Van rams worshipers leaving London mosque

A van plowed into worshipers near a London mosque on June 19, injuring 10 people, two of them seriously, in what Theresa May, prime minister of the United Kingdom, said was a “sickening” terrorist attack on Muslims. The vehicle swerved into people mainly from North and West Africa shortly after midnight as they left prayers at the Muslim Welfare House and the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, one of the biggest in Britain.

Court rules in favor of Advocate Health Care

On June 5, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Advocate Health Care and two other religious-affiliated hospital systems are exempt from a federal law designed to protect employee pensions. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act requires that pension plans be insured and sufficiently funded. Advocate had

been fighting the law, saying its pension plan for its 35,00 employees is a “church plan.” The employees who brought the lawsuit argued that the exemption was never supposed to apply to a “giant business” like Advocate. In addition to the ELCA, Advocate Health Care is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

Court rules for church in “playground” case

The Supreme Court ruled June 26 for a Missouri church that claimed religious discrimination after it was refused state funds to improve its playground. Ruling 7-2, the court determined that the state had treated Trinity Lutheran in Columbia (a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod congregation) unfairly under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause. The state denied the church “an otherwise available public benefit on account of its religious status,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

By the ELCA Advocacy staff

“For such a time as this” we pray, fast and act together

In May, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, issued a joint invitation to a period of prayer, fasting and advocacy.

“God’s intention is the flourishing of all people, and we are called to participate in God’s loving purpose by standing with our neighbors who struggle with poverty and hunger,” they wrote.

Eaton extended this call out of concern regarding proposals in Congress to deeply cut federal

programs that are vital to people struggling with poverty.

Throughout the year, ELCA Advocacy and the Episcopal Public Policy Network will equip Christians to help support their church leaders’ collective call to #PrayFastAct by focusing attention on a different area of concern each month. Issues being highlighted relate to food, water, racial justice, immigration and the environ- ment, among others.

On the 21st of every month, through the close of the 115th Congress, Eaton and ELCA

Connect with us! 12 AUGUST 2017

Advocacy are encouraging Lutherans to pray and fast. Why the 21st? This is when 90 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits run out for families, making the remainder of the month a hungry time. An advocacy alert will also be sent on this day, asking participants to speak their faith by contacting their members of Congress.

To learn more about this action, watch a video message from Eaton at To learn more about ELCA Advo- cacy, visit

/elcaadvocacy @ELCAadvocacy

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