The Results Are In: 2014 Issues Survey
One hundred and twenty-four individuals completed the LAMPa stakeholder survey over the summer, creating a snapshot of interests, issues and hopes for our shared advocacy ministry. The data collected in the survey will be used by the LAMPa Policy Council to shape the advocacy agenda for the 2015-16 legislative session. Some specifics from the survey are:
- Sixty percent of respondents affirmed LAMPa’s primary purpose to be “a common voice for Lutherans in Pennsylvania to impact public policy from a faith perspective.” Many noted that this purpose went hand-in-hand with another option, to “provide education and information on how public policy choices reflect Lutheran theology and social teachings”.
- In a list of possible priority issues for the coming legislative session, education and health care were by far the primary concerns, with affordable housing, care for creation, immigration and preserving a social safety net ranking below.
- Preferred tactics for building capacity for advocacy were social media (61%), holding synodical or regional advocacy events (56%), preparing resources for communal discernment (54%) and establishing an advocacy training program (46%).
- Staff and network time spent on working directly with legislators and coalitions in Harrisburg were the most favored LAMPa activity, while presentations and trainings in individual congregations ranked the lowest.
- Twenty-five individuals indicated they were willing to serve on a state-wide issue focus group, with another 47 interested if they had more details. The top issue for those volunteering was creation care.
The final question was, ”What do you think God is calling LAMPa to do and be in the next decade?” Here are a few responses:
God is always calling LAMPa to be the “persistent widow” standing up to the unjust judges of the world, even when it seems like little progress is possible.
I think we will need to collaborate with other ‘faith voices’ so that a theologically sound voice for justice and peace will not be lost in the crowd. (note: LAMPa does meet regularly with and act together with ecumenical and interfaith partners).
Our Lutheran theology and ethic of service is the most important tool we have to mobilize the people in our churches. LAMPa is called to be the bridge between our heart for service, and the “big Picture” needs of the state, keeping us informed and educated on what the needs are…