Mission, Service and Justice Resources
Because you are committed to putting your faith in action and leading your circles of influence toward more just systems, the Missouri Conference Office of Mission, Service and Justice has compiled a few resources to help engage structural forms of oppression through political and legislative action.
U.S. CENSUSAbout 62 percent of households in Missouri have responded to the 2020 Census online, by mail or by phone. Missouri has some counties whose response rate is as low as 28%. Click on the image and find out what response rates in your county are.
In August 2020, census workers will begin visiting households that have not responded to the census to help ensure that everyone is counted. Churches can help by adding messages encouraging participation on their marquees and signs, as well as provide space (or internet access) for locals to complete the census. Check out other ideas here. If you are interested in learning how your church can support the 2020 Census, please contact Community Engagement Specialist Sidney Everhart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDICAID EXPANSIONOn August 4, Missourians will go to the polls to vote on Amendment 2. This amendment will expand eligibility for MO HealthNet up to 138% of the federal poverty level. With expansion, an individual who earns up to $18,000 per year or a family of four that earns up to $36,000, would be eligible. Expanding MO HealthNet would provide health insurance coverage to 230,000 Missourians who are now caught in a coverage gap – they earn too much to qualify for the current Medicaid program but not enough to afford private insurance. Medicaid expansion will help keep rural hospitals open.
Churches can help educate and connect people to information on this initiative including volunteering at a virtual phone and text bank to Get Out the Vote. Learn more:
VOTER ENGAGEMENTAn average election in the United States has around 60% of the eligible voting population turning out at the polls. There are a variety of reasons why people don’t get out and vote: their job schedule does not allow it, they are away and didn’t apply for an absentee ballot, disillusionment with the political atmosphere, among others. With the rise in popularity of suppressive voting legislation, we may see an even lower turnout than normal in this election. What can churches do to get out the vote?
United Methodist Women have a voting rights toolkit you can explore. Churches can help with voter registration and providing notary services for absentee balloting. For the General Election on November 3, remember:
THE CHURCH AND POLITICS
This one-hour recording answers questions about how pastors and churches can legally engage in political speech and activities. Learn more about the Johnson Amendment, legislation that regulates what tax-exempt organizations such as churches can do in the political arena. Plus, a bonus segment on how churches can help reach vulnerable populations in the 2020 Census facilitated by Sidney Owens, Community Engagement Specialist.
Want to get more involved? Connect with Missouri Faith Voices, a multi-faith, multi-racial organizing effort committed to transforming the lives of ordinary individuals and families who have been historically impacted due to racism and injustice by equipping them to challenge the systems that create those conditions and inviting community stakeholders to co-create a moral vision for Missouri and engage in the prophetic action necessary to make it a reality.