Lawrence, KS (March 19, 2019) — Kansas Interfaith Action (KIFA) today announced an affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), by action taken by the Central States Synod Council on March 16, 2019, to endorse KIFA as a state public policy office (SPPO) of the ELCA.
ELCA Advocacy has 16 SPPOs in more than 16 states throughout the country, focused on developing and advocating for legislative priorities on the state level. Some are Lutheran offices, and some are ecumenical or interfaith organizations already doing the work in those states. This is the case with KIFA.
“We are very excited about our partnership with ELCA,” said Rabbi Moti Rieber, executive director of KIFA. “ELCA is doing important advocacy work throughout the country, providing an important moral voice grounded in deep commitment to faith, and we are pleased to be part of it. This partnership will make KIFA part of a network of advocates throughout the country. We also believe that this will help strengthen our outreach to Lutherans throughout Kansas, as well as to other denominations.”
Rev. Amy Reumann, Director of Advocacy for ELCA in Washington, DC, said, “Lutherans affirm that the God who justifies calls us to do justice. The faith community’s voice is strongest when we speak and act together. This strategic partnership between KIFA, the Central States Synod and ELCA Advocacy will provide new avenues and opportunities for ELCA congregations in Kansas to advance greater justice with and on behalf of their neighbor.”
Rev. Susan Candea, Bishop’s Associate of the Central States Synod of ELCA, which covers Kansas and Missouri said, “We are pleased to be able to partner with Kansas Interfaith Action. They do important work advocating for people of faith and the public in Kansas on issues of racial, economic and climate justice, and we look forward to deepening our engagement in statewide advocacy through this partnership.”
KIFA has two ELCA pastors on its board: Rev. Jennifer Thomas of Shawnee, who is on the staff of Lutheran School of Theology of Chicago, and Rev. Rachael Pryor of Lindsborg, who has United Church of Christ credentials but serves an ELCA church in Windom, Kansas.