At All Saints Church one of our core values is putting our faith into action. We believe our personal journeys of faith are informed by and made accountable to the world’s deep needs when we commit ourselves to the courageous and risk-filled work of peace and justice. We take action locally, nationally and globally on issues from hunger & poverty to marriage equality; from ending torture to building interfaith bridges of understanding; from peacemaking to immigration reform; from environmental sustainability to economic justice.
This week’s Action:
Each week we put our faith into action.
We continue to respond to the humanitarian crisis of refugee children crossing our southern border. This week we are sending letters to our members of Congress calling on them to reject any changes to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act that would weaken the due process rights of these children. Letters are available at the Action Table and you may also download it here.
We are continuing to collect contributions to the Episcopal Church’s Domestic and Foreign Ministry Society (DFMS) for their Episcopal Migrant Ministries at the Action Table. Should you wish to mail in a donation toward this effort, you may send your gift to:
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
In the memo line of your check, indicate "Child Migrant response". Please note that donations of goods such as clothing, hygiene items, toys, books, etc., cannot be accepted at this time.
Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City is appealing for urgent aid as it struggles to provide critical healthcare services to anyone in need following more than a week of Israeli airstrikes.
Further information about the Diocese of Jerusalem’s appeal is available here.
To support the Diocese of Jerusalem’s relief efforts in Gaza, contact:
Episcopal Relief & Development’s Middle East Fund at https://www.episcopalrelief.org/what-you-can-do/donate-now/individual-donation or call 855-312-HEAL (4325).
All Saints Church became a Sanctuary for Children in the 1990’s and on Sunday, July 13, we worked toward the protection of the unaccompanied migrant children crossing the US border. We wrote to President Obama asking him to handle this crisis in a humane and just manner so that these children receive proper care and help. More information about the experiences of these migrant children can be found here. The letter is also available here.
On July 6, we asked you to take action in support of the health and human rights of women domestically and abroad:
In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby on contraception coverage, we ask that you sign a letter to your state legislators supporting the Contraceptive Equity Act (SB 1053). In addition, as the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls remains unresolved, we ask that you sign letters to our U.S. congressional representatives in support of the International Violence Against Women Act.
Contraceptive Equity Act (SB 1053) will ensure access to the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration for all insured individuals in California without cost sharing, delays or denial of coverage.
The International Violence Against Women Act requires federal agencies engaged in foreign assistance work to undertake measurable steps in their programming to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and to be coordinated in these efforts.
The following supplemental materials are available:
- SB 1053 Action Letter to State Legislators
- IVAWA Action Letter to Rep. Adam Schiff
- IVAWA Action Letter to U.S. Representative
- IVAWA Fact Sheet
On June 29, we asked parishioners to please sign on to a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him to ensure that the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's role in torture is released quickly and with only absolutely necessary redaction.
Background: This past April a bipartisan majority of the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to release its report on post-9/11 CIA torture. The vote represents a significant step toward ensuring that our government will share the truth about our nation's past use of torture with the public. However, since then, the CIA has attempted to obstruct and delay the report’s release. It is time for the truth to be revealed without further obstruction or delays. We are calling on the President to make the report public now. The letter is available for download here.
On June 22, our actions focused on gun violence prevention by encouraging participation in National ASK Day and supporting a letter to Governor Brown calling on him to sign a bill regulating ammunition sales.
National ASK Day -- Asking Saves Kids -- encourages people to ask if there is an unlocked gun in a home where a child goes to visit. Please visit the action table to get information, sign a pledge card, and learn about how you can help distribute these materials in the community. We also ask that you add your signature to a letter to Governor Brown, asking him to support SB 53, a bill that strengthens California's gun control laws by requiring that ammunition dealers be licensed and it would also require a background check on all ammunition purchasers.
The following supplemental materials are available:
On June 15 we wrote the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education expressing our concern regarding the allocation of funds targeted for disadvantaged youth.
Under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funds have been granted to the Pasadena Unified School District from the state to develop programs and services to promote the academic achievement of targeted disadvantaged youth (English-language learners, economically disadvantaged, and foster youth). We believe it is essential that the funds be effectively allocated to support these unique educational needs. We are writing the PUSD Board of Education to express that concern and encourage the PUSD to develop an appropriate method to identify foster youth and to monitor their academic achievement.
