Your UCC Office in Washington DC


Andy Gustafson

5/28/2013

Editor's note: Associate Conference Minister Andy Gustafson is on sabbatical, traveling across the country. He will be visiting United Church of Christ Justice and Witness immersion centers and mission sites and blogging about what he sees.  His posts about those sites will be posted here on macucc.org. His full travel blog is here: http://travelblogs.mapquest.com/32860/changing-lives-tour.


How terrible it will be for those who make unfair laws, and those who write laws that make life hard for people. They are not fair to the poor, and they rob my people of their rights. They allow people to steal from widows and to take from orphans what really belongs to them. —Isaiah 10:1-2 

Did you know YOU have an office in Washington, D.C.? The Washington Office of the United Church of Christ is housed in the Methodist Building, next to the Supreme Court and right behind the Capitol. I had the chance to meet with Sandy Sorenson, the director of the office. There are a host of ways they can help members and congregations to work on those issues close to their heart.

If you are visiting D.C., you are encouraged to stop by the office. They can help you connect with your representatives and resource you to do some in-person advocacy. Youth or Adult groups visiting D.C. are also welcome, and your Washington Office can provide programming tailored to meet you schedule and needs. I can testify to the hospitality and welcome you will receive!

Sandy emphasizes that this is your office, and what is most important to them is to equip you to follow your passion when it comes to advocacy, whether that is hunger, gun violence, women’s rights, or any other issue we are called by God to respond to, in order to make God’s love and justice real for everyone. 

The advocacy work is done in conjunction with many allies in the faith community, and at times with secular organizations such as Bread for the World. Sandy testifies to the fact that this work does make a difference. She also said that even for us in Massachusetts with a congressional delegation which may be taking stands on issues we agree with, it is important for them to hear from us. Every contact matters. On issues outside of the news, even a small number of letters will have a big impact.
 
If you or your congregation is interested in engaging in the important ministry of public policy advocacy, The Public Policy Briefing Book is a great place to start. It can be downloaded at http://www.ucc.org/justice/briefing-book/ (updated link) or a hard copy can be ordered by calling Helga Mingione at 216-736-3700. Another first step is to get on the Justice and Peace Action Network to get regular email updates on important issues you can speak out on. To sign up for JAPNet: http://www.ucc.org/justice/join-the-network/ 

To contact your UCC Washington office call 202-543-1517 or email sorenses@ucc.org

 



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