Do Justice
Welcome to Do Justice, a bi-monthly newsletter of the Virginia Synod, lifting up God’s call and command that we, God’s people, do justice. You will find helpful info about justice ministries in congregations, around Virginia, and through the ELCA. If you have stories of justice to share from your congregation, please share those with me at so I can share them with others in the synod!

The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick
Assistant to the Bishop
In this section of Deuteronomy concerning tithes, God commands that God's people set apart a first-fruit of the yield from their work which is to be offered to God and shared with God's people, especially the marginalized and most vulnerable.
May is National Foster Care Month
National Foster Care Month is an opportunity to bring attention to foster care. This year's theme is, "It's All Relative: Supporting Kinship Connections."

Family connections are important for foster youth. Maintaining kinship connections gives foster youth a sense of identity and belonging. However, Virginia ranks first among all states in the percentage of youth who age out of foster care with no permanent family.* In Virginia, 75 percent of foster children will not maintain contact with a sibling.** Our mission partner, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia (LFSVA) is committed to finding loving, permanent connections for our foster youth.

Here are a few things you can do to make an impact during National Foster Care Month:

To learn more about LFSVA's Treatment Foster Care and Adoption Program, click here.

*Kids Count Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation
**Jim Casey Youth Initiatives, Virginia Performs, National Center for Youth Law and Children’s Aid Society, Virginia Department of Social Services 
ELCA Advocacy: Farm Bill Text Release
ELCA advocacy works for change in public policy based on the experience of Lutheran ministries, programs and projects around the world and in communities across the United States. We work through political channels on behalf of the following biblical values: peacemaking, hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with hunger and disease. Please read below for important information on ELCA Advocacy efforts in Washington, across the country and throughout the world.
The House Agriculture Committee marked up the first version of the 2018 farm bill in mid-April, sending it to the floor of the House of Representatives. The proposed bill, which would make significant changes to nutrition and anti-hunger programs such as SNAP, was cleared on a strict 26-20 party-line vote.

The farm bill covers a wide-encompassing set of policies, including rural development, international aid, conservation programs and more. Policies that curb hunger and malnutrition, support vibrant agricultural economies in rural communities, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources are critical values to the faith community. Interested advocates can learn more by reading the ELCA Farm Bill 101 fact sheet on the Advocacy Resource Page.

Numerous food banks, faith groups and service providers voiced concern over newly added work requirements and changes to SNAP eligibility in the bill, which could displace over a million people currently eligible for hunger assistance. ELCA Advocacy shared an action alert for advocates to take action on the Farm Bill shortly after the draft legislative text was released. Advocates are strongly encouraged to take action this month as Congress advances the bill.
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