Lenten Advocacy Calendar

There are many practices that Christians follow during Lent – prayer, fasting, acts of charity, devotional reading, and other forms of spiritual discipline. Any of these can be a way of reorienting oneself in light of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  

We offer this calendar as one way to observe Lent, by preparing for and practicing advocacy as a part of your Christian identity.  Advocacy is a way of loving our neighbors by helping shape laws and public policies. An advocate is anyone who cares enough about the good of their community and its members to speak up on their behalf. 

Whether you follow its suggestions day by day, or occasionally as your hectic schedule allows, we hope this Lenten Advocacy Calendar can be a tool for faithful witness to God’s will for a just, peaceful and healthy world.

March6Ash WednesayMake plans now to speak up for a state budget that reflects your values. Register for the People of Faith United for Justice Advocacy Day. If you can’t attend,  donate for scholarships to help others attend.
7ThursdayEncourage others in your congregation to attend the People of Faith United for Justice Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Make an announcement at worship, and ask for a notice to be put in the Sunday bulletin or church newsletter.
8Friday“Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:9). Read the Wisconsin Council of Churches’ public advocacy guide to learn why and how you can be an advocate.
9SaturdayIn 2019, Wisconsin’s Governor and legislature will produce a budget that sets spending priorities for the next two years.  Learn about the state budget process and where you can have an impact
10First Sunday in LentTake Sabbath rest and reflect on how advocacy is a part of your identity as a person of faith.
11MondayTo be an effective advocate, you need to know who represents you. Start by finding out who your State Senator is and visit their webpage to learn about their biography and positions. Sign up for their newsletter for updates on what they are doing and what they think is important.
12TuesdayAdvocacy is about building relationships. If your State Senator is on Twitter or Facebook, follow them and comment constructively on their posts.
13WednesdayEach State Senate district is divided into three Assembly Districts. Find out who your State Assembly Representative is and visit their website to learn about their biography and positions. Sign up for their newsletter.
14ThursdayFollow your State Assembly Representative on Twitter or Facebook; comment constructively on their posts.
The Wisconsin Council of Churches sends out occasional advocacy alerts to let folks know about important state and federal legislation. We make it easy to contact your public officials!   Subscribe to WCC’s e-advocacy alerts.
16SaturdaySee what public policy positions and advocacy resources your denomination has, or check out other faith-based advocacy resources.
17Second Sunday in LentTake Sabbath rest and pray for our leaders in state government, that they may have the strength, courage and wisdom to do what is right for the people of Wisconsin, and for the part of creation that is entrusted to our care.
18MondayHealing the sick and preaching good news to the poor were hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry. (Matthew 11:2-5) How can we carry forward Jesus’ mission today? Learn the top ten reasons for expanding Badgercare, Wisconsin’s health care program for low-income people. This is one of the issues for the People of Faith United for Justice advocacy day on April 11.
19TuesdayWater is life. The psalmist exclaims, “You [God] make springs gush forth in the valleys . . . the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.” (Psalm 104:10-13) But learn how manure and lead contaminate drinking water across Wisconsin. Protecting water quality will be another of the topics for lobby visits at the People of Faith United for Justice advocacy day on April 11.
20WednesdayCaring for children is one of the most important priorities for our faith and for our society. Jesus “took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:16) Yet working parents can’t always find affordable, quality child care, and low paid child care workers struggle to make ends meet. At the People of Faith United for Justice advocacy day on April 11, we will call on our legislators to take action on this crisis.
21ThursdayFor children to live in poverty in a wealthy nation such as our is unconscionable — and avoidable. Read the theological and policy statements for the End Child Poverty Campaign and add your endorsement to the campaign goal: The people of Wisconsin need to set a goal of cutting childhood poverty in half in the next ten years. To guarantee greater equity, we also need to cut racial disparities in childhood poverty in half. These goals need to be accompanied by a commitment to evidence-based evaluation of progress.
22FridayTo end child poverty in Wisconsin, we need to demonstrate that there is a bipartisan, broad-based moral commitment to achieve that coal. Ask your State Senator and State Representative to endorse the End Child Poverty Wisconsin statement. (And while you are at it, ask your friends and family members to do so as well.)
23SaturdayPolicy statements of the Wisconsin Council of Churches express the biblical, theological, and ethical grounds for the Council’s work and witness regarding matters of concern to God’s people in the world.  Read the WCC’s Statement on Economic Justice for a perspective on what our faith has to say about matters of poverty and wealth.
24Third Sunday in LentTake Sabbath rest and reflect: How is public policy advocacy related to Jesus’ mission to “preach good news to the poor”?
25Monday The legislative process may be complex, but it doesn’t have to be totally mysterious. If we understand how laws are made in Wisconsin, we can see where ordinary citizens can have an influence.
26TuesdayMany of our neighbors depend on programs like SNAP (formerly “food stamps,” called FoodShare in Wisconsin) and Medicaid that are administered by the state but funded mainly by the federal government — so it’s important to keep an eye on the U.S. Congress, which holds the nation’s purse strings. Visit the webpage of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, to learn about his biography and positions and sign up for his newsletter.
