Do you remember the initials TANF?
Most of us probably do not. They stand for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the welfare reform program that Congress passed in 1996.
The effects of that welfare reform legislation have not been promising over the past five years. The legislation has successfully reduced caseloads, but it has not proven successful in reducing poverty.
In response, in 1999 General Synod 22 passed a resolution calling for UCC members to advocate policies that would assist low-income families to move out of poverty.
In 2002, U.S. welfare programs will be reauthorized and our government will make decisions about nutrition programs that will affect hungry and poor people for years to come.
Acting on the 1999 General Synod resolution, UCC advocates across the country have come together to form a national working group to address the effects of welfare legislation.
The UCC also is participating in a national legislative campaign by joining with the Campaign for Jobs and Income Support to co-sponsor a day of advocacy visits in Washington, D.C., on March 4, as well as other activities throughout the year.
Churches also can order a six-session study guide from the UCC that will educate members on the importance of acting on welfare (TANF) reform in the coming year.
For more information on how you can participate in state-wide or national strategies on this important work, contact Marvin Silver, UCC Justice and Witness Ministries, 110 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite #207, Washington, DC 20002; 202-543-1517; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the UCC website at www.ucc.org/justice.