You can sign a letter in support at the Action Table or download it here. The letters will be hand delivered at the next PUSD board meeting.
The following supplemental materials are available:
On June 8 we wrote to President Obama requesting the he help prevent unilateral and illegal land seizures by the Israeli occupation authorities in the West Bank.
While on transformational journeys to Israel and Palestine, members of All Saints have visited the Tent of Nations Peace Project maintained by the Nassar family on their 100 acre farm six miles southwest of Bethlehem. The family lives by the motto “We Refuse to be Enemies”.
The Nassar family has documentation of ownership for their 100-acre farm dating back to the Ottoman Empire and has worked through the Israeli Military and Civil Courts, even to the Israeli Supreme Court, since 1991, defending their ownership of this land.
Despite all of this, on May 19th the Israeli Military brought bulldozers onto the lower valley of the family’s farm and uprooted between 1,500 and 2,000 fruit-bearing apricot and apple trees, as well as innumerable grape vines, reducing the terraced orchards to rubble.
Ed Bacon wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking that he look into this situation and help prevent any additional unilateral action by the Israeli Military.
On June 1 we wrote our members of Congress asking that they support reform of food aid programs that combat global hunger.
Food aid feeds 50 million hungry people a year overseas, but much of the program is diverted to pay international shipping companies that run U.S. flagged ships.
The proposed reforms include:
- Allowing USAID more flexibility to buy food near where it’s needed rather than ship it overseas.
- Local and Regional Purchase will mean getting food to natural disaster victims up to 14 weeks more quickly and feeding millions more hungry people by not spending the budget on shipping.
- Buying food aid in the developing world also stimulates the agricultural economy in developing countries, which is the number one step we can take to address global hunger.
Please support labeling by signing letters to your member of the House, Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer. Letters are available for signing at the Action Table and here.
The following supplemental materials are available:
- Bread for the World Talking Points
Article, “Global Food Security Needs States to Ally With Family Farmers” by Sylvia Kay
Desmond Tutu once said, "If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." When it comes to agriculture and food, the elephant is agribusiness. http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=JtfBxZCkBsgiPMwe4oQtIsU4p1t1xDbC
- Article, “Food Justice: Connecting Farm to Community by Beverly Bell, Tory Field
Other Worlds | Harvesting Justice Series http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/17289
On May 25 we wrote our California State Senators and the chair of the State Senate Appropriations Committee (Sen. Kevin de Leon) in support of Senate Bill 1381, labeling genetically engineered foods.
The bill is sponsored by a broad-based coalition of environmental, consumer and food groups along with many small businesses. Polls consistently show that over 90% of Americans and a high majority of Californians want meaningful labels that clearly identify GE foods. As a food labeling activist has stated, “We want a choice about the legacy we leave the Golden State’s children. Labeling genetically engineered foods gives us the opportunity to make informed decisions about our food, from farm to fork.”
Please support labeling by signing a letter to your state senator and the chair of the senate appropriations committee. Letters are available here.
The following supplemental material is available:
On May 18 we wrote our Senators and our members of the House in the United States Congress in support of the Democracy Restoration Act (H.R.4459 and S.2235).
Based on a Brennan Center proposal, the bill builds on recent support for rights restoration. In February, U.S Attorney General Eric Holder called on states to restore voting rights. But 35 states continue to disenfranchise people after they are released from prison. The Democracy Restoration Act would restore voting rights to these citizens for federal elections.
Letters are available for signing at the Action Table and here: House Member, Sen. Feinstein, Sen. Boxer.
The following supplemental materials are available:
1. Democracy Restoration Act Fact Sheet
2. Criminal Disenfranchisement by State
3. Article, “How to Shrink Inequality” by Robert Reich
4. Article, “The Myths About Government That Kill Innovation”
On May 11 we asked that parishioners support the “Health for All Act,” a state senate bill (SB 1005) that would expand access to health coverage for all Californians, regardless of immigration status.
