As the shutdown stretches on, impacting federal workers, their families and communities, and those that rely on some government services to meet their needs, many of you have shared messages of hardship and hope from around The Episcopal Church with us on social media and through church communications.
“This shutdown is hard for many in our congregation and community. Federal employees, government contractors, family members, and others are feeling the strain. Some of you have told me that, even though you’ve lived through government shutdowns in the past, this time feels particularly scary. Others have told me that you’re scrambling to figure out your finances, calculating the toll on your savings in the absence of a paycheck. This is a time to come together, to take care of one another, and to take care of our neighbors.” – The Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin, St. Columba’s, Washington, DC
Episcopalians across the country are responding to the needs of those impacted by expanding their outreach, providing food assistance, and offering pastoral care to address the anxiety many are experiencing.
“We are opening our food pantry beyond our usual hours for all who are suffering as a result of lost salary, as well as those who will lose SNAP and WIC benefits when the funds dry up. And prayer – lots of prayer!” – Christ Church, Millwood, VA
“It isn’t impacting me directly, but I am volunteering at our food banks.” – @megan_ticer
“Today I am reaching out to my interfaith colleagues in the region to draft a letter to our public officials asking that they end the government shutdown immediately… In the meantime, people are suffering, and we cannot turn away. As Christians, we are called to respond with compassion, for God’s compassion knows no borders.” – The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Diocese of Washington
In particular, we would like to draw your attention to this litany for those affected by the shutdown written by The Rev. Dahn Dean Gandell (Church of the Ascension, Rochester, NY) so that it might be a source of peace in these uncertain days.
What is your community doing to help those affected by the shutdown? What impacts are you feeling? We encourage you to share your story with your elected officials through this alert.
Disrupting the livelihood and well-being of Americans by shutting down the government over a border security debate is unacceptable.
We call on you to reach out to your members of Congress and urge them to end the shutdown now.