Advocacy for Social Justice Blog: A Moral Budget: It Doesn't take a Miracle Loaves and Fishes Day of Action

March 12, 2013

A Moral Budget: It Doesn’t take a Miracle Loaves and Fishes Day of Action

One of the primary debates in Washington right now is in how to solve the country’s debt and budget deficit.  Many clergy and people of faith are urging lawmakers to make sure that we protect the country’s most vulnerable and avoid spending cuts that would hurt the poor and middle class.  The United Methodist Social Principles support progressive tax structures that ask the rich to pay more and protects programs for the poor.  Faith in Public Life has organized a day of action that is in accordance with the United Methodist Social Principles that the Justice and Advocacy Team would like to ask our churches to consider taking action in one of the ways described below.  While we are past the official deadline, it is still not too late to make a difference in this debate and to stand with and for “the least of these.” 

 


Washington is in gridlock over the federal budget. Politicians are squabbling over taxes and spending cuts. Influencing the negotiations feels impossible, and yet the consequences of these budget decisions will deeply affect our communities, especially the most vulnerable among us. The faith community must raise its voice.

In the Christian tradition, we know of God’s plan for abundance for His people through Jesus’ miracle of multiplying the loaves and fishes. Bringing this story to life, you can join with other faith groups to rebut the austerity myth in the budget debate and urge your lawmakers to pass a moral budget that asks the wealthy to pay their fair share and protects the poor and vulnerable.

 


We know that “it doesn’t take a miracle” to pass a moral budget. On March 20, we’ll tell them.

What is the Loaves and Fishes day of action?

On March 20, 2013, faith groups large and small from across the country will participate in a day of action to raise the voices of our communities and demand a moral budget that asks the wealthy to pay their fair share. Whether it’s a press conference outside your legislator’s office, or a discussion in your congregation about federal budget priorities, you can help illustrate the miracle of the loaves and fishes to influence the budget debate in Washington. Everyone will share Facebook content and tweet using a common hashtag.

Together we will create a powerful narrative that Congress will not be able to ignore.


What can I do?

This day of action is very open-source, and you should think creatively to customize it to the needs of your community and ministry. Is your priority Medicaid? Raising revenue on the wealthy? School programs? Here are some ideas:

  1. Do a loaves and fishes delivery at your elected representative’s office.
  2. Watch a 2-minute video and ask your congregation to write letters to Congress asking for a moral budget.
  3. If connected to school or children’s center, get youth to do paper cut-outs of loaves and fish and send them to representatives.
  4. Using a clergy guide on the federal budget, host a fish-and-bread meal at your church and discuss the federal budget.
  5. Ask your elected representatives to read the Gospel passage of the loaves and fishes in a public forum.
  6. Ask any of your contacts in Washington, DC to participate in the DC press event on Capitol Hill.
  7. Tweet, retweet, and Facebook anything that you do!

What does a loaves and fishes delivery look like?

Well, we’ve never done it and we’re looking forward to creatively collaborating with you! These are the major components (that we will provide to you): a big banner that reads: “It doesn’t take a miracle.” On the bread loaves can be written names of programs that face cuts: Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Social Security, Foreign Aid, etc. After the press conference, try to deliver loaves and fishes to lawmakers’ offices. Ideally both the bread and the fish will be real to make both a splash and a stink!

TOOLKIT:

Faith in Public Life can provide your community with the following materials:

  1. A large banner than says “it doesn’t take a miracle.”
  2. Downloadable signs to print, as well as Loaves and fish graphics.
  3. A fill-in-the-blank press release and media advisory.
  4. Talking points for spokespeople
  5. A brief video detailing the fiscal cliff debate and how faith communities can make a difference.
  6. Clergy guide on the federal budget
  7. Social media plan (hashtag and sharable Facebook content)

 

The deadline to sign up is March 8. Your event will be included in national press releases and social media. Ready to sign up? Have questions? Please contact: Meghan Blickman, Campaigns Coordinator: mblickman@faithinpubliclife.org.

 

The Advocacy for Social Justice Blog is produced by the North Alabama Conference Advocacy for Social Justice Team to help people think about justice issues through the lens of faith. It is intended to be a place where United Methodists can listen and learn from each other with mutual respect and understanding. (For the purpose of this blog see the the post “The work of justice is the work of the church”.) Please join the conversation by adding your comment below. If you have an idea for a blog topic or would like to make a submission to the Advocacy for Social Justice Blog please contact the Team Convenor Rev. R.G. Wilson-Lyons at rg.lyons@umcna.org.

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