Ecumenical and Interreligious

New York Religious Leaders Lobby in Albany for Ecumenical and Interfaith Advocacy Days

April 9, 2024
Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations

By Nick Gordon

In mid-March, the New York State Council of Churches (NYSCOC) hosted its annual Ecumenical and Interfaith Advocacy Days in Albany with faith leaders from across the state gathering to be trained and lobby for a variety of issues facing their communities. Representatives from the Episcopal Diocese of New York were present to become more connected to other faith-based advocates across the state. 

Key issues for the NYSCOC include a variety of bills that are facing the state legislature during budget negotiations. These include the “Faith-Based Affordable Housing Act,” immigration bills related to the asylum-seeker crisis, and prison reform. 

It was powerful to gather with our ecumenical and interfaith partners to speak to the many challenges our communities face. From an Imam based in Queens speaking to his community’s welcome of new arrivals to the city in the midst of Ramadan to a Baptist prison chaplain speaking to the needed reforms in the New York state corrections system, the lobbying was based in grassroots ministry experience. 

The greatest takeaway from the Advocacy Days gathering was that we are stronger when we advocate together as faith communities. Standing in solidarity with one another helps us amplify each other’s voices and advocate with lawmakers. As we look to the future, we are excited about further partnership with our ecumenical and interfaith partners through the NYSCOC.

Nick Gordon is special projects coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of New York and an aspirant for holy orders.

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