27WednesdayU.S. Senators represent all the people of a state, not a particular district, so get to know both of yours. Visit the webpage of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to learn about her biography and positions and sign up for her newsletter
28ThursdayPolicymakers, whether at the state or federal level, need to hear from their constituents about what is happening in their state or district. Learn how many people are hungry or at risk of hunger in your county or congressional district from Feeding America’s interactive “Map the Meal Gap” website.
“A poor widow came and put in two copper coins [for the temple treasury] . . .” (Mark 12:41-44) Only those who live with poverty can really know what it is like, but simulations can give others a glimpse of the challenges and dilemmas that many of their neighbors face every day. Play the online poverty simulation, “Spent.
30SaturdayRacial injustice in our state creates disparities across a whole range of issues: hunger, health, employment, poverty, incarceration, education and more. Read the Wisconsin Council of Churches’ statement on Institutional Racism and download the WCC study guide on Racial Disparities and the Call of the Gospel.
31Fourth Sunday in LentTake sabbath rest, and pray for the insight to see, and the courage to confront, the corrosive legacy and continuing presence of racism in our nation, our state, and your own life.
April1MondayGet ready to visit legislator’s offices (or to phone or email them if you won’t be attending) by watching the advocacy training webinar for the People of Faith United for Justice day at the State Capitol. Watch the video
2TuesdayRemember to vote! Today is the Spring 2019 nonpartisan election for Supreme Court Justice and other judicial, school board, and local offices. Go to MyVote Wisconsin for voter registration information, polling location, what’s on the ballot, and more.
3Wednesday“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen. . . . to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isaiah 58:6-7) Read the latest Wisconsin Poverty Report to understand why progress against poverty in our state has stalled.
4ThursdayNot only do you need to know who your legislators are, they need to know who you are, what you care about, and why. Introduce yourself with a letter or email to your State Senator and State Representative (and let them know if you will be visiting their offices on advocacy day next week).
5FridayVisit the webpage of your US Representative and learn about their biography and positions, and sign up for their newsletter.
6Saturday“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” (Psalm 24) What does that mean as we enjoy and care for the rich natural heritage of our state’s lands, waters, and living creatures, and seek environmental justice for all people? Read “The Worshipful Work of Caring for Earth and People,” the Wisconsin Council of Churches’ statement on the environment.
7Fifth Sunday in LentTake sabbath rest and pray for the healing and restoration of all of God’s creation — especially the most vulnerable members of our communities.
8MondayGet ready for People of Faith United for Justice advocacy day at the State Capitol on this week — read the background paper on BadgerCare!
9TuesdayGet ready for People of Faith United for Justice advocacy day at the State Capitol on Thursday — read the Background Paper on Early Childhood Education!
10WednesdayGet ready for People of Faith United for Justice advocacy day at the State Capitol tomorrow — read the Background Paper on Water!
Today is the day! Folks from across the state are gathering to visit their legislators’ offices at the State Capitol at People of Faith United for Justice. If you can’t attend, you can participate virtually by sending an email to your legislators about one or more of our issues — safe drinking water; access to affordable child care and fair pay for child care workers, and expansion of BadgerCare.
12FridayThrough study and respectful conversations with other members of our faith communities, we can approach controversial issues on the basis of our core moral values and religious beliefs, rather than partisan ideologies. Plan to lead a discussion group at your church using Wisconsin Council of Churches study guides on hunger, poverty, racial disparities, immigration, interfaith relations, or civil dialogue.
13SaturdayEarth Day is the day after Easter Sunday this year — an appropriate conjunction since Christians throughout the centuries have seen the Resurrection as the promise of new life for the whole of creation. Download and read the Creation Justice Ministries Earth Day Sunday resource for 2019, focused on children and youth.
14Palm SundayTake Sabbath rest and reflect: Has what you have learned or experienced in the past few weeks changed in any way your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus?
15MondayBear witness to what you’ve learned or experienced in the past few weeks, on advocacy day or otherwise. Write a letter to the editor, following these simple steps from Bread for the World.
16TuesdayContinue to be alert for the “signs of the times” by bookmarking the webpage or subscribing to the podcast of a reliable source of news about Wisconsin politics, such as a state or local newspaper or Wisconsin Eye, Wheeler Report, Wispolitics, or Wisconsin Public Radio’s Wisconsin Politics Podcast.
17Wednesday“In a certain city there was a widow who kept coming to a judge and saying, ‘Grant me justice…” (Luke 18:1-5) Advocacy doesn’t end with a single message or office visit. Follow up with the legislators you have contacted: thank them if you’ve heard back from them, or remind them of your concerns if you haven’t.
18Maundy Thursday
Reflect: How is God calling you to be an advocate for others in response to Jesus “new commandment” to love one another?
19Good FridayReflect: How is Jesus’ suffering connected to the world’s brokenness?
20Holy SaturdayReflect: Where do you see God working today to heal the world’s brokenness?

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