November elections are fast approaching: 3 ways congregations & individuals can get involved
Texas Tribune photo
“We are blessed as a nation to vote. As citizens of this country this is a right, an obligation, and a duty. Go vote. Vote your conscience. Your conscience informed by what it means to love your neighbor, to participate in the process of seeking the common good, to participate in the process of making this a better world. However you vote, go and vote. And do that as followers of Jesus.”
-Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Churches and other nonprofit organizations are perfectly positioned to involve their members and the communities they serve in the political process by promoting awareness of the issues, registering and encouraging people to vote, and inviting local candidates to address community members.
The Baptismal Covenant calls Episcopalians to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself” and to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” Civic engagement provides a way to promote social and economic justice and to ensure the voices of your community are heard and the most important issues are addressed.
Here are three ways members of your congregation can be active participants and support civic engagement this fall:
Educate! Take Action to Raise Awareness
- For Such a Time as This: A Call to Pray, Fast, and Act
The Episcopal Church is committed to the united call to Pray, Fast, and Act in support of programs which provide necessary care for all people and those that are designed to meet shortfalls in federal and state assistance. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, in partnership with Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and other ecumenical partners, began the call to #PrayFastAct on May 21st and will continue through the end of the year.
Join the movement to:
1) Pray for those suffering from hunger and the success of the efforts of those working to end hunger
2) Fast to develop a spiritual practice of self-deprivation, to prepare for and strengthen advocacy efforts with our government
3) Advocate by writing letters and emails, making phone calls, and visiting with representatives.
Watch Bishop Curry’s video address here.
Join EPPN, a grassroots network of Episcopalians dedicated to carry out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through the active ministry of public policy advocacy.
The network seeks to:
1) Educate: Read and share the EPPN resources for a better understanding of current public policy issues
2) Equip: Learn how to voice and advocate for the issues that matter most to you and your community
3) Engage: Receive action alerts to stay aware of critical legislation and policy initiatives at the federal level and for information on how to contact government officials.
Advocate! Resources for Individuals and Congregation
- Faith and Citizenship: A Guide to Effective Advocacy for Episcopalians
The Faith and Citizenship guide outlines a variety of ways in which the voices your community can be heard by legislators and policymakers. It gives valuable tips for advocacy at the state and federal level. The guide also provides advice for: 1) making informed decisions by researching the issues and the candidates, 2) writing and calling elected official, and 3) raising awareness in your community.
- Other Advocacy Resources from the Episcopal Church
Vote! Important dates and vital information for voting in Texas
In order participate in Texas elections, you must be registered to vote. Visit VoteTexas.org to see if you are eligible to register.
If you’re already registered to vote, be sure you know the location of your most convenient polling location.
Engage your faith community with the Vote Faithfully Toolkit, which provides valuable information from the Episcopal Church on ways your congregation can take action. Resources include voter registration tips, community mobilization and assistance for election day, and various ways to advocate for the community and lift the voices of the most vulnerable.
First Day of Early Voting
Monday, October 22, 2018
Last Day of Early Voting
Friday, November 2, 2018
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Read more on how Episcopal parishes across the nation are participating in civic engagement in an article by the Episcopal News Service.
We’d love to connect with you! If your congregation or community would like more information on how to get involved in civic engagement, please contact us.