In the early 1980’s, the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) proposed that the national church have a witness in states with large Lutheran populations to help local Lutherans have a voice on statewide policy issues and help affected people advocate for themselves. LCA leaders in Wisconsin approached two other Lutheran church bodies, the American Lutheran Church and the American Evangelical Lutheran Church, to form the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin. When all three Lutheran bodies merged into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1988, LOPPW became a ministry of the ELCA. Thank you to Reverend Ed Weiskotten, one of the founders of LOPPW and retired LCA and ELCA staff person, for assistance with our early history.
LOPPW has always had partnerships with national church bodies, local synods, other Lutheran agencies, and ecumenical and interfaith organizations. Since the emergence of the ELCA and its six geographical synods in Wisconsin, LOPPW has worked closely with bishops and other members of each of the six synods. Representatives from across the state make up our advisory council.
LOPPW directors have included Mr. Ted Steege, Reverend Sue Moline Larson, Ms. Amy Johnson and, current our director, Reverend Cindy Crane.
Throughout the history of ELCA State Public Policy Offices (SPPOs), more than 20 SPPOs have emerged throughout the country. Because of budget cuts, some of those SPPOs disbanded in 2011. However, several SPPO’s developed new independent ministries or joined with synods or other groups to continue their advocacy efforts. The offices in California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have ELCA churchwide employees for directors, who network regularly with the ELCA office in Washington D.C. However, all of the SPPOs network together at special events and share ideas and resources. For more information about all 21 of our Advocacy Offices, see ELCA Advocacy Offices.
The faithful voices of ELCA members across Wisconsin have been at the core of LOPPW’s history. We invite you to be a part of our present and future!