The Affordable Care Act specifically excludes undocumented immigrants from insurance coverage provided through Covered California. Under the Health for All Act, undocumented Californians who don't have health care would be able to pay an affordable price for health insurance in a statewide marketplace that mirrors our state's "Covered California" exchange. Learn more about this bill at the Action Table, and support access to preventive care for all California families.
Please sign letters to Senator Kevin De León and your State Senator. Letters are available for signing at the Action Table and here. You are encouraged to add your own comments.
Below are links to additional information on SB 1005:
1. Legislative Counsel’s Digest
2. Press Release
On May 4 we wrote our members of the California State Legislature is support of the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, SB 935.
The Act would raise the minimum wage in California to $13 an hour by 2017 and then, starting in 2018, the wage would automatically go up each year in parallel with increases in the California Cost of Living Index.
Please sign letters to your State Senator and State Assemblymember. Letters are available for signing here (State Assemblymember and State Senator). You are encouraged to add your own comments.
Below are links to information sheets on this minimum wage legislation:
Below are links to articles on the Action Table relating to the talk in the Forum:
On April 27 we are wrote our members of the California State Legislature is support of an immediate moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in California.
Mounting evidence shows that fracking is a serious danger to public health and the environment. Fracking also undermines California’s efforts to fight climate change. Ramping up dirty fossil fuel production via dangerous drilling and well stimulation methods is at odds with California’s clean energy, climate, water and air quality goals. SB1132 imposes a moratorium on all well stimulation—including fracking and acidizing, on-shore and off-shore—until the state’s study on the threats and impacts of fracking is complete and measures are in place to protect against negative impacts.
Please sign letters to your State Senator and State Assemblymember. Letters are available here (State Assemblymember and State Senator) and you are encouraged to add your own comments.
On April 13 we are wrote our Senators and our members of the House in support of the “Democracy Is For People” Constitutional Amendment.
Recent Supreme Court decisions concerning money in politics have:
The most recent ruling, McCutcheon v. FEC, allows just a handful of ultra wealthy donors to donate nearly 50 times the earlier limit in an election cycle. McCutcheon puts party policy and politics in the hands of a few hundred people privileged only by their wealth, not by the quality of their ideas. This corrosive system will result in a government for the highest bidder, instead of, by and for the people.
Letters are available for signing at the Action Table and on line: Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Members of the House.
Additional materials are also available for download:
On April 6 we wrote our Senators and our members of the House in support of H.R.3892, The Student Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.
It includes a range of important upgrades to our system of financing higher education, including restoring basic consumer protections—such as bankruptcy protections and a statute of limitations for collection of student loan debt—as well as changes to give student borrowers greater purchasing power and greater peace of mind. The bill would boost our economy while strengthening the rights of citizens.
Letters are available for signing at the Action Table or you can download them here:
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Members of the House
We encourage you to add your own comments.
Summary of HR3892 The Student Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.
On March 2 we wrote our representatives in the United States Congress in support of two pieces of legislation designed to counteract some of the damage done by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
The two bills are:
Both acts would set up a system of public financing for House and Senate candidates by providing matching funds to small donations on the condition the candidate foregoes large donations. Please sign a letter to your Senators and House member.
The letters are available this Sunday at the Action Table, or you can download them here: Sen. Boxer, Sen. Feinstein, House of Representatives. An informational flyer is available here. You can also sign an online petition at People For the American Way.
On January 19 we asked parishioners to sign letters to their members of the U.S. House and a petition to California’s Senators and Congressional Leadership calling for a revival of the Voting Rights Act.
Last year’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted a crucial section of the Voting Rights Act requiring pre-approval of changes in voting law in certain jurisdictions. It has been announced that a bi-partisan group of legislators will introduce legislation next week to restore pre-approval and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. This week we ask you to sign a petition to our Senators and Congressional leadership and a letter to your member of the House asking them to support this legislation.
A copy of the letter to House members is available here. You can also sign an online petition at People For the American Way. A link to a USA Today news article on this is available here. A blog post with comments on the proposed legislation from the NAACP and Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network is available here.
