This past week was truly amazing. Two events were held back-to-back in Atlanta: our annual Statesmen Academy and the annual gathering of my counterparts, the leaders of state family policy organizations from across the nation.
As you know, the Statesmen Academy is about educating politicians in the practice of effective politics to carry on the fight for godly values. In other words, helping them best exercise their faith in the policy arena. This was the fourth Statesmen Academy I’ve attended, and once again it succeeded in bonding legislators in an enduring fellowship of mutual encouragement and accountability, spiritual strength, and political wisdom.
We currently have three legislators who are graduates of the Statesmen Academy: Rep. Dan Johnston, Rep. Luke Simons, and Rep. Michelle Strinden. This year’s new graduates included Rep. Ben Koppelman, Rep. Karen Rohr, and Rep. Austen Schauer. I’m so thankful that these men and women took time out of their busy schedules to attend this year’s academy. In the words of a former academy graduate, it is “transformational”.
The other conference was the annual gathering of state leaders from around the nation. Family Policy Alliance® serves as a uniter of family policy organizations around the country and this year we had almost 30 states represented.
During our time together it became readily apparent that we share some of the same ideas, challenges, and victories. As a result, one particular benefit we receive is sharing best practices. Other state directors have often faced some of the same challenges we face in North Dakota and can provide guidance on how to best navigate issues.
To gather with both statesmen and state leaders was truly enjoyable. However, the most important aspect was the unity of faith. Here were state directors, legislators, and staff who share the same Christian beliefs. They value families and want to ensure that pro-family and pro-life legislation is passed, as we do in North Dakota. Whether I’m talking to someone from Washington, Virginia, or Arkansas, we all share the passion to make our states ones where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. What an inspirational tie that binds us!
Regardless of which state we call home, all the attendees agreed that we can’t do our work without the help of you, our ministry partners. If you want to help us continue advancing your pro-family and pro-life values in North Dakota, I would ask you to consider financially supporting our work. We cannot have statesmen or a significant presence in North Dakota without your faithful support, so thank you for enabling us to fight the good fight for our generation and generations to come.
President & Executive Director