Advocacy Team

"...and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8

Our Faith calls us to follow the example of Jesus Christ by acting for social change to promote justice for all God's people. See full Calling Statement.

We act according to Biblical imperatives as we understand them, address issues supported by Presbyterian Church USA and support the priorities of the WGPC Mission Commission.

Our current priorities are:

  • Poverty with an emphasis of Food and Housing Security
  • Education Reform
  • Gun Violence Prevention
  • Medicaid Expansion Efforts
  • Addressing Systemic Racism
  • Voting Rights and Access

To opt into our monthly emails contact Julie Wood.
For more information on actions we support contact Beth Kazlauskas.

Learn how to advocate in the Missouri Legislature on issues you care about

WGPC member and State Representative Jo Doll joined us via Zoom in March. Watch the recording of this meeting where she explains how bills proceed through the legislative process, how you can easily track bills, and how you can submit testimony. Make your voice heard in Jeff City. It's easy!

WGPC Advocacy by the Numbers: Voting Rights Fall 2022

The Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness encourages congregations to facilitate
the democratic process. Thank you so much to all WGPC members who took time this fall to help our Advocacy Team ensure that ALL voices could be heard through their votes. Along with other community partners, we worked on a variety of tasks. Over four ‘Pizza and Postcard’ sessions, 2500 reminder and informational postcards were addressed, stamped and mailed to registered voters in the City of St. Louis. In addition, letters with 300 personal notes on why voting is important to us and encouraging voters to get out to vote were sent.  Click for more information about advocacy work related to voting this year.

Supporting our Partnership with a Family from Afghanistan

In January 2022 WGPC began a partnership with a family from Afghanistan who recently arrived in St. Louis. Our goal is to support this family through our gifts of time, organization, finances and prayer as they grow to be independent citizens. Visit our Afghan Family Partnership page to learn more about this church-wide effort and ways you can help.

Gun Violence Prevention

The Beloved Community and Gun Violence - Action Alert from PC(USA) 5-26-22

Poll: Black Americans fear more racist attacks after Buffalo shooting - article from The Washington Post

Five Steps You Can Take to Stop Gun Violence

Gun Violence Prevention - How are the Presbyterians Responding? - PowerPoint from WGPC Faith Formation class

Social Justice Articles & Information

A Remarkable Exchange at the Supreme Court - A Question of Race - Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

PC(USA) churches are changing the world - Presbyterians Today

Abortion is also about racial justice, experts and advocates say - NPR

The Beloved Community and Gun Violence - Action Alert from PC(USA) 5-26-22

Bearing Witness - PC(USA) Black Lives Matter web page

The longtime Presbyterian talks about faith and politics with a pair of PC(USA) leaders

A Presbyterian Perspective on Faith & Politics

Talking Politics is Not Taboo

Why 'Presbyterians Affirm Black Lives Matter'?

Good News from the 225th General Assembly! - July 6, 2022

The 225th General Assembly approved RGJ-08: "On Offering an Apology to African Americans for the Sin of Slavery and Its Legacy” today, July 6th, with a vote of 373 – 19! The journey to this moment has its roots in a trip taken by members of GLPBY’s Dismantling Racism and White Privilege Team (DRAWP) to Montgomery, Alabama in the Fall of 2019. On this trip, deep conversations were held and the seed for this important step of repentance was planted. DRAWP would draft and send the apology for this presbytery’s consideration where it was received and approved in 2020. DRAWP returned to the apology in 2021, reviewing and reworking it in preparation to send it on as an overture to the General Assembly. Many were involved in this process, but I would especially note Diane McCullough’s leadership. She was indefatigable!

Over the course of the General Assembly, I’ve been thinking about the idea of “thin places.” A thin place describes a location where the veil between this world and the holy bend toward one another. It is not often I have experienced a thin place in the middle of overtures, motions, and meetings. However, today when the voices of white identifying GA participants recited together the Litany for Repentance (included in the larger document), I experienced the world and the holy bending toward one another. It was emotional and profound.

Today is a great day! A powerful day! Yet the work is not done! If you would like to be a part of dismantling racism work within GLPBY, please contact Rev. Travis Winckler, DRAWP chair. Click to read the apology as approved.

In Christ,

Liz Kanerva
Associate Presbytery Leader

Social Advocacy Film Club

Second Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm
Each month we will share a link to a film which centers on one of the current Advocacy Team priorities. On the second Tuesday all are welcome to join a Zoom discussion of the film  The Zoom link will be shared in the Friday Flash. Reflection Sheet

Tuesday, February 14th 7:00pm
In concert with Black History Month, the February Film Club discussion will be about the PBS documentary, "Becoming Frederick Douglass." In this film, "discover how a man born into slavery became one of the most influential voices for democracy in American history." Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson explores the role Douglass played in securing the right to freedom for African Americans. The discussion will take place at 7:00pm on Tuesday, February 14th via Zoom.

See the Friday Flash for the Zoom link.

 

Previously viewed films:
The U.S. and The Holocaust,
McCarthy
The Color of Medicine: The Story of Homer G. Phillips Hospital
The Social Dilemma
The Murder of Emmett Till
PBS Frontline Documentary Poor Kids
Other Side of the Hill

Freedom Summer
The 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley
Goin' Back to T-Town
John Lewis: Good Trouble
Iron Jawed Angels

Gospel and Guns: How Religion and Gun Law Intertwine in America
King in the Wilderness
Selma

Freedom Riders
Slavery by Another Name
Rigged: A Voter Suppression Handbook

Black Lives Matter

blm

America's communities of color have been hit hardest in these past weeks and months - by both the coronavirus and by catastrophic job losses. Then came the recent deaths by police officers of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey and, most recently, George Floyd. The generational systemic racism and inequities in all areas of black American lives are exposed for everyone to see.

Recognizing that as Christians, we are called to be Christ's hands, feet, and voices on earth, the Advocacy Committee recently had a difficult and courageous conversation about race and how we can lend a supportive voice to the African American community. The committee voted to show our support and our commitment to end systemic racism by placing signs in front of the church. One of them is a "Black Lives Matter" sign. Another says "End Systemic Racism" and the last says "We Stand With You."

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is both a slogan and a straightforward statement of fact. The BLM message is central to the nationwide protests happening right now - speaking out against the police brutality and the systemic racism at the root of inequities for African Americans in the areas of health, housing, economics, education, and so many more. Black Lives Matter does not mean that White Lives don't matter - it just means that Black Lives are the ones that are hurting and need attention right now. These links can be a start to our understanding:

Why you should stop saying "all lives matter," explained in 9 different ways

PBS Special: Race Matters: America in Crisis

We, as a church, cannot remain silent. Silence has become complicity. We ask for your grace as we move together through the process of educating ourselves and taking action to support our Black neighbors.

Click for more information about the Black Lives Matter organization's beliefs and a great (and free!) self paced workshop on race from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

If you are interested in purchasing any Black Lives Matter yard signs for $10 each, please complete and submit this form. Then submit payment to WGPC via check or online.

Once your order is received, you will receive a confirmation email and your sign(s) will be delivered and placed in your yard. You do not need to be home - we are doing contactless delivery.

Questions? Contact Julie Burchett

Listening Deeply

As part of our Faith in Real Life Adult Education Series, Dr. Sarah Riss, former superintendent of the Webster Groves School District and leader of Alliance for Interracial Dignity led an interactive session to teach us about one of the key components of conversation - how to listen and listen deeply. Click to open the Listening Deeply PowerPoint.

Stop the Bleed
Stop the Bleed
March for Our Lives
March for Our Lives
Gun Sense Event
Gun Sense Event

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.