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ELCA, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishops Urge Renewed Commitment to End Poverty

Contact: John R. Brooks, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 773-380-2958, john.brooks@elca.org; Annie Lynsen, ELCA Washington Office, 202-626-7947, annie.lynsen@elca.org

MEDIA ADVISORY, Sept. 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, released a joint pastoral letter Sept. 14 urging Lutherans and Episcopalians to recommit themselves to ending global poverty through achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in collaboration with ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. The release of the letter was celebrated Sept. 15 in a joint worship service at the Episcopal Church Center in New York.

The letter, "That All May Be One," is available at http://www.elca.org/advocacy/one/06-09-14-pastoral.html or http://www.elca.org/bishop/m_060914.html on the ELCA Web site.

The pastoral letter serves as an advocacy resource intended for ELCA synods, Episcopal Church dioceses and congregation leaders, and includes reflections on the theological basis for the MDGs. It includes examples of how Lutherans and Episcopalians are currently collaborating to end global poverty, specific actions the U.S. government can take toward achieving the MDGs, and a vision for future collaboration in advocating for the MDGs through the "ONE Lutheran" and "ONE Episcopalian" campaigns.

"We hope that by reflecting together on the challenge of global poverty, our communities may be called into deeper conversation, collaboration and advocacy on this urgent topic," the presiding bishops wrote.

The MDGs were adopted by more than 191 member states of the United Nations, including the United States. The goals are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and create a global partnership for development.

During the past year, the ELCA and Episcopal Church have launched "ONE Lutheran" and "ONE Episcopalian" campaigns, which have involved joining the ONE Campaign's advocacy efforts, promoting the ONE Campaign at church events, and offering "ONE Lutheran."