The Justice Team continued to meet most months through Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the Synod Office. We heard reports from several of our committees or task forces. In February The Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra and Dixie Hansen reported on the circles of care formed to help immigrant youth who are waiting for a court date on their asylum cases and are aging out of the foster care system. If they do not find a home and sponsor, they will be placed in adult detention. They are given a place to stay in someone’s home for a limited time, and are helped to find employment. Dixie has been driving a young woman and her 4-month-old infant to a specialist in Orange County. Circles have been formed in several areas of our synod. Contact Alexia if you would like to help. There is a great need for gift cards to help feed and care for these young people. Gift cards can be sent to the Synod Office and labeled for Pastor Alexia.
The Green Faith group planned an event open to everyone for World Water Day, on Sunday, March 22, 2020, 4:00 at the L.A. River, McAdams Park. There was to be worship and the speaker was to be Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda. It had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Green Faith is proposing a ban on single use plastics.
The Anti-racism and Diversity Committee urged everyone to send comments to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department in Washington DC regarding the proposed new rule that would weaken oversight and national data on fair housing initiatives in low-income communities of color. Comments were to be sent by March 16. The new ‘fair housing’ rule absurdly ignores race, segregation, and housing discrimination, and incorrectly equates increased housing supply with fair housing choice.
Our Middle East Peace Task Force is considering a name change which would better label their work on Israel and Palestine rather than all of the Middle East. They have read and discussed The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan. They were planning an event with this author as speaker, but it had to be postponed. Their new book is a graphic novel titled Footnotes in Gaza.
Lutheran Office of Public Policy-CA (LOPP-CA) held a fundraiser at Ascension Lutheran, Thousand Oaks on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The speaker was former U.S. Representative Lois Capps on the topic “Faith and Politics.” Thank you to Dixie Hanson and Jayne Affonso for preparing the wonderful brunch food, and thank you to our silent auction providers and bidders. The John August Swanson prints were very popular with the attendees. Director Regina Banks of LOPP-CA welcomed everyone and told a bit about our work in Sacramento.
The Justice Team is working very hard. Everyone is invited to receive our emails on justice issues. Beginning on September 8, 2020 our monthly meeting will be on Zoom. Just contact me and give me your email address if you wish to join.
Sharon Heck, Chair