Dear Friends,

Perhaps you have said (or heard said) in the midst of political conversation; the declaration that goes something like this, “Well, I don’t get into these discussions because I am not political”. While that could mean a few things, I think the intent of the statement is an expression of distaste for the tenor of debate and discourse, not an absence of thought.

In reality, good stewardship requires us to “be political”. Why? Because policy enacted by elected officials affects all of us, whether we consider ourselves “political” or not. That doesn’t mean that we need to lobby or become familiar with the minutia of the process. It DOES mean that we need to exercise our right and responsibility to vote. And it DOES mean that we need to know the views and values of the people for whom we cast our vote. It DOES mean that we can make our voice heard!

The result will be either a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished; or… a state like California. Do not get me wrong, there are a lot of great people and places in California, but ruling politicians there have seriously damaged Constitutional freedoms of all Californians.

This has occurred after many elections won by politicians with a secular progressive worldview. California was not always like this. But over the years, values voters in The Golden State did not let their vote speak loud enough.

Idaho is changing, and we must be on guard, so we do not become a group of distraught citizens looking back and wishing for a do-over.

The fruit of their progressive governing worldview in California came to roost at the United States Supreme Court just this week in a case dealing with a radical California state law requiring pregnancy centers to advertise abortion services.

This doesn’t sound like America…yet, it is.

And while this case came out of California, it has significant free speech implications for the entire country.

California strayed from the original intent of the Constitution because of who the voters elected. Here in Idaho, we must learn from others and not repeat their mistakes. We must accept the responsibility of stewardship and we must remain vigilant.

Good policy is one of the results of electing people who hold family, life, and religious liberty sacred. If that means we become willing to describe ourselves as “political,” I assume we can all be ok with that.

Our battles at the Legislature this year were fraught with what can only be described as spiritual warfare. It is my hope that you prayerfully engage, continue to pray for elected officials and lift Family Policy Alliance of Idaho up in prayer.

Our work is important, and we need your involvement prayerfully, politically and financially. Please consider sending a gift to Family Policy Alliance of Idaho. Your support allows us to effectively engage the culture, church, and policy for an Idaho where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.

Sincerely,

Julie Lynde
Policy Director

 

As you are probably aware, our North Dakota legislature is not currently in session, unlike many others around the country.  Our state’s legislative session occurs every other year, with the last one concluding in 2017 and the next one beginning in January of 2019.  You trust us to represent your family values within the legislative process, which we certainly do, but I get asked regularly what Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is doing now, between sessions. Let me summarize some of our most important ongoing work on your behalf.

Elections: We research candidates’ qualifications and support of family values on the state and Congressional levels. Based on this research, we endorse and provide guidance on which candidates best uphold your beliefs.

Policy: We strategize on bills and other policy options to advance your biblical values on these types of key issues, and many more.

Relationships: Between sessions is a great time for us to strengthen relationships with you, our ministry partners, and state legislators, as well as develop relationships with new ministry partners. We also spend significant time forging relationships with the business and church communities, determining how we can best work together to advance biblical family values.

Banquet: We spend considerable time undertaking banquet planning. Banquets help us financially support our organization, inform ministry partners about our past wins and plans for the future. Banquets are also an opportunity to inspire attendees to exercise their biblical citizenship.

Fundraising: We are completely funded by generous donations from you, our financial supporters, so time is spent raising operating funds to keep Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota financially stable and able to carry out its mission.

As this brief summary highlights, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is involved in many activities and represents you on a wide variety of family issues – something that gives us a unique and comprehensive perspective.  Further, we have the ability to learn from the knowledge and experience of over 40 other state organizations like ours.

I want to thank you for allowing us to represent you year-round in many ways.  We will continue to be your voice on the comprehensive set of issues that affects your deeply held family values!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

P.S.  We are currently taking reservations for our Fargo Dessert Banquet to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 10.  You should have received a mailed invitation by now, but you can also register online at FPA-ND Fargo Banquet RSVP.  We hope to see you there!

 

This week I have been in the Fargo and Grand Forks areas meeting with you, our ministry partners. I always enjoy meeting you for a number of reasons. I have talked with many of you by phone in the past, but it’s always nice to associate a face with a voice. More importantly, I love developing a rapport and really getting to know you.

What issues matter to you? Where do your passions lie? How can Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota best represent your pro-life and pro-family values? I always come away from these meetings energized with a sense of purpose and firm knowledge that you are 100% behind our mission.

I think