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Office for Governmental Affairs
122 C Street N.W., Suite
The History of Lutheran Public Policy Advocacy in Washington, D.C.
Celebrating over 50 years of Lutheran Public Policy Advocacy
The year was 1945. United States military service personnel were returning to live the hopes and dreams of post-World War II America. It was the year that the churches of the National Lutheran Council (NLC) moved from their wartime ministries to add another dimension of service.
As a ministry to those returning veterans, the eight ELCA predecessor churches began an official presence with the federal government in Washington, D.C. During those early years, the international aspect of church-state relations played a significate role as a succession of German church leaders con-ferred with State Department officials about the problems of German reconstruction.
1948 marked a ministry turning point. The NLC expanded its service to its participating bodies in order to keep them informed of important congressional activities and to channel information about the churches and their work to key government officials. Special relationships between the churches and the government developed around programs of relief and rehabilitation, and movement of refugees.
The focus of the nation turned to civil rights and racial equality in the 1960s. The Lutheran churches spoke out through their Washington office as staff worked with Lutheran legislators and ecumenical colleagues on civil rights and justice issues. At the beginning of the decade, the eight NLC churches merged to become The American Lutheran Church (TALC, then simply ALC) and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). The office now represented a two-church presence.
From 1967 to 1987, the ALC and LCA were joined by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the cooperative work of the Lutheran Council in the USA (LCUSA). The Office of Public Affairs continued the functions of representing the interests of the church bodies, analyzing public issues, informing government officials of church body positions, and planning and conducting seminars.
Since 1988, the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs (LOGA) has served as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Washington, D.C. office for advocacy to the U.S. and foreign governments.
LOGA seeks to enable effective interaction between the church and the federal government. Through providing education and information, it...
LOGA is a program area of the ELCA's Division for Church in Society, working in cooperation with others.