Public Policy

On matters related to public policy in Virginia, the Council of Churches works in special cooperation with The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.  Each year, the Council considers the legislative agenda that is developed by the center and upon action of the Coordinating Cabinet of the Virginia Council of Churches, endorses and supports the agenda.

As leaders in our respective churches and members of the Coordinating Cabinet of the Virginia Council of Churches, we call upon our congregations to pray and work for a more perfect justice.  Let us build a moral consensus, in our churches and in our community for alternatives to the death penalty.  Let us extend practical help and spiritual healing to victims and survivors of violence.  Let us prove to be followers of the One who taught us to repay no one with evil for evil.”

The Virginia Interfaith Center is Virginia’s only statewide interfaith partnership focused on faith-based citizenship and advocacy.  The Center was founded in 1982 after years of informal interfaith partnerships.

The Center’s focus is three-fold:

  • education
  • legislative advocacy
  • providing a spiritual presence to the Virginia state legislature

This unique partnership includes several:

  • Faith groups (Jewish, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Disciples of Christ, Friends, Baptist, Brethren, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist)
  • Faith-based organizations (three Jewish federations, two Islamic organizations, the Virginia Council of Churches, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Voices for Virginia’s Children, CARITAS, and others)
  • Engaged congregations
  • Individuals

The Center’s membership drafts its Legislative Agenda each year.  Once adopted by the Board, the agenda becomes the basis for the Center’s legislative advocacy.  In the advocacy area, the Center partners with other religious and secular organizations that share similar concerns.

The core issues on which the Center will focus during the General Assembly Session include:

  • Tax equity
  • Poverty and the working poor
  • Health care
  • At-risk children and youth
  • Capital punishment
  • Housing and homelessness