A Call to Prayer: Moral Choices. Moral Decisions. A Moral PA Budget

Join in a Statewide Prayer Vigil for Gov. Corbett’s Budget Unveiling

United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania is calling for United Methodists to join an interfaith prayer vigil on Tuesday, March 8.

Gov. Tom Corbett will be unveiling his 2011-2012 state budget proposal to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. With Pennsylvania facing a $4 billion shortfall, the budget is certain to contain broad cuts in state services.

“Gov. Corbett and legislators will be making hundreds of moral choices in the coming weeks and months,” said Stephen Drachler, executive director of United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania. “Those moral decisions add up to a budget that is a moral document.”

The vigil will be held from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the steps in front of the state Capitol in Harrisburg. The public is welcome to participate.

Bulletin inserts urging prayer for Gov. Corbett and the General Assembly are available by clicking here.

In addition to United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania the Interfaith Justice Coalition, is an informal group that includes the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, Pennsylvania Council of Churches, Pennsylvania Jewish Federation, and Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania.

The coalition’s statement on the budget process states:

We believe the budget process is much more than allocating dollars to reach a political goal. Their decisions culminate a series of moral choices reflecting the depth of Commonwealth’s commitment to fundamental Judeo-Christian values of caring for the poor and the marginalized.

Our mission is to undergird this process with prayer. We believe prayer makes a difference.

Pennsylvania’s budget is more than several pieces of paper, or charts on a computer. It is the compilation of hundreds of moral choices into an overarching moral document.

Pennsylvania, like our nation, is under great fiscal stress. This critical decision-making process takes on more importance now than it has in more than a generation. Gov. Corbett and the General Assembly will be making profound and life-affecting decisions during the coming budget period.

These decisions must be about more than achieving a partisan policy goal or the desire to keep a campaign promise. We believe they should be judged by what they do to protect Pennsylvania’s poor and vulnerable. They should be judged by what they do to protect human dignity.

Holy scripture is clear. Every person is created in the image of God. God hears the cries of the neglected, the powerless and the oppressed in our midst. God demands fairness, justice, and an alleviation of suffering.

As a matter of conscience, the Commonwealth must give the highest priority to caring for the poor. Their needs are urgent and comprehensive. The poor are too often denigrated. They are too often used as scapegoats for society’s ills, and are their plight too often distilled into negative sound bites for political gain.

For the coalition’s full statement on Moral Choices. Moral Decisions. A Moral PA Budget. please click here.

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