October 17, 2017
A letter from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson on this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
View the pdf version of the letter here: http://elcic.ca/From-the-Bishop/documents/IntlDayfortheEradicationofPovertyletter.pdf
Dear Friends in Christ,
On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I invite you to pray for all those affected by poverty, raise awareness about the issues that contribute to poverty within our communities, and engage in initiatives that address these challenges. We also join churches around the world to lift up Churches Week of Action on Food 2017 from October 15 to 22 to pray, reflect and take action together, for food-justice across the globe.
The call to address issues of poverty has deep roots in the Christian faith, and is central to what it means to be a church In Mission for Others. For over 25 years, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) has supported putting a priority on policies and programs that provide for the basic needs of people.
The ELCIC supports the call for a Federal Anti-Poverty Plan to eradicate poverty and hunger for the 860,000 people in Canada who use food banks each month and the millions of others struggling to get by (dignityforall.ca/chew-on-this/). Successful anti-poverty strategies focus on those most in need, are comprehensive, uphold human rights, and involve leaders in community and governments.
In July 2017, delegates to the ELCIC National Convention affirmed That the ELCIC support the Basic Income Guarantee initiative. Providing a minimum level of income is one way of helping to ensure people have access to their basic human rights, including housing, water, health, life, liber y and security of person.
In 2013, in partnership with the Anglican Church of Canada, the ELCIC issued a Joint Assembly Declaration to address issues of Homeless and Affordable Housing, and Responsible Resource Extraction, including a call for renewed Federal funding, an integrated national collaborative strategy, and greater accountability on the part of provinces and municipalities in addressing underlying causes of homelessness and in providing opportunities for affordable housing.
The ELCIC also works in effective partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief to support refugees, promote food security, and challenge the causes and respond to the consequences of injustice and poverty.
In this season of thanksgiving and harvest, I am aware of the relative abundance I experience in my life and I am conscious of Gods ongoing call to seek reconciled relationships and a more just world. As we pray for the eradication of poverty, I give thanks for all the ways that you participate in Gods mission as empowered disciples and I pray for Gods blessing on all the ways you work to eradicate poverty.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada