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Justice & Advocacy - an affiliate website of The Lehigh Conference of Churches

Justice and Advocacy Committee

Our Vision

We envision a community answering to God’s movement among us in which basic rights of fairness and freedom from poverty for all people prevail.

Our Mission

The Justice and Advocacy Committee, as the independent voice of the Lehigh Conference of Churches, is an advocate for social justice. The Committee reaches out to a diverse community of member congregations and other faith organizations to inspire and encourage engagement for problem-solving. We provide educational opportunities and public forums for theologically-based discussion as we call out mutual concerns and unjust conditions.

Our Work with Congregations

We partner with our local congregations as well as local, state, and national organizations, such as Bread for the World and the Pennsylvania Council of Churches to provide faith based educational workshops, public forums, and training events on current social justice issues and public policy advocacy. We can also provide or recommend speakers on current social justice topics for study groups and judicatory events.

From time to time, J&AC organizes local workshops on social justice issues, such as our annual Food/Hunger workshops in partnership with Bread for the World each spring; and fall workshops on immigration reform (2007), Health Care (2008), Homelessness (2009), Jobs, Workers, & Economics (2010), the Growing Economic Divide (2011), Affordable Housing (2012), and Criminal Justice / Restorative Practices (2013, 2014), Fair Legislative Redistricting (2017,2018), Support for Local Immigrants (2017,2018), Healing Communities Training (2018).

We have also organized several informal gatherings "Congregations in Mission: Finding Common Causes" for missions/outreach/social concerns committee members from different congregations to get acquainted with each other and to form new partnerships where there are common interests.


Lehigh Valley Homelessness and Affordable Housing
April 2021 Update

April 17th, 2021
    April 14 meetings of Allentown City Council and Lehigh County Board of Commissioners included discussion of Lehigh Valley housing issues. Here are highlights of those meetings and links to video recordings, presentation slides and other documents, and media reports. … read more »

Resources – Homelessness and Affordable Housing in the Lehigh Valley

March 1st, 2021

Resources – Responding to Racism in Church and Community

February 25th, 2021
  • PBS 4-Part Series: “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This is Our Song,” with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
    • Introduction: Feb. 15 2021;
      Parts 1-4 air on PBS stations from mid-February through mid-March.
      (Each episode is about 2 hours) Watch on-line here after broadcast dates.
    • Part 1: Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of African American religion.
    • Part 2: Discover how the Black church expanded to address social inequality.

… read more »


Resources – Responding to Racism

October 22nd, 2020
  • Being Black in America Equity Film Series and Discussions – A 10-part Film Series, Discussion and Reflection by Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, hosted by Dr. Hasshan Batts and Julie Thomases.
    Second & Fourth Thursdays of the month, beginning Nov. 12th at 7:00 PM.
    For further information, contact: HasshanB@promiseneighborhoodslv.org
    Register for the film series here.
  • … read more »


More Resources on Racism and the Church

September 7th, 2020
  • Several Faith in Action training sessions from the summer of 2020 are posted at vimeo.com/fianational:
    • White Faith Leaders Denouncing White Supremacy Media Call (June 5)
    • What does it mean to defund the police? – Rev. Ben McBride (June 24)
    • A Conversation about Whiteness and Liberation – Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews (July 7)
    • A Brief History of Whiteness (July 28)
    • The Spiritual Crisis of Whiteness – Ruby Sales (Aug 11)

Also, here are two new books along with links to author interviews: … read more »


Responding to Racism in the Church during COVID – Resources

August 16th, 2020

There has been intense discussion this summer about racial/ethnic bias in police practices, including discussions in city councils and county government. However, there has been less attention to structural racism in the church. While systemic racism is best addressed with intense face-to-face dialog, here are a few resources to begin the conversation in the context of COVID. … read more »


More Resources During the Pandemic – Spring 2020

May 15th, 2020
  • The organizers of Ecumenical Advocacy Days have posted this list of national events:
    Ways to Engage During the Quarantine
  • An overwhelming list of congregational resources have been created – many of them available through denominational offices – in response to the pandemic. Here’s just one:
    48 questions to ask before reopening your church
    ( kenbraddy.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/48-questions-to-ask-prior-to-reopening-your-church-3.pdf )


Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Earth Day videos

May 15th, 2020

The Green Faith working group has put together a list of climate change video resources to explore in honor of Earth Day. Feel free to share any others you find with your community! … read more »


Resources for Public Policy Advocacy during the pandemic

May 15th, 2020

(How Quakers redesigned FCNL’s Spring Lobby Weekend in response to COVID-19)

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Spring Lobby Weekend – March 30-31 on Climate Change legislation:

  • plenary and breakout sessions were presented on-line, and recordings are posted.
  • there were also virtual meetings of local groups to plan lobbing visits, and virtual lobby visits with Members of Congress after the program presentations.
  • See details here

Also see FCNL resources on virtual meetings with Congressional offices.


Webinar Series on COVID-19 and Social Justice Issues

May 15th, 2020

(United Methodist Church — Church and Society)

The weekly series, called “Pre-existing Disparities Revealed,” explores how the pandemic intersects with topics such as systemic racism, the carcel system, and access to food. “COVID-19 revealed societal injustices that already existed. This pandemic has magnified familiar societal, political, and economic disparities—now with the added urgency of a public health crisis,” said Aimee Hong, Senior Executive Director of Education and Engagement.”

Webinars will occur every Thursday, starting May 21 at 2 PM ET. Topics include:

  • May 21: Systemic Racism and Discrimination during COVID-19
  • May 28: Confined and Vulnerable: Detained and Incarcerated during COVID-19
  • June 4: From the Ground to the Table: Food Insecurity during COVID-19
  • June 11: A Just and Peaceable Global Relief from COVID-19
  • June 18: Imagining a Just Economy post COVID-19

All webinars are free and open to all, but you must register for individual sessions. See details and register
here.



Justice & Advocacy


Advocacy Resources


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