What is the Office of Public Witness?
When Jesus was asked to state the greatest commandment, he replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart ... And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself." In this complex age, one way we love our neighbors is to help shape the laws and policies that define how we live together in God's world.
Spring 2015 Washington Report
- Land of the Free on Lockdown by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson
- Where are They Now? Feature
- Public Witness Victories
- Spring 2015 Service Learning
2015 Office of Public Witness Issues Brochure
The Office of Public Witness annually sets issue priorities based on directions from the General Assembly and taking into account issues that may see action from Congress or the Administration.
2015 Fellowships and Internships Brochure
Read about service learning opportunities for young adults to engage in the work of social justice advocacy in the Office of Public Witness.
Save the date for Advocacy Days 2016
Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day
April 15, 2016
New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
Ecumenical Advocacy Days
April 15–18, 2016
Doubletree Hotel by Hilton
Washington, DC—Crystal City
Resource: March 2014 Advocacy as discipleship
“We are all immigrants to the United States, except Native Americans”
Young Adult Engagement Report, 2012–2015
Holy Discontentment: Boycott!
The power of the pocketbook to create social change
The situation in Israel/Palestine engenders holy discontentment for people who yearn for all of God’s children, including Palestinians and Israelis, to live in peaceful coexistence. In 2012, the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted by an overwhelming majority to call for a boycott of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements.Through this resource on boycotting Israeli settlement products, the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness hopes that Presbyterians can channel their holy discontentment in the service of a just peace in Israel/Palestine. Hope: A Justice Movement is Growing in the United States
Resource: Advocacy as Discipleship
A people called to witness
A four-week daily devotional guide by Blair Moorhead
Four weeks of reflection. How do you want to use this time? You might take intentional study time during the four weeks of Advent; you might choose four weeks of Lent to spend in reflection; or you might find you want to use it as a centering exercise in the middle of summer. You may also want to share this study with a group at your church or home. Whatever the season, and whether alone or communally, this guide will help you think about the links between Christ’s witness and our own call to be advocates as disciples for God’s justice in the world.
Holy Discontentment Advocacy Resource
How to be an Effective Advocate
Holy Discontentment: Lifting Your Voice for Effective Advocacy outlines the tools in the advocate’s toolbox, discusses their effectiveness, and gives suggestions on truly effective advocacy strategies. Now, with a newly updated section on using social media as an advocacy tool!
Respectful Dialogue Initiative
Our next step: Challenging the current tide of political divisiveness
While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is what you have heard from me.” (Acts 1:4)
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness is committed to partnering with congregations, sessions, and other governing bodies committed to engaging in effective advocacy work. I have visited 44 presbyteries in the past two years to deliver this message and explain the work of the OPW. During this period, Presbyterians expressed in open forums and private conversations their deep frustration with the vitriolic rhetoric emanating from Washington politicians of all political parties. It is clear that there is little hope for the Washington political establishment to rehabilitate itself. The simple reason is that “negative advertising wins campaigns.” It is incumbent upon persons in local communities to call for civility through challenging three basic assumptions: 1) politicians are more powerful than local communities; 2) partisan politics is a permanent determinant of political power that cannot be challenged; 3) politics is too divisive for our congregations to discuss.
Advocacy as Discipleship
Raise Hope for the Congo
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered from regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources for more than a century. Congo’s natural resources and the world’s voracious appetite for them have been the principal force behind atrocities and conflict throughout Congo’s violent and tortured history. In fact, the mineral wealth in eastern Congo today is financing multiple armed groups who use mass rape and other forms of violence as a calculated strategy to frighten, coerce, and control local populations…”
Presbyterians in the 114th Congress
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