© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
0000017b-185c-d2e5-a37b-5cff92510000Wisconsin State and Local Government Sources: Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)Oneida County Health DepartmentVilas County Health DepartmentLincoln County Health DepartmentMarathon County Health Department Langlade County Health DepartmentWestern Upper Peninsula Health DepartmentForest County Health DepartmentFederal Government Sources:Centers for Disease Control (CDC)Risk Assessment PageSituation Summary PageState Department Travel AdvisoriesWorld Health Organization (WHO)WHO Question and Answer Page

Wisconsin Faith Leaders Shed Stereotypes in Calling for Pandemic Relief

Pixabay.com Gadini

MADISON, Wis. -- Religious activism often is associated with divisive topics such as abortion, but some church leaders in Wisconsin are calling on Congress to take more action for those affected by the pandemic.

Some of the stimulus money set aside by federal lawmakers has gone to churches impacted by the economic downturn. Yet in Wisconsin, there's been a push by some faith leaders for Congress to ensure that any more stimulus funding not necessarily go to churches, but for people still struggling to get by.

Rev. Kerri Parker, director of Wisconsin Council of Churches, says it's not about stoking political tension, but rather seeking institutional change. "It's not quite as visible as these major efforts that you see in other places, but nevertheless, we're there all the time trying to work for change that will benefit the most vulnerable people among us," she states. The group Parker leads includes more than 30 member churches from various denominations across the state. The Council says Congress should authorize more stimulus funding that can help state governments avoid steep budget cuts, while helping vulnerable residents deal with key expenses.

Adam Clausen is senior leader at Life Center church in Madison, which has seen various transformations over the years. Clausen says while his church doesn't adhere to a specific denomination, there's still an evangelical element to the faith that members practice. He says any activism that might come from the church is vastly different than what's portrayed in today's culture. "We specifically have tried to raise our voices for things [that] our specific tradition of evangelical tradition has not necessarily spoken up about," he explains. Clausen says his church supports the Council's position on stimulus funding, and would like to see assistance for people dealing with housing insecurity.

Parker says she sees room for more diverse voices in religious activism who don't stick to talking points on the left or the right. "The reality is we're all over the spectrum," she states. "All of us. And there's a great deal of diversity among our members. And what we share in common is our faith and our baptism -- and the scripture that calls us to work for certain things."

Mike Moen is the Morning Edition producer and serves as a staff reporter for WNIJ. Every morning, he works with Dan Klefstad to bring listeners the latest Illinois news. He also works with the rest of the news staff on developing and producing in-depth stories. Mike is a Minnesota native who likes movies, history, and baseball. When most people hear his last name, they assume he is 100-percent Scandinavian. But, believe it or not, he is mostly German.
Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content