Church leaders are urging Anglicans and Lutherans to put the needs of children and families hard hit by poverty front and centre in the federal election.
In his pastoral letter, Bishop Colin Johnson of the Diocese of Toronto asks Anglicans to question the election candidates about how they would improve the lives of the poor, especially children living in poverty: “Please ask party candidates if they are aware that one in every six children is living in poverty. Ask what they plan to do about this critical issue.”
The bishop’s pastoral letter is endorsed by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, and Lutheran Bishop Michael Pryse. It is being sent to members of both churches, along with questions that Anglicans and Lutherans can ask local candidates about child poverty, the affordable housing shortage and related issues.
“An election is about choices,” the church leaders write in the letter. “And not just about which name you choose to put your X beside. It’s about choosing to put your faith into action, a faith inspired by a vision of justice and dignity for all. We can make that choice — or we can choose to focus only on issues and policy proposals that benefit us personally. It’s up to each of us.
“The coming federal election is a time to assess our values. What kind of society do we want to live in? How can we best deal with the issues we face as a society, and strengthen the common good?”
The letter and questions are an initiative of the Diocese of Toronto’s Social Justice and Advocacy Board. The diocese’s recent synod identified child poverty as one of its key mission areas over the next three years.
- What do we value?: Letter from Primate Hutchison, Bishop Colin Johnson, and Bishop Pryse of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
- Vote to end poverty: Questions for candidates — Microsoft Word format from the Diocese of Toronto website.
- Diocese of Toronto Social Justice and Advocacy webpage
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