In addition to providing opportunities to serve to its member communions, the Council also works to provide links between its churches and issues of justice and need. Since the 1990’s, the Council has embraced a role as advocate and actor in public policy decisions. After struggling to find the right balance between existing programs and advocacy work, then General Minister Jim McDonald contracted with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy to be the public policy arm of the Council. This action solidified the Council’s commitment to being an advocate for justice on a legislative level. Current issues of focus include at-risk children and youth, housing and homelessness, and health care.