Dear Friends,

As we begin a new year, I want to take the opportunity to examine each unique and valuable piece of our vision here at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico. Everything we do is with the purpose of seeing a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished. But, what does that really look like? It’s easy to spout beautiful words that stir the heart, but let us not get lost in the rhetoric of it all. Let us understand the value and depth of each aspect of our vision beginning with a New Mexico where God is honored.

It’s in our history

On January 15, 1912, our state’s first governor, William McDonald, concluded his inaugural address with these words:

“And now, trusting the Power that controls the destinies of men and nations, and the encouragement and inspiration that comes through the confidence of a generous people, I shall take up the work that with the blessing of the Almighty, I trust may redound to the benefit of our new state and to the good of the whole people.”

If we look at our nation’s founding documents and state constitutions, there are many common declarations and acknowledgments, including a solemn recognition of God’s existence and authority in our lives. Governor McDonald made a similar acknowledgment when he noted God’s sovereign control over the fate of people and nations, and affirmed a personal dependency on God for divine blessings and success.

But it’s been lost

Sadly, a dependency on God for divine blessings and success has been abandoned, and modern-day officials are motivated by self-importance, desire for power, and corrupted ideology. But, what if that could change? Imagine for a moment if our modern-day officials were motivated by the same truths of God’s authority, sovereignty and blessing, and, thus, inspired to pursue only those policies that would honor God. How might this change the direction of New Mexico?

As a state that sadly fails to protect life, struggles in education, continues to rise in crime, and seems to be foolish in its attempts at being wise, I think we can all agree that something is really wrong in New Mexico. And, maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the fact that we’ve left behind a dependency on God and have allowed our traditions, cultures, and values to be seized by those who disavow God’s existence and/or authority, and who seek to expel any remnant of God-honoring principles from our government, our schools, and even our homes.

At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we are actively working to honor God by exercising our responsibility as the people of God to “stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32); to engage our culture and government; and to stand up for the Biblical values we share. We call this “unleashing citizenship” – and we encourage you to become a part of this movement of change!

Are you in? If so, please forward this message to 5 friends and encourage them to sign up for our email list by clicking here.

Can you picture it?  A New Mexico where God is honored? I can! And it’s beautiful.

For His honor,

Jodi Hendricks
Executive Director

John Newton and William Wilberforce have always amazed me for their part in the battle to end slavery. Newton was an example of authentic grace and transformation that can take place in the human heart – that is, from the “inside-out.” And, Wilberforce was tireless and persistent in his work to end slavery legislatively, that is from the “outside-in.” They made a good team in 18th century Great Britain and that two-pronged approach could be the key towards solving many social challenges in America today.

For John Newton, it took a change of heart to alter his life. We all know him as the author of one of the best-known and most loved hymns of the last two centuries, “Amazing Grace.” Estimates suggest that the song is played 10 million times each year and has appeared on over 11,000 albums. It had a surge of popularity during two of our nation’s greatest crises: the Civil War and the Vietnam War. Churches everywhere still sing it today. Aretha FranklinRay Charles, and Elvis are among the many artists who recorded the song. Even former President Obama spontaneously sang it a few years ago during a memorial service for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a victim of a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

It is amazing that this hymn has become closely associated with the African American community when you consider that the author, John Newton was a former slave trader until God’s ‘Amazing Grace’ changed his heart. It is a testament to the transformative work of Christ. Newton later became a pastor and preacher changing people’s attitudes about race and slavery by changing their heart, from the ‘inside-out.’

Wilberforce, on the other hand, was a politician and a wealthy philanthropist. He gave away one-quarter of his annual income to the poor. He fought on behalf of chimney sweeps, single mothers, orphans, and juvenile delinquents. When he was a child, Newton was his pastor. As he grew older, Wilberforce wanted to leave working in government for the ministry. Instead, Newton encouraged him to stay in politics, convincing him of the need to end slavery legally – from the “outside-in.”

The story of “Amazing Grace” offers a powerful lesson for us today: change the heart of the nation and its laws will follow. The work of churches today is similar to the work of John Newton as they preach the Gospel that transforms lives from the “inside-out.” And the work of Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming is like the work of Wilberforce and countless other Christian policymakers, taking the policy and legislative approach and effecting change from the “outside-in.”

Our mission statement is very clear. We exist to make Wyoming a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!

If you want to partner with us to bring change to policy (or find out how we can help you change hearts), here are two steps to consider:

  1. Want help changing the culture from the inside out? I welcome the opportunity to speak at your church or small group. You can contact me here.
  2. Please consider making a monthly donation so we can continue to make a difference in Wyoming. We are grateful for your partnership!

Standing together,

Nathan Winters
Executive Director