Office of Government Relations

Fall 2023 Newsletter

August 15, 2023
Office of Government Relations

As we look towards Congress’s return to Washington in a few weeks, we want to update you on our work in the Office of Government Relations and share the results of your efforts of faith-based advocacy and Christian witness.

Over the past few months, you have sent more than 15,000 messages to Congress through the Episcopal Public Policy Network. Thank you to all of you who have taken action! These messages raise awareness and visibility of public policy issues, alert members of Congress to constituent priorities, and offer a values-based perspective that can counterbalance private sector and industry interests.

OGR staff have continued to provide up-to-date information about what’s happening in Congress and with the Administration through our weekly Episcopal Public Policy Network Calls (register here!). Thanks to all of those who join for these briefings – we hope they inform your advocacy and perspective on public policy issues that don’t always make headlines. As always, we welcome your feedback (email us!

Our team regularly meets with Congressional offices, building relationships, gaining intelligence on dynamics in Congress that we can share with our network, and advocating for specific legislation. We also weigh in on legislation before it is introduced and identify new areas for meaningful legislation.

In the weeks ahead, you still have a chance to join a town hall, set up a meeting with your legislator, or offer feedback. Many of you have relied on our resources for meetings or town halls with legislators – we always love hearing the outcomes of your conversations, so please share with us.

Policy areas:

Immigration Reform

We continue to advocate for family reunification, comprehensive immigration reform, and humane treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants. We are also pushing for legislation that protects Dreamers and Afghans while pushing the Biden administration to maintain access to asylum. Thank you to everyone from our network who submitted comments opposing the Biden Administration’s asylum rule!

Our immigration action alerts are here:


As Congress prepares to fund the government, we are focused on pushing for a child tax credit that would support families living in poverty, as well as ensuring that there are no cuts to food assistance programs that help the most vulnerable.

In the international arena, we are advocating for continued humanitarian assistance to address crises around the world, and for programs that provide long-term solutions to extreme poverty

Climate, environment, and care of creation

Highlighting the urgency of addressing climate change, we are mobilizing support for legislation that prioritizes clean energy, addresses environmental justice, and protects clean air and water for all people.

Racial reconciliation and healing

We continue to advocate for anti-racist policies and consider racial justice and healing throughout our advocacy. In particular, we are highlighting the call for a congressional commission to study reparations in H.R. 40, as well as advocating for voting rights and criminal justice reform.

Human rights and peacebuilding

In connection with non-U.S. Episcopal dioceses and Anglican partners, we work closely with U.S. government departments and agencies behind-the-scenes to push for conflict resolution and support of peacebuilding efforts. We lift up human rights issues globally and engage in country and regional specific work, including advocating for normalization of U.S. – Cuba relations and advocating for a Congressional truth and healing commission for Indian boarding schools.


One of the ways we amplify our collective voice and leverage the power of the Episcopal Church as an institution, is through letters addressed to legislators and policymakers. We send independent letters to Congress, highlighting the guidance from General Convention, and we also join with ecumenical, interfaith, and secular partners. Institutional sign-on letters play a crucial role in amplifying the collective voice of our church on pressing social justice and policy issues.

What are institutional sign-on letters?

  • An institutional sign-on letter is a formal document that represents the unified position of multiple organizations, institutions, or faith communities on a particular issue. The letter is addressed to policymakers, legislators, or government agencies, urging them to take action. These letters are powerful statements and demonstrate broad-based and diverse institutional support on certain issues and can persuade policymakers to co-sponsor legislation, vote in support of a bill, or take other steps. Some institutional sign-on letters are public – you can see these below – whereas others are shared with legislators privately as part of a comprehensive outreach and engagement strategy. These letters are one way the Church has a public witness, and we aim to influence policy through these statements.

Public Sign-on letters:

2023 Posts from the Hill

The Office of Government Relations