Dear friends in Christ,
I want to reach out to you to share two matters of concern and interest. The first is to ask you to please pray for the victims of the bomb attack in Manchester, England, last evening, and to ask for healing and hope for that country in shock. May God grant us grace and wisdom to live from the deepest conviction of our faith, that love triumphs over evil.
Second is ask you to consider joining in a movement called, "A Call to Fasting, Prayer, and Action". I, as your pastor and priest, signed on personally a few days ago, at the invitation of a faith based organization that I have admired for decades, but yesterday I was pleased to discover that both the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church are asking their membership to consider becoming involved.
The focus of this intentional action is to stand with the poor and the powerless in the face of the deep budget cuts being proposed in Federal spending for programs that are essential to their (and our) lives. Health, food, housing, social services and education, are all slated to suffer hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts by the Congress, even as taxes are reduced for those who are well off.
This is a moral issue, and as our faith leaders say, our faith in the God of Jesus, who loves justice and has a special heart for the poor and vulnerable, calls us to stand strongly in opposition to these measures, and in favor policies that are just and fair.
"The Call to Prayer, Fasting and Action" asks us to devote time every day to specifically pray for our elected representatives in the House and the Senate, to fast one day a week, and to take concrete actions. This is supposed to continue throughout the current session of Congress.
I encourage you whole heartedly to have a look at the messages of both Presiding Bishop Curry, of the Episcopal Church, and Presiding Bishop Eaton, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, for more details.
In the midst of much uncertainty and confusion about where we are going as a country, we are challenged to do our part, by being "salt" and "light" in personal and public ways.
May God bless you and sustain you.
Rev. Ana Langerak