Leaders of the United Church of Christ’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries played a significant role at in-district legislative advocacy meetings this summer organized by LeadingAge, a national organization that exists to expand the world of possibilities for the aging.

Former UCC General Minister and President the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, who is a member of United Church Homes’ board of directors; the Rev. Kenneth Daniel, United Church Homes’ president and CEO; the Rev. Laverne Joseph, president and CEO of UCC-related Retirement Housing Foundation; and Susan Sinderson, executive vice president of UCC-related the Consecra Housing Network were among many UCC members who participated in sessions held with more than 25 members of Congress to raise awareness about issues of importance to America’s older adults.

Lawmakers had an opportunity to meet with staff and residents directly, tour communities and engage in discussions that include issues such as affordable housing; low-income housing tax credits; Medicare/Medicaid and home and community-based services.

These events showcase LeadingAge members’ commitment to serve seniors and also advocate on their behalf. As nonprofit organizations. LeadingAge — which includes many of the UCC’s CHHSM-member ministries — recognizes the importance of advocacy in achieving systemic changes through advocacy and service.

“Congressional site visits are an effective advocacy tool,” LeadingAge emphasized in a press release. “By inviting legislators to visit your community, you get the unique opportunity to show them first hand the impact of government actions on senior care. What’s more, these visits help you establish a vital relationship with the lawmaker and their staff.”