Hunger Advocacy Fellow - California
SACRAMENTO, CA Service and Justice
Job Type
Full-time, Contract


About the ELCA 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states, Caribbean, and U.S. Virgin Islands. With a vision to live in a world experiencing the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation, the ELCA strives to be a welcoming, thriving, and connected church that introduces people to Jesus so they can discover community, justice, and love.

The Lutheran Center (national office) is located in Chicago, Illinois. A staff of 400, under the leadership of the Presiding Bishop, serve as administrators, advisors, conveners, partners, and resource people for the ELCA and its ministries. Staff lead the work of national, domestic, and global ministries and programs including Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA World Hunger, Service & Justice, Christian Community and Leadership, and Innovation.  We are also home to five of our separately incorporated ministries: The Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA, Women of the ELCA, Lutheran Men in Mission, the ELCA Foundation and the ELCA Federal Credit Union.

About the position 

Through the Service and Justice home area, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Organization shall foster and facilitate this church’s engagement in service with and among communities and promote efforts to call and act for justice. Its work includes engaging in mission, service, and justice in accompaniment with churches and organizations in other countries (serving as the means through which churches in other countries engage in mission to this church and society); engaging with communities, coalitions and networks, congregations, and regional ELCA synods in service and justice work within the territorial jurisdiction of this church; and providing guidance to members of the denomination on matters of social justice. 

The Witness in Society (WiS) team encompasses some of the work and ministry the ELCA does in the public sphere, advancing justice and shining a light on peace and dignity. Our advocacy activity is coordinated from the ELCA’s federal hub in Washington, D.C. alongside the Lutheran Office for World Community at the United Nations in New York City; Lutheran state public policy offices (SPPOs) in California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (as well as more than 15 additional affiliated state partners serving even more states; and through the ELCA Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. 

The Hunger Advocacy Fellow will participate in a year-long formative experience that combines leadership development and faith formation with impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed. 

The 2024-25 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time, term-contract employee (with benefits) of the ELCA churchwide organization in the Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California and will serve as a member of the staff of this ELCA-affiliated state public policy office (SPPO). This position is part of the larger Witness in Society team within the Service and Justice home area of the ELCA churchwide organization. 

The Hunger Advocacy Fellow for Policy working in Sacramento, California will learn the concrete skills of faith-based policy advocacy by embedding within and becoming a vital member of ELCA advocacy staff. These work experiences will build their professional skills and relationships, support their faith development, and help them discern and launch the next steps in their professional calling.

This is a full-time, term-contract (beginning in September 2024 and ending August 2025), non-exempt, hybrid/location-specific (Sacramento, CA) position. This position requires being in the office on a regular, weekly basis. 

Candidates for this remote position must reside within the fifty United States or the District of Columbia and be authorized to work lawfully in the United States. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

1. ADVOCACY ENGAGEMENT: Guide the development of a Lutheran state advocacy network by engaging with communities to empower disciples for hunger advocacy; connect with congregational ministries (especially hunger ministries) to provide tools and support for moral deliberation and faith-based advocacy; and work with community members who have faced hunger and poverty to create platforms for their voices to be heard by elected officials, policymakers and the church. Create advocacy opportunities that help expand the network and connect youth and young adults to the church and its ministries.

2. COMMUNICATIONS: Research, write and edit action alerts, position papers, web updates, newsletter articles and other resources, such as video and social media to educate the advocacy network and lawmakers on hunger advocacy priorities. Creatively facilitate communication and story-sharing with Lutheran synods, agencies, and institutions throughout the state.


3. REPRESENTATION OF ADVOCACY NETWORK: Participate in ecumenical and human service coalitions that advocate for public policy positions in harmony with issues identified by the ELCA and the State Policy Council. Advocate on issues with state lawmakers, legislative and administrative staff, and other public policy leaders.


4. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND FAITH FORMATION: Connect throughout the year with the Witness in Society team, Service and Justice home area, ELCA World Hunger program and staff, the SPPO network and other Hunger Advocacy Fellows in other parts of the country for collective faith formation, leadership development and community building. 

5. Work in collaboration with SPPO director to identify any additional contextual responsibilities or duties as needed in the region.


6. Other duties as assigned.




1. Possess an open, engaging personality and preparedness for interacting with community members directly affected by hunger or poverty. Understand and respect the expertise of individuals who have lived experiences of hunger, and excitement for creating platforms for the voices of these community members to be heard by policymakers. 

2. Willingness to learn about the ELCA’s commitment to be a publicly engaged church, direct legislative engagement and coalition work, and to become familiar with ELCA mission and structure. 

3. Understanding of and commitment to the biblical and theological basis of this church and its commitment to public policy advocacy. Ability to model these values in relationships with colleagues, partners, and the public.

4. Appreciation for the mission, vision, and values of the ELCA. 

5. Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. 

6. Strong interpersonal skills to work with synodical leadership, lay leaders and ministers in congregations, social ministry organizations, educational institutions, and others. 

7. Good research and analysis skills. Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to design and lead public forums. 

8. Knowledge of the social issues faced by communities they serve in, and the various points of view they elicit. Awareness of a sensitivity toward the diversity among residents of the state and ability to equip all types of audiences toward action on a common goal. 

9. Experience using Microsoft Office suite of applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, Teams, etc.). 



While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone, and sometimes, to move about the state Capitol for meetings and other events. This position requires sitting for extended periods of time. Reasonable accommodation can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Minimal travel required. Travel may include overnight domestic travel by car, plane, train. Valid driver's license required. 


The ELCA offers a competitive benefits package for eligible employees, including employer paid health premiums for employees, health and dependent care FSA’s, a health savings account (HSA) with an employer contribution, life insurance, and a substantial employer contribution to 403b retirement plan (no match required). We also offer a generous paid time-off policy including 16 paid holidays. All benefits commence on your start date.


If you have questions about this job or your application, please complete this form to contact People Solutions (HR).

Salary Description