Sep 22, 2020Public Theology Matters? This sounds interesting

Public Theology Matters? This sounds interesting

Kim Snodgrass Two-minute read.   Resources
Image Credit: The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

We’re invited to an upcoming series on the basics of public policy advocacy offered by the Public Theology Matters Network and hosted by Province V. If you’ve been feeling discouraged or frustrated, wondering how you can make a difference, this is an easy something we can do to get started. Faith grows through action and education forms us.

When: Four Tuesdays in October at 5 p.m. Central Time (October 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th)
Where: Zoom. Register here to attend any or all of the events. They will be recorded for later viewing.
Who: The Rev. Dr. Marcia Ledford is the convener of the Province V Public Theology Matters Network and founder of Political Theology Matters. Office of Government Relations will join two of the four sessions. Information on each session and the speakers is below. 

Session I. How to be an Advocate – October 6

Mr. Alan Yarborough, Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations, will begin our conversation about the role of advocacy in the broader framework of engaging the wider world, carrying our faith out through action. This will include tips for engaging in advocacy and the role of relationship-building between the Church and government officials, as well as civic participation. He will also review the role of the Office of Government Relations and how people can get involved through the Episcopal Public Policy Network.

Session II. Moses and Jesus as Public Theologians – October 13

The Rev. Dr. Marcia Ledford, civil rights attorney, explores our call to public advocacy through the Call of Moses and his role in the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and Jesus’s public call to mission on the Road to Emmaus and in the breaking of the bread. Through this lens, we will be grounded in a firm biblical foundation in why we do public advocacy, what our call is, and that we believe it to be both important and doable as an ongoing process.

Session III. “Can I say that?”: Religious Speech, the First Amendment and your 501(c)3 Status – October 20

Learn about what the “separation of church and state” means. We’ll explore the relationship of religious speech (by churches and individuals) and the First Amendment. We will touch on the following topics:

  1. Church advocacy for social justice;
  2. Individual faith-based advocacy in various forms;
  3. Using Zoom groups, we will look at IRS case scenarios;
  4. The six protections of the First Amendment.

Session IV. What does the world really think about the U.S.? – October 27

The Rt. Rev. Doug Sparks, Bishop of Northern Indiana, will share a compelling story about how the USA is perceived from other places around the world, based on his life-altering experiences in New Zealand. This will lead us into an engaging conversation around racism in the USA.

I especially love to share something our church offers that can make a difference. When we become well-informed citizens, we become well-informed voters. Province V hopes the folks in West Missouri can participate, so let’s do that.

Kim Snodgrass is Assistant to the Bishop for Christian Formation.

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