Faith & Democracy

faith-democracy

The mid-point of the 98th Session of the IL General Assembly is fast approaching, and legislators are considering hundreds of bills. This is a crucial time for faith-rooted advocates to add their voices to the political process.

Gun control, minimum wage, coal mining/burning, Medicaid expansion, fracking, felony sealing expansion, and medical marijuana are among the issues on our policy agenda this year, but, be assured that revenue concerns, health insurance exchanges, and pensions will dominate much of the session's policy deliberations.

Are you ready for the observance on February 2? Have you made plans for the observance? Will you do the observance in private or with a group? What do you expect to follow from the observance that falls on February 2?

As we honor of the life and witness of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birth date, January 15th, and national holiday on January 21st, we offer this excerpt from an article he wrote in 1958. His call to "maladjustment" still rings true for all who strive to create the beloved community for our day.

Each year Illinois legislators return to the Capitol for a brief session to complete their legislative work before the new session of the General Assembly begins on the second Wednesday of January. Called the "lame duck" session, this is usually a time when important legislation passes. Not so this year!

Veto Session concluded on December 5, 2012 (a day early) and left a number of important legislative issues unresolved. Clearly, there's more work to be done in January, but, for how, we report the status of the bills on which we have been working.

His win was my loss. When George McGovern was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November of 1956, he asked Mr. Larson, my debate coach at Washington High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to be his aide in Washington D.C.

I grew up at a time when the “large stones” were firmly in place (the biblical reference here is Jesus and his crew leaving the temple and the disciples being awed by what they saw around them, see Mark 13: 1)).

I write this on All Saints Day, and I find myself calling on the name of Don Benedict to celebrate this holy day in the life of the Church. Don’s name comes to mind because I have been one of several Protestants for the Common Good advocates who have been involved over the past year in fashioning the merger with the Community Renewal Society. Don was a key person in leading CRS and in founding PCG. In some ways, our merger talks have been a way to reclaim his unified and grand vision for Christians acting faithfully in the world.

Welcome to the 495th edition of Reformation Sunday! In the church in which I grew up, Reformation Sunday was kind of a big deal. It was the day when we confirmed groups of ninth graders who’d spent two or three years in Wednesday night confirmation classes. It was a morning for pulling out all the stops on the organ and hiring extra string and brass players. It was a day for preaching doctrine, talking about justification by grace through faith, and congratulating ourselves on being Lutherans. A lot has changed.

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