LEAN’s predecessor in Nevada faith-based advocacy, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Nevada (LAMN) represented two of ELCA’s regional synods at the Legislature from 2001 to 2012. Over its existence, LAMN raised awareness of the church’s advocacy efforts and influenced public policy in several important ways, as chronicled in former LAMN lobbyist Larry Struve’s book A Humble Walk for Justice (click here for ordering information). Below are some excerpts from the former LAMN website and PDFs available for download.
LAMN ADVOCATE MIKE PATTERSON PRESENT FOR SIGNING OF HISTORIC SEX TRAFFICKING BILLS
LAMN Advocate Mike Patterson was among the invited guests at the signing ceremony for Assembly Bill 67, a comprehensive overhaul of Nevada’s laws regarding sexual exploitation of youth and adults. The same event saw the signing of AB 311, a bill that LAMN and RAIN were instrumental in passing.
Governor Brian Sandoval signed both bills on June 6, 2013, with Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto looking on. In her press release, she commented, “Nevada is taking a stand to protect the lives of sex trafficking victims.” She added, “I am extremely proud of the collaborative work of supporters, stakeholders, and elected officials that went into this law.” Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Nevada has been one of those stakeholders since before the legislation was introduced. LAMN and its partner Religious Alliance in Nevada began in 2012 meeting with the working group that drafted the bill. Particularly in southern Nevada, LAMN and RAIN have participated in educational and organizing events to raise awareness about sex trafficking. Rev. Patterson testified at several hearings on the bill. Rev. Patterson has spoken about the issue and raised money for victims in his many visits to congregations.
Assembly Bill 311 creates a special state fund to benefit sex trafficking victims. LAMN was involved with this from the beginning. Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle from Sparks introduced the bill, and it was modeled after a bill that LAMN and RAIN initiated in 2009, that created the Prisoner Re-Entry Fund. The whole concept of state funds to accept donations and seek grants to do good is very much a LAMN-RAIN invention. Rev. Patterson was soliciting donations for the AB 311 fund before it even existed! That is faith! Rev. Patterson was so influential in getting AB 311 through that he was given the pen with which the Governor signed the bill!
LAMN PRINCIPLES OF ADVOCACY
We hear the prophet Micah:
“Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8)
Principles of Advocacy:
The two great commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12: 30 – 31);
- The responsibility of baptized Christians: “Care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace” (Service of Baptism, ELCA Worship Book, Setting 6, p. 227);
- Responsibility of the church: to support institutions and policies that serve the common good, honoring its commitment to defend human dignity, to stand with poor and powerless people, to advocate justice, to work for peace, and to care for the earth (ELCA Social Teaching Statement, “The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective,” adopted at the Second ELCA Churchwide Assembly, 1991);
- Responsibility of society: to assure that the moral imperative to seek a sufficient, sustainable livelihood for all is carried out (ELCA Social Statement on Economic Life, adopted at a Churchwide Assembly in 1999);
- The “vocation” of government: to protect and further the quality of life of people, communities and creation, by defending and promoting:
- Human rights;
- Ecological sustainability;
- Economic justice;
- Cultural integrity;
- Participation in political and economic processes;
- Religious and other freedoms
(“Reclaiming the Vocation of Government,” A Statement from the Lutheran World Federation, February, 2004)