There are many types of advocacy, meaning that no matter your gifts and skills, you are able to be an advocate! And as people of faith, we have an important perspective to bring to tables, newspapers, streets, meetings, and conversations.
Is your youth group or young adult ministry interested in how they can live out their faith in the world? Are you looking to educate yourselves about policy issues like poverty, violence, immigration, or criminal justice? Invite the LEAMNJ leaders to facilitate a discussion in your congregation about becoming involved in the ministry of advocacy in NJ.
Explore the types of advocacy below and reach out to our office if you would like us to join your congregation and lead an "Advocacy 101" session.
TYPES OF ADVOCACY
As you share your views that are informed by your faith with your friends, coworkers, neighbors and congregational members you are shaping public opinion. Public opinion drives Public Policy. You might choose to write a letter to the editor, or post something on your Facebook page. As elected officials come to understand the desires of their constituency, they are compelled to respond because you vote.
This involves visiting with elected officials about legislation or action that addresses injustice. It can also involve attending public hearings, visiting your municipality's zoning board meeting, or school board meeting and sharing your point of view. It may involve sending emails, calling, or letter writing to public officials. Your interest and presence speaks of your faith, and God's presence in you is a witness.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
"Like" Lutherans Engaging in Advocacy Ministry NJ on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Invite your friends and colleagues to follow our work by sharing our posts.
Use the information that you learn from this site, our Weekly Witness emails, or our in-person gatherings in your conversations with neighbors, your worship services, and in your spiritual practices.
Join the ELCA e-Advocacy Network By signing up for e-Advocacy Networks, you will receive legislative updates and key advocacy opportunities in your inbox. You can also share these action alerts with your personal network on social media.
If you wish to volunteer with LEAMNJ, please contact our office.
Each of us has a unique story, and we are part of a larger story that makes up the faith community.
Reach out to your members of the legislature by email, letter, or phone. Or, call and arrange a visit in your representative's district office. Our state legislators have offices in their home districts and they enjoy getting to meet their constituents. Explain why, as their constituent, issues affect you, your neighbors, your community, and our larger world. Share how your faith informs your decision-making.
Or, write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, lifting up an issue of concern. Mention your elected officials by name and you will not only reach your fellow constituents, but you will get the attention of your officials’ offices also. Remember the most powerful voice is your own.
Build a relationship with county human service agencies and other social service agencies. Walk alongside your neighbors.
Become involved by getting to know persons with lived experience of hardship and poverty. Those who are vulnerable must know that they are not alone, and that the faith community is engaged. Empowering the voices of others when otherwise they might not appreciate that their experience is believable and important for decision makers to hear is an important part of advocacy.
Invite elected officials to visit your congregation’s ministry or project. Lawmakers and public officials are more likely to support helpful legislation when they see firsthand the needs of a community. By reminding our officials of what Lutherans do to serve people we establish that we speak from places of compassion, credibility, and concern.