Church In Society

Areas of Responsibility

Listening to and speaking to society on behalf of the synod
Monitoring of the Church's social statements
Peace, justice, hunger,and unemployment concerns, both domestic and global
Social ministry advocacy, mainly with agencies and institutions
Inclusiveness and diversity
Appalachian ministries and Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania

Report to the 2016 Synod Assembly

“Public life, in service of the public good, is a reflection of our createdness as beings-in-relationship who are called to witness to God’s love for this beautiful and broken world.” – Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Public Church: For the Life of the World.

I took on the role of chairperson of the Church in Society Committee in the fall of 2015. Therefore, my ability to report on the work of this committee throughout the year is limited. Instead, I will focus more on the hope for our continued and future work.

We look forward to improved connections and collaborations with other committees of the Synod. To use one of Bishop Eaton’s key phrases: “We are church together.” It is our hope that the Church in Society Committee will continue to work and grow in ways that allow us to be a resource to the congregations and individuals of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod for issues including, but not limited to: hunger, poverty, racism, the environment, immigration and refugees, public policies and advocacy, the LGBT community, gender and domestic violence, and criminal justice.

We are grateful for the work of the Reverend Paul Lubold, who ended his time on the staff of LAMPa (Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania) this past year.

Thank you to the members of the committee, old and new, especially for your support and patience with me in this new role.

Committee Members

Chairperson: Pastor Jocelyn Johnston
Secretary:  Pastor Linda O. Theophilus
Synod Council Representative: Kelly Spanninger
Clergy:  Pastor Ross Carmichael
Laypersons:  Diane Santoriello
Staff:  The Rev. Edward Sheehan, Assistant to the Bishop