THE PUBLIC POLICY WITNESS MINISTRY encourages clergy and congregations to engage in public policy advocacy at the local and state levels. We seek to facilitate participation in the ministry of doing justice by bearing constructive witness to policies that help everyone have access to what they need to thrive, such as affordable health care, safety and prevention of gun violence, and criminal justice reform.
Our work is rooted in the scriptural call to do justice proclaimed in passages like Deuteronomy 10:14-19, Isaiah 58:1-12, Matthew 25:31-46, and Micah 6:6-8. We presently participate in the advocacy ministries of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and the Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention.
We organize information, encouragement, and connection for church members and clergy to get involved in the work of these organizations advocating for systematic justice at local and state levels.
The Public Policy Witness Ministry promotes advocacy on issues of justice and compassion, providing education and training to empower individuals and congregations to take action and to speak Christ’s truth in the arena of public policy.
Virginia Vigil and Advocacy Day to Prevent Gun Violence
January 16, 2023
POJ’s Public Policy Witness Ministry invites you to the 30th Virginia Vigil and Advocacy Day to Prevent Gun Violence on January 16. The Virginia Center for Public Safety and its partners hold this event annually on Martin Luther King Jr Day at the Virginia State Capitol. Join the vigil from 2 to 3 p.m. then raise your voice for responsible gun laws by meeting with your elected officials in the Pocahontas Building from 3 to 5 p.m.
Charlottesville-area participants can join a charter bus for transportation to and from the event. The bus departs Meadows Church at noon on Monday, January 16, and returns at 5 p.m.
Rehabilitating Versus Punishing: Juvenile Justice Reform in Virginia
The criminal justice system applies adult consequences to youth, disregarding the still-developing brain of teens and the circumstances that lead to criminal acts by teens. Changing the model to rehabilitation and prevention positively impacts the lives of young people, their families, and the larger community. This forum, recorded October 25, 2021, features speakers Lauren Ramseur with Voices of Jubilee and Valerie Slater with RISE for Youth.
Resources shared during this event
- RISE for Youth Legislative Priorities for 2022
- Moving the Department of Juvenile Justice to the Secretary of Public Health & Human Resources from the Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security
- Virginia Interfaith Center Fact Sheet: Solitary Confinement in Virginia
Pictured: Presbyterians (and others) in action, reminding parents to store guns unloaded and locked, and to make sure that their children are gun-safe when visiting relatives and friends.
"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."