Advocacy and the Way of Love

April 16, 2019
By: 
Rebecca Linder Blachly

Last week, the Office of Government Relations had the honor of hosting Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in Washington, D.C. Bishop Curry spoke at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, sharing wisdom from his book The Power of Love. He led Morning Prayers at the U.S. Capitol, continuing a tradition of worshipping with Members of Congress and Congressional staff. Following those events, Bishop Curry met privately with policymakers and legislators, speaking about the Church’s values and bringing a new lens to his call to transformative love–the Way of Love.  

As we continue our journey towards the Cross this Holy Week, we ask you to join with Bishop Curry in recognizing, and committing to, The Episcopal Church’s Way of Love. The Way of Love seeks to provide us with disciplines to enable us to together grow more deeply with Jesus Christ at the center of our lives, so we can bear witness to his way of love in and for the world. These practices - Turn – Learn – Pray – Worship – Bless – Go – Rest – call us into deeper relationship with scripture, with our neighbors, and aim to draw us closer to God. We encourage you to make use of the resources available and apply them in a way that deepens and enriches your faith and the way you inhabit the world.

We also invite you to consider how public policy advocacy fits into the Way of Love. How can we make sure that we are keeping prayer, worship, and scripture at the center of our advocacy? How can we move beyond our own comfort, to witness to the love, justice, and truth of God as Jesus calls us to do? How can we at the same time honor God’s invitation for us to dedicate time for restoration and wholeness?

In advocacy, we strive to transform a hurting world, as we remain grounded in our values, traditions, and faith. We must do so with humility, listening and learning, ensuring that we do not become arrogant or prideful. As our Civil Discourse Curriculum explains, we must remember to learn from one another in this disagreement, for the way is not always clear, and it will take all of us working together to realize God’s dream. We must carry out our advocacy with the knowledge that Christ is Risen, not yielding to cynicism or defeatism. We must sometimes accept imperfect solutions and incremental changes, even as we yearn for the fullness of God’s justice and a reconciled world.

As a member of the Episcopal Public Policy Network, we know you are committed to carry forward your values as a Christian by engaging in the ministry of public policy advocacy. Share with us how you connect your faith to your advocacy. How does the Way of Love inform your ministry? How is your advocacy different because you are an Episcopalian and a Christian? How do you hope to deepen your commitment to advocating for laws and policies that help ‘the least of these’ and protect the widow and orphan among us? In the Office of Government Relations, we will be prayerfully considering these questions ourselves. We look forward to your responses.

With blessings and peace this Holy Week,

Office of Government Relations