Following are updates shared from submissions of the Lutheran Office for World Community and state public policy offices (sppos) in the ELCA Advocacy Network last month. Full list and map of sppos available.


New York 
Lutheran Office for World Community (LOWC), U.N. – 
Christine Mangale, Director 


ECOSOC Youth Forum: The 2024 ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Youth Forum took place from Apr. 16-18, aiming to reinforce the 2030 Agenda and combat poverty amidst multiple crises through sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions. The focus areas include Sustainable Development Goals 1 (emphasizing poverty eradication), 2 (hunger alleviation), 13 (climate action), 16 (justice) and 17 (partnerships). 

Lutheran Office for World Community (LOWC), in collaboration with LWF Youth and ELCA International Leaders Program, had seven delegates from LWF communion churches: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, Iglesia Evangelical Luterana Unida Argentina, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Indonesia, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and ELCA. 

As shared in the ELCA Youth Ministry profile, “As a church that is energized by lively engagement in our faith and life, the ELCA offers a variety of opportunities for youth to grow in and explore their faith.” The ECOSOC Youth Forum is a significant platform for youth engagement and interest. 

 The UN will host the Fourth Finance for Development Conference in Madrid, Spain in 2026. This will be an important stocktaking round for the health and impact of the Forum’s work, as well as to take the vision for this work into the next mandate period.  

Lutheran Office of Public Policy (LOPPCA) – 
Regina Banks, Director 

 LOPPCA’s fifth annual Lutheran Lobby Day was a resounding success! We are so thankful for the support of our three bishops and the Cal Lutheran faculty and students who attended. From across the state, 65 intergenerational advocates gathered in Sacramento to speak justice to our legislators in the capitol surrounding these four priority bills: 

AB 2728 (Gabriel) This bill is a follow up bill to the great housing bill, SB 4, that was passed in 2023. AB 2728 would incorporate new stakeholder feedback and add common sense accountability measures for SB 4 housing, including utilization data reporting. 

AB 1851 (Holden) This bill follows the vetoed AB 249 (Holden) from 2023, which was one of LOPPCA’s lobby day bills last year. The new attempt would create a pilot program to hire a technical assistance organization that would test all potable water system outlets in designated school districts towards the goal of remediating toxic lead levels in school drinking water. 

SB 1497 (Menjivar) This bill would establish the Polluters Pay Climate Cost Recovery Program. This would require fossil fuel polluters to pay their fair share of the damage caused by their products. It would also require the completion of a climate cost study to quantify the total damage amount, which would be defined as all past and future climate damages to the state. 

AB 2191 (Santiago) This bill would establish the CalEITC Outreach, Education, & Free Tax Assistance Grant Program. The bill would require the Franchise Tax Board to allocate grants to qualified nonprofit community-based orgs or local government agencies to increase the number of eligible households claiming the state and federal EITC, CTC, YCTC, and the FYTC, and to increase awareness of ITIN tax status eligibility. 

LOPPCA is hopeful that they will continue to move forward this summer. 

Photo credits to Catherine Slabaugh at St. John’s Lutheran Church Sacramento

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry Colorado (LAM-CO) – Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado (
Peter Severson, Director

LEGISLATIVE SESSION CONCLUDES: The 2024 legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly concluded on Wed., May 8. In total, the legislature considered 705 bills this year, and LAM-CO was an active proponent of a dozen important pieces of legislation. These included bills that will remove filing fees from eviction defense proceedings (HB 1099), require affirmative cause for evictions (HB 1098), analyze the creation of a universal health care payment system (HB 1075), make adjustments to our ‘clean slate’ automatic record sealing policies (HB 1133), expand and improve the state Earned Income Tax Credit (HB 1134), give local governments easier access to buying property for affordable housing (HB 1175), and expand opportunities for racial equity in the criminal justice system (HB 1286 & SB 053). 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SYNOD ASSEMBLY CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF ADVOCACY: The Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly took place in Loveland, Colo., from April 25-27. During the assembly, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Colorado and New Mexico were both celebrated for their 40th anniversary of carrying out the ministry of advocacy in our synod. Founded in 1984, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry Colorado has had six directors in its history, including current director Peter Severson, who celebrated ten years as director on May 1.  Peter & New Mexico director Kurt Rager spoke about the current landscape of advocacy in these two states, while former LAM-CO director (1991-1998) and former Colorado state senator (2001-2013) Betty Boyd spoke about the history of Lutheran advocacy in Colorado.

