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Summer Ministry Article – June 2, 2024

During the Summer months, this column will be highlighting the good work and parishioners involved in one of our various Parish Ministries.  Each week, we will feature an article from a different ministry, written by one if its members, as a reflection on the generosity and stewardship of the SMOS community.

Living Justice Ministries

by Juliann Hesed

The various teams that make up the Living Justice Ministries at St. Margaret’s – Care For Creation, Gun Sense, Immigration, Pride of St. Margaret, and Racial Equity – are very active committees within our parish, that help us carry out the SMOS mission of  “living just lives and working for a more just society”.  But today, I want to focus on a part of the work of the core LJM team – the Advocacy Table – which represents all of the five teams ongoing concerns.

Post-COVID 2023, we returned to the letter-writing advocacy table.  In a year’s time, we have mailed over 1,000 letters to legislators ranging from Mayor Jones to President Biden and so many lawmakers in between.  Last month we wrote to Robert Knodell, Director of Social Services (Missouri) encouraging him to work with his team to complete the necessary application for federal dollars for “Summer EBT.” Summer EBT will allow Missouri families whose children receive free or reduced lunches during the school year to receive an extra $40.00 for each of the three summer months.  We all know that $40.00 will not go far in the grocery store these days, but it is better than the $0.00 some of our legislators were pushing for.  

The Advocacy Table meets in the Church Hall every Sunday after the 8:00am and 10:00am Masses.  We cover a number of different topics from food insecurity, to gun safety, to immigration, to Missouri’s continued use of the death penalty (we executed a man on April 9 and have another scheduled for June 11).  Although topics may be repeated, the letters never are.  Topics always align with the Scriptures and the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, calling for justice as defined by Pope Francis and our US Catholic Bishops.

Most of our letters can also be found on our parish website, simply search “Advocacy Table”.  Edit the letter as you wish making it your own, and date and sign it.  Simply email or post your advocacy letter confident that all letters must be counted as they arrive.  

Come join us any Sunday – every Sunday – read the letter, sign the letter, address the envelope (7 minutes max) and we will see that it gets mailed.  Make your voice heard by those who define our laws for your own benefit and, most importantly, for the benefit of those whose voices are least heard. 

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