On January 5 we asked parishioners to sign letters to their members of Congress supporting a social and economic justice agenda in the new legislative session and, specifically, support the renewal of extended unemployment benefits.
Congress failed to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program before they left for vacation. The result? Three days after Christmas, 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans lost their unemployment benefits. If Congress doesn’t act now, 2014 promises to be a very bad year for the long-term unemployed. 3.6 million more people will lose what little income they have. This doesn’t make it any easier for them to find jobs. It means evictions, foreclosures, children without school clothing. And it means money taken out of a still-fragile economy.
Sign letters to your member of the House, Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Dianne Feinstein. You can also sign a petition supporting extended unemployment benefits at the following website: Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
On December 22 parishioners signed letters to Congress asking that they oppose granting “fast-track authority” to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP).
The TPP is a major international corporate trade agreement being negotiated by our government and a dozen other nations largely in secret. Granting the Trans-Pacific Partnership such fast-track authority without fully vetting is undemocratic, and would allow this trade agreement to bypass much of the legislative process, including public hearings and amendments, before coming to a vote. Trade agreements like this have major environmental, human rights, and economic justice implications that must be fully reviewed before approval.
Sign letters to our members of Congress and for more information about this trade agreement. Here are letters to House Members, Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Boxer. You can also use this link to CREDO Action for this.
Here are links to the following fact sheets and articles:
Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know about the Trans Pacific Partnership
Fact Sheet: Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority
Article: The People Can Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Article: Why Do We the People Have to Read TPP on Wikileaks?
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD)
On November 10 we asked that you contribute to relief for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
On September 8 and 15 we asked you to raise your voices on the impending military action in Syria and contribute to relief for victims of the Syrian civil war through ERD (Episcopal Relief and Development). You can still take action through the links below.
To donate online to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) use this link to the ERD website.
If you saw the wonderful presentation by Sr. Diane Donoghue of Nuns On The Bus in the Forum on June 16 and would like to support their efforts at immigration reform, you can do so by going to www.nunsonthebus.org.
On February 2 we sent letters to the LA County Board of Supervisors asking them to renew support for Homeboy Industries. If you would like to learn about Homeboy Industries or donate to them, you can use the links below:
Los Angeles Times article on Homeboy Industries
Donate to Homeboy Industries
Find Your Representatives
You can find your member of the United State House of Representatives at www.house.gov.
You can find your member of the California State Assembly at www.assembly.ca.gov.
You can find your member of the California State Senate at www.senate.ca.gov.
You can find your member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors at http://rrcc.lacounty.gov/OnlineDistrictmapApp/.
Volunteer for the Action Table
If you would like to help with the Action Table ministry by giving 15 or 20 minutes of your time after one of the Sunday services, please use this Doodle link to sign up. Thank you.
For more information, visit the Peace & Justice pages and explore where your deep gladness meets one of the world’s deep hungers – and join us in putting your faith into action.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "Obamacare," is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
One of the great peacemaking challenges of our time is the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and All Saints Church’s long standing commitment to peace with justice has called us into that challenge.
We asked the Rev. James Lawson, a key strategist and organizer of the Civil Rights Movement, and close advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to teach us about nonviolence in a very successful Lent study group of over 100 people. Many All Saints members also participated in a series of workshops he led on Nonviolent Civil Disobedience. Economic Justice and Nonviolence Working Groups emerged separately out of these sessions, and were later combined to maximize capacity and collaboration. This group was mandated to create opportunities for Peace & Justice ministries to implement principles of both economic justice and nonviolence in their work of service, advocacy, and equipping.
All Saints Church stands firmly against torture. We have joined forces with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to urge Congress to create an independent commission of inquiry into investigate U.S. torture policies and practices.
We are -- all of us --in some sense immigrants and sojourners, strangers in a strange land seeking a homeland. Some of us or members of our families have personally experienced hardships and, at times, unspeakable indignities, in coming to America.
At All Saints Church we are committed to the proposition that peace and justice making are not options for the world’s great religions. Rather peace and justice making are central mandates for us all the world’s great religions.
All Saints Church is proud to have been in the forefront of the struggle for marriage equality in the State of California just as we have been in the forefront of LGBT equality in the Episcopal Church.