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Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs (LOGA)
122 C Street N.W., Suite
Our Mission Statement and Our Work
Faithful to God's call, the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs fulfills the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's witness for social justice on domestic and foreign policy issues facing the nation, and through it, the world. With a commitment to a prophetic vision which stands with the poor and the powerless, the office represents the church's positions within the complex arena of public debate. To achieve effective interaction between the whole church and the federal government, the office educates, informs and enables full involvement of the church in this ministry.
How Does The ELCA Engage in Advocacy?
The work of the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs is grounded in the Scriptures and Lutheran confessional writings. Its involvement in specific issues is based on social statements of the ELCA or social statements of the ELCA's predecessor churches when those statements are in agreement.
Through participation in the church's Advocacy Department the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs staff help to prioritize issues for the church's public policy activity. The Advocacy Department develops the ELCA Advocacy Plan for review by the Division for Church in Society's Board and Church Council setting the direction for church wide advocacy efforts for a two year period.
Included in a sampling of issues currently addressed by the plan are an emphasis on alleviating domestic and international hunger and poverty, human and civil rights concerns, various health care and disability programs, economic justice, Native American concerns, foreign aid reform and funding, the Middle East peace process, and U.S. immigration and refugee policy.
The staff of the governmental affairs office monitors these and other issues and becomes directly involved in efforts to support measures consistent with the Advocacy Plan when deemed timely and appropriate. Such efforts could include letters to members of Congress, contacts with the Administration, visits with House or Senate staff, appointments with representatives or senators, presentation of testimony before key committees, and phone calls to contacts in specific congressional districts or states to encourage their involvement on a particular issue.
Working with coalitions is important to the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs. More than two dozen denominations and faith groups represented in Washington, D.C. are partners with the staff on a wide variety of issues. Beyond interfaith networks, other coalitions are joined that include labor unions, civil rights groups, civic organizations and numerous non-profit colleagues representing a wide range of viewpoints.
The Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs regularly communicates developments on critical public policy issues to audiences throughtout the church. Frequent staff participation in briefings and presentations at congregational meetings, synod assemblies and seminars of church-related organizations helps to inform many in the ELCA of their church's activity on important issues of the day. The office publishes a periodic newsletter, "Legislative Update," which seeks to inform as well as to invite action from readers. It is available upon request and accessible through the Ecunet.