A Message from Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada

A Message from Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada

“Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31: 8-9)

Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada does advocacy at the State Legislature and in congregations on behalf of those described in the above passage from Proverbs.  We exist to speak out on contemporary issues from a Lutheran perspective. We are part of a nationwide network of advocacy offices, supported in part by ELCA hunger funds. However we depend on other sources, including Second Mile Giving. All of our advocacy and public statements are rooted in the ELCA Social Statements and other church teachings.

Our Advocate, Bill Ledford, completed his first Legislative Session this spring, and at one point reported back to our Board, “I will never forget an older man coming up to me after [a hearing], in tears, thanking me for bringing a voice of faith in support of this cause.” 

Nevada’s legislature meets only 120 days in alternate years, so the session is always intense. LEAN testifies at legislative hearings, but also works one-on-one with legislators.  We work to reform the social structures that perpetuate poverty, as well as work to relieve immediate suffering. During the “interim” a lot of studies and other background work take place. LEAN follows all this committee work both to prepare for the next Session and to provide appropriate input as the committees work.

Educating parishioners on issues of concern is LEAN’s ongoing mission, whether the Legislature is in session or not.  We like the word “engagement” in our name, because it speaks to the vocation of every Christian to love our neighbor. It’s difficult to be engaged without information. Education is carried out through our website and through articles in church newsletters, along with learning opportunities such as the Ulegislate event we held in 2018. This was “experiential learning” in the State Senate chambers, where  participants role-played as legislators.

LEAN invites you to pray for us, and to support us with Second Mile Giving through your congregation.

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