Write for Rights is Amnesty International’s largest annual Human Rights campaign, held throughout December to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10th. During this season of Advent and throughout the year, many people wait in despair and without hope, often unjustly imprisoned. These people are Prisoners of Conscience. Jesus was a Prisoner of Conscience as he so often spoke out for Human Rights. As people of God, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to be a voice for those who have no voice by writing letters on their behalf. Through the power of collective action, these letters convince government officials to free people unjustly imprisoned and to end other abuses. For the past 12 years, during the Advent Season, our Social Ministry Committee has sponsored a letter-writing campaign for members of the congregation to write letters on behalf of, and personally to prisoners of conscience. These are letters of mercy (solidarity to the individual) and justice (to government officials for the release of the person).
To those who picked up a packet, thank you! Wendy Manganiello will have more letter packets to share on Sunday, December 11. If you have questions or would like copies, please contact Wendy.
Thank you for taking your time during Advent to write and send these letters. They do make a difference!
Social messages of the ELCA are topical documents adopted by the ELCA Church Council to focus attention and action on timely, pressing matters of social concern to the church and society. They are used to address pressing contemporary concerns in light of the prophetic and compassionate traditions of Scripture. Acting upon a request from several sources, in November 2021 the ELCA Church Council authorized the development of an ELCA social message on climate care. A draft of that statement has now been prepared and the ELCA, along with OSLC’s Creation Care Team, is inviting your feedback by December 2, 2022. You can find a draft of the social message and a survey to provide feedback here.
This is an easy and wonderful opportunity to involve children (and even adults) in caring for others. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) offers a program called “Hope for the Holidays.” The goal is to bring hope and light to thousands of immigrant children in the US. The project is to make homemade cards to be distributed at migrant detention centers across the country and at shelters along the border, reminding the families, especially their children, that they are not forgotten this holiday season. Either you can mail them yourself or bring them to church by November 27 and Wendy Manganiello will collect and mail them. The children will be making cards during Kid’s Club on Sunday, November 20.
Here are the steps and the link for further information.
Make a card and write a message of hope and encouragement in English or Spanish. Draw a picture, or share a poem or just write words of hope. Sign the card with your first name, city and state. DO NOT put cards into individual envelopes.
Bring the cards to church no later than Sunday, November 27
Add a note that these cards are from Our Savior Lutheran Church, Hanover, NH 03755. Then, Mail the cards in a larger envelope to: First English Lutheran Church, 3807 N Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218.
You can find more information about LIRS “Hope for the Holidays,” here. If you have any questions, please speak to Wendy Manganiello.