Advocacy Office Urges Federal Budget to Care for Those in Poverty

Go to https://secure2.convio.net/cob/site
/Advocacy?cmd=display&page
=UserAction&id=121
 to send a letter to government representatives calling for a “budget of mutuality.” Brethren taking part in the campaign may choose to cite the biblical text of Genesis 4:9 in which Cain asks God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Last week’s Action Alert from the Church of the Brethren’s office for advocacy and peace witness ministries called on the federal government to adopt a budget that reflects care for those in poverty and in need.

“These past few weeks in Washington, D.C., and around the country, the conversation has been about numbers and not about people,” the alert said, in part. “…But there is something vital missing from the conversation–and it is a voice with which the Church of the Brethren has always spoken. In a word–mutuality…. The concept that we are to live in such a way that we are partners with one another and with the entirety of Creation is a concept which Brethren have embraced for, well, more than 300 years.”

The alert invited Brethren to take action on the federal budget. “Tell Congress and President Obama that as a person of faith, you will not stand by while they seek to control spending on the backs of those living in poverty in the United States and around the world,” the alert said.

Criticizing the budget proposals from both President Obama and Congress, the alert said: “The spending cuts currently being debated are the ones we can afford the least–they are the ones that provide those living in poverty with an opportunity to have some place to live, something to eat, educational opportunities, and the chance to turn their lives around. They are the foreign aid programs that build wells, schools, and infrastructure, building relationships with countries through diplomacy rather than bombs. They are the programs that we, as people of faith, want in a budget that claims to speak for our values.”

A link provided by the office goes to a webpage at https://secure2.convio.net/cob/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=121 where visitors may send a letter calling for a “budget of mutuality,” citing Genesis 4:9 in which Cain asks God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Also cited in the alert were church policy statements: the 2000 Annual Conference statement “Caring for the Poor” ( www.cobannualconference.org/ac_statements/2000Poor.html ), the 2006 Conference statement “A Call to Reduce Global Poverty and Hunger” ( www.cobannualconference.org/ac_statements/2006GlobalPovertyHunger.pdf ), and the 1970 Conference “Statement on War” ( www.cobannualconference.org/ac_statements/70War.htm#IX ).

Find the Action Alert at http://cob.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=9861.0&dlv_id=0 . Sign up to receive alerts at www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=signup2 . For more information about the church’s witness ministries go to www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=witness_action_alerts or contact Jordan Blevins, advocacy officer, at jblevins@brethren.org or 202-481-6943.

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