Title: ELCA, Other Faith Groups Press Agriculture Committee for Farm Bill Reform ELCA NEWS SERVICE
July 19, 2007
ELCA, Other Faith Groups Press Agriculture Committee for Farm Bill Reform 07-129-AL
WASHINGTON (ELCA) -- The Rev. Theodore F. Schneider, bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), joined other faith leaders July 17 in a news conference calling on Congress for a bill that would reduce poverty while helping farmers and rural communities in the United States and around the world.
The U.S. Farm Bill, scheduled to be reauthorized in 2007, determines agriculture, nutrition and conservation policy. The U.S. House Agriculture Committee began debating the bill July 17, hours after the news conference.
"We urge the Agriculture Committee and the leadership to work for a bill that helps farmers both here and in other parts of the world, that supports rural economies, that protects the land from harm, and that ensures that all people have enough to eat," Schneider said.
The faith leaders sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging the House leadership to make Farm Bill reform a priority. The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, was among those who signed the letter.
"Our nation's farm policy needs to be guided by a strong moral compass," said the Rev. David H. Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "An equitable system would not pour federal dollars into the largest farms in America without addressing the needs of those who need help the most." Beckmann is an ELCA pastor.
Those participating in the news conference represented the Religious Working Group on the Farm Bill, of which the ELCA is a part. The working group has organized more than 700 congressional visits, generated 85,000 letters sent to Congress and more than 8,000 phone calls, and mobilized Faith Farm Teams in 38 states to write letters to editors and to contact their members of Congress by telephone and postcard.
Other participants in the news conference included: + Father Andrew Small, OMI, policy advisor, United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops
+ The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, bishop, Episcopal Diocese of
+ The Rev. Earl D. Trent Jr., pastor, Progressive National
+ Sister Simone Campbell, director, NETWORK, A National Catholic
Social Justice Lobby
The text of the letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is at http://tinyurl.com/2cspnx on the ELCA Web site.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.elca.org/news ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog