Develop a Purpose Statement
A clear, concise statement of the committee’s purpose is essential for it to function properly and provides measurable standards. The following will give some ideas for a statement of purpose: The Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee is an instrument to develop awareness, sensitize and lead our congregation to be equipped and mobilized to be instruments of biblically based transformation for families, churches, communities and the nation.
Regardless of the ERLC mission statement, the committee should perform three tasks:
- Study. The committee will make the congregation aware of social and moral issues to which the church needs to respond.
- Education. The committee will educate the congregation regarding issues and concerns that have an impact on family, churches, communities and the nation.
- Action. The committee will provide the church with strategies, techniques and resources to take action regarding these issues and concerns.
Involve Your Church
How to Inform Your Church
1. Use Bulletin Inserts. An effective way to educate a congregation on issues is to use a bulletin insert. You may create your own insert or contact us and/or the national ERLC for professionally made current inserts. Oklahoma Baptists will create reproducible bulletin inserts that are available in the quarterly updates
2. Emphasize Special Events. The committee should work with the church staff to emphasis the special- events Sundays that are deemed important to a congregation. Resources from Oklahoma Baptists and national ERLCs may be available to help promote and plan these events.
Sanctity of Human Life Sunday – Third Sunday in January
Racial Relations Sunday – Second Sunday in February
Alcohol & Drug Prevention Sunday – Third Sunday in March
Religious Liberty Sunday – First Sunday in June
Christian Citizenship Sunday – Sunday before or on July 4
Day of Prayer for World peace – First Sunday in August
Anti-Gambling Sunday – Third Sunday in September
World Hunger Day – Second Sunday in October
Rose Day – First Wednesday of the new legislative session (Organize trip to the Capitol!)
Political Do’s & Don’ts
What pastors can legally say from the pulpit:
- Preach on moral and social issues and encourage civic involvement.
- Engage in voter registration activities that avoid promoting any one candidate or particular political party.
- Distribute educational materials to voters, but only those that do not favor a particular candidate or party and that cover a wide range of issues.
- Invite candidates or elected officials to speak at church services. Churches that allow only one candidate or a single party’s candidate to speak can be seen as favoring that candidate or party. No candidate should be prohibited from addressing a church if others running for the same office have been allowed to speak. Exempt from this are public figures who may speak at a church, but they must refrain from addressing their candidacy.
- Conduct candidate or issues forums where each duly qualified candidate is invited and provided an equal opportunity to address the congregation.
- Endorse candidates on behalf of the church.
- Use church funds or services to contribute directly to candidates or political committees.
- Permit the distribution of material on church premises that favors any one candidate or political party.
- Use church funds to pay fees for political events.
- Set up a political committee that would contribute funds directly to political candidates.
- Allow candidates to solicit funds while speaking in a church.
What churches can legally do regarding elections:
- Preach sermons on moral and social issues and civic movements.
- Educate on the political process and political, social and legislative issues.
- Distribute candidate surveys and incumbent voting records.
- Encourage members to voice their opinions in favor or opposition to legislation.
- Discuss Biblical instruction regarding particular moral, social and legislative issues.
- Support or oppose judicial, department or cabinet appointments.
- Support or oppose other political appointments for non-elected offices.
- Provide use of facilities to candidates (as long as all other candidates are invited to use as well).
- Conduct petition drives supporting or opposing legislation.
- Support or oppose legislation unrelated to the church.
- Support or oppose legislation that directly relates to the church.
- Engage in voter registration activities that avoid promoting any one candidate or political party.
- Endorse or oppose political candidates.
- Make contributions to Political Action Committees.
- Post editorials in the church bulletin endorsing or opposing political candidates.
- Campaign for candidates.
- Conduct fundraising for political candidates.
- Grant use of church name to support a political candidate.
- Make contributions directly to political candidates.
- Make in-kind or independent expenditures for or against political candidates.
- Support or oppose judicial candidates.
3800 N May Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
901 Commerce Street, Suite 550
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Phone: (615) 244-2495
Fax: (615) 242-0065
505 Second St., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 547-8105
Fax: (202) 547-8165
National Right to Life Committee
512 10th St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families
800 Compton Road, Suite 9224
Cincinnati, OH 45231
Hope Pregnancy Centers
10327 N May Ave
Oklahoma City, Ok 73120
13012 E 21st St
Tulsa, OK 74134
For more locations visit website listed above.