A Message from the Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California
by Kathye Hamm
The Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California (LOPP-CA) is a peculiar ministry. By this I don’t (just) mean that the director and leadership are strange. The whole concept of a church body sponsoring an advocacy office is perhaps—at first glance—incongruous. The work of faith is supposed to be personal and quiet, between the faithful and God. Our communal prayers are traditional and ordered. They are certainly informed by current events and temporal concerns, but the cries are directed heavenward. In every Christian congregation in America, stopping violence, healing the sick, housing the homeless, caring for God’s creation, and feeding the hungry are in every liturgy. We believe fervently the hungry must be fed. And then the worship service is over. Over tepid coffee and donuts we lament: Now what?
For Lutherans of the ELCA, Enter: LOPP-CA!
Through the weird and wonderful ministry that is LOPP-CA, those prayers and hopes manifest as a collective voice in Sacramento. Together we have leveraged millions of dollars in California’s state budgets for Safe Water, CalEITC expansion, and crucial safety net programs such as foster care and CalFresh. We have championed legislation that touches our whole community from immigration, food and sustainable farming policies, fair housing, community policing and so much more. Very few national churches have an office dedicated to state and local legislation in California. Fewer still have the depth and breadth of our portfolio.
We here at LOPP-CA want to thank you for your prayers and your work. The world feels unsteady under our feet, but together we can be the prophetic voices we are called to be in the world.
Regina Q. Banks
Director, Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California
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November 17, 2020
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