's economy, reducing air pollution, and building healthy, equitable communities. 


EPISCOPAL ADVOCACY AND MINISTRY RESOURCES
World Refugee Day 2020 Virtual Gathering
 
2020 has proven to be a year unlike any other, and therefore this special day will also be honored differently. We will join together virtually to recognize the journey of refugees to Maine and honoring their resilience and courage.You are invited to a Zoom webinar on
Jun 20, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
 
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Episcopalians and church leaders are cheering the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 15 ruling that protects gay and transgender Americans from workplace discrimination, a groundbreaking decision that follows decades of church advocacy for greater LGBTQ rights.

“The Supreme Court has spoken again for the equality of all God’s children,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said on June 16, praising the court’s 6-3 decision in remarks to church employees at the start of their two-day annual staff meeting.

In July 2019, Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, signed a friend of the court brief supporting the plaintiffs in the case.

Reconciliation is the spiritual practice of seeking loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God and one another, and striving to heal and transform injustice and brokenness in ourselves, our communities, institutions, and society.