Hunger Network Ohio (HNO) – Hunger Network in Ohio ( 
Deacon Nick Bates, Director 


On Apr. 16 HNO in partnership with the Ohio Council of Churches and Dominican Sisters of Peace hosted a luncheon on housing affordability in Ohio. With over 90 faith leaders and over 30 legislative offices in attendance, we heard the gospel proclaimed from Bishop Timothy J. Clarke (First Church of God Columbus). Amy Riegel, director of the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio (COHHIO) provided a powerful policy overview and discussion about the root causes of housing affordability and and the lack of it in Ohio. We are grateful for our bi-partisan speakers, Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) and Rep. Adam Mathews (R-Lebanon) who shared their policy efforts to expand affordable housing in Ohio. People can visit our resource page here for details.  

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa) –
Tracey DePasquale, Director

More than 200 Pennsylvania Lutherans gathered in Harrisburg on May 9 to advocate for funding and policies to tackle hunger and climate change for the sake of our neighbors here and around the globe. We were excited to welcome ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and the Rev. Khader El-Yateem, new executive director of ELCA Service and Justice, as we mark 45 years of Lutheran advocacy in Pennsylvania and 50 years of ELCA World Hunger. During our worship together, the Rev. Erin Jones was officially installed as the Communications and Advocacy Engagement Manager. We celebrated our legacy and leaned into the future as “Church Together for the Sake of the World God Loves.” 

We auctioned the original painting of The Table by Freiman Stoltzfus and recognized advocates from each synod with the “Serve. Pray. Speak.” Award. It was, as always, inspiring to hear their stories. We also made a first time “Church Together” award to the Rev. Joel Folkemer and the people of Union Lutheran Church in York as exemplars of a congregation that consistently pairs their service of neighbor with advocacy for a more just world.  

The Rev. Amy Reumann, Senior Director for ELCA Witness in Society, announced that LAMPa was one of two states to receive a Jackie Maddox Racial Justice Grant for a three-year project. LAMPa’s proposed Isaiah 58:12 Fellowship empowers youth and young adults to pursue racial reconciliation at the community and congregational level, while being mentored by clergy of color. Applications are due by June 30.

Faith Action Network (FANWA)- Home – Faith Action Network ( 
Elise DeGooyer, Director

Spring Summits
FAN hosted our first Spring Summit online on May 5 and will host another summit on June 9. During our first summit, we had a great time exchanging updates and information from this past legislative session and what to look for next in advocacy. We also met in issue-focused breakout groups to share context-informed perspectives and strategize together. FAN staff are looking forward to catching up with more FAN advocates in June! 

Voting and Civic Engagement
FAN recently launched a webpage for voting and civic engagement as we see the importance of joining multi faith voices to protect and practice democracy especially during this election year. On the webpage, faith communities and individuals can find our voting information one-pager and multi faith-inspired election resources. We also launched 100% Voting Faith Community Campaign thanks to the inspiration from Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. We are excited to see faith communities mobilize and unite to become a 100% voting community. 

Synod Gatherings and the Farm Bill
FAN staff have been attending regional synod gatherings throughout Washington state from Poulsbo to Spokane, and there are more gatherings to come in Des Moines and Ellensburg. Those gatherings have been great to strengthen our partnerships and collaborations for advocacy.  

Speaking of collaboration, ELCA Synods’ Hunger Teams in Region 1 with Tomo Duke from FAN are collaborating to host an online event to learn about and advocate for the Farm Bill on Thursday June 13. We think it is imperative that all citizens are concerned with the Farm Bill at this crucial time when Congress is working to reauthorize the legislation for the next five years. FAN is vigilantly watching for any harmful revisions that go against FAN mission and values. The online event “Why is the Farm Bill Important to Us?” is centered around Lutheran contexts in the Pacific Northwest but is open to all. We are excited to welcome Alex Parker from the ELCA Witness in Society at this event on Jun. 13. Please register for the event at 

Bishop Richard E. Jaech of Southwestern WA Synod and Tomo Duke, ELCA Hunger Advocacy