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Church State Council and PARL Advocates Help Churches Meet Needs of Local Communities By Faith Hoyt

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he Church State Council is a department of the Seventhday Adventist Church devoted to issues of liberty of conscience and religion and the separation of church and state. The Council also works to mobilize effective grassroots responses to both state and federal legislation impacting religious freedom—work that is made possible by those who partner with the Council in advocacy. “Our legislative advocacy ministry is about building bridges with legislators, staffers, and leaders of other faith communities around common interests and concerns,” said Alan J. Reinach, executive director of the Church State Council. “We develop local leadership and advocacy at the local church and community level.” In addition to playing a role in how the church responds to legislation that impacts religious freedom through their work with the Council, advocates also step into the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) side of advocacy. According to Dennis Seaton, director of government relations for the Church State Council, as a result of stepping into the conversation, advocates are also learning how local churches can learn about what is happening in their community so that they can address relevant needs. “By showing up and getting involved in conversations about religious liberty, our advocates are getting to know the leaders in their community,” Seaton said. “We are at the table to discuss

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important issues, and as a result we also start learning about needs in the community that we can meet.” One such advocate who is making a difference is Pati Lawrence, an advocate for both the Church State Council and the PARL department of the Southern California Conference. As part of her work in advocacy, Lawrence pursues every opportunity she can to show up at events, town halls, and other forums on behalf of her faith community. When a two-day film festival raising

awareness about human trafficking came to San Pedro, Calif., in late March, Lawrence attended in support. While there, she had an opportunity to speak to both community members and local government leaders about the work of the Church State Council as partners in advocacy—including the Council’s work on preventive measures through legislation to help stop human trafficking. “Showing up and having a consistent presence among community leaders

Pati Lawrence (left) poses for a photo on the red carpet with the director of the “See it End it” film and arts festival (middle) and the policy director for Congresswoman Nanette Barragan (right).

Pacific Union Recorder—July 2019  

A Hymn to God the Father Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which was my sin, though it were done before? Wilt thou forgive that sin...

Pacific Union Recorder—July 2019  

A Hymn to God the Father Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which was my sin, though it were done before? Wilt thou forgive that sin...