Newsletter: Updates, Lent, and More

January 22, 2008

Happy New Year! As Congress begins the second session of the 110th Congress, we wanted to give you a quick update on some of the issues we have been working on together and some great things coming up this spring.

The Farm Bill
Thank you everyone for such consistent advocacy on this issue. We started education on the Farm Bill way back in Lent, and we all stuck together on this important piece of legislation straight through to votes in late December. Right now versions of the Farm Bill have passed both the House and the Senate. Neither is all that we would have hoped. Now, a conference committee is working to hammer out the differences to come up with a final bill for passage. President Bush has promised to veto both chambers' version of the bill, in part because neither makes changes to the unfair commodity-payment system as urged by Episcopalians and other advocates. This veto threat gives important leverage to reform proponents. Watch your inbox in the coming weeks for EPPN messages as we will have more alerts on the continuing saga of the Farm Bill and how you can continue to make a difference.
For updates on the rest of the important issues we have been working on, click here.

EPPN Lenten Series: For the Beauty of the Earth
The Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) invites you to join us in a Lenten discipline focusing on care of creation. The EPPN will provide six weeks of education, opportunities for advocacy, and ideas for simple steps you can take in your home and your church “For the Beauty of the Earth.” See our video ad and learn more at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/climate

Advocacy Events this Spring

  • Province VIII Gathering – A Vision of a Just America: February 12-13, Oakland, CA
  • Episcopal Urban Caucus Assembly: February 13-16, Oakland, CA
  • Ecumenical Advocacy Days: March 7-10, Alexandria, VA
  • Churches for Middle East Peace Conference: April 20-22, Washington, DC
  • Raising our Voices, Raising a Nation - Children'€™s Advocacy Conference: May 5-8, Baltimore, MD

Bishop Shaw Testifies at Congressional Hearing on Slave Trade
On December 18, 2007, Bishop Tom Shaw of the Diocese of Massachusetts testified before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties' oversight hearing on the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Bishop Shaw lifted up the importance of the anniversary of the US abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade as an opportunity to further examine the role and relationship of slavery and racism in the United States. You can read his full testimony here.