We talked Turkey...

...And got to the 'meat of the issue' this Thanksgiving season. 

Too many Ohioans are struggling to find food for their table, and unemployment compensation and other public investments are a moral covenant to help hard-working Ohio families survive today so that they can thrive tomorrow. 

On Thursday, November 17th, about two dozen faith leaders came to Columbus for our Lets Talk Turkey Advocacy Day. We grounded our morning in our faith with a brief litany and a chance to reflect on the call in Isaiah: 

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.

We are called stand with and alongside those who are hungry and thirsty in the world. This Thanksgiving, we filled our plates with turkey and all the trimmings, while too many go hungry in our own communities. We pray for a day when all will be fed with rich food! 

After centering ourselves on God's call for justice in the world, it was time for us to get to work! Small teams were formed to study the issues of Ohio's unemployment compensation system and Ohio's upcoming state budget. Both of these policy issues can help families who are struggling have the resources they need to put food on the table and stable roof over their head.  

Before we knew it, teams were leaving to cross the street to enter the Ohio Statehouse to meet with legislative offices - 19 offices in fact. Teams criss-crossed the Statehouse for 4 hours meeting with these legislators and their staff. Faith leaders shared their personal stories, experiences, and passion for justice with those who hold seats of power - calling on them to use their temporal authority to show mercy, justice, and love for those who are hungry. 

Check out some pictures from the day!

Special Thanks to Pastor Aaron Layne for the great photography for the day!

We are blessed to have so many faith leaders, because Ohio legislators are expected to introduce a new unemployment compensation bill next week. Hopefully the image of pastors, laity, and handmade turkey art from the children of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Napoleon, Ohio, will stick with them this Thanksgiving weekend as they work on the final language in the bill.

Our communities benefit from advocacy,
long after we eat the turkey and clear the plates.
Our communities benefit from advocacy,
long after donations are counted and delivered.
Our communities benefit from advocacy
long after our work is done...
because our voices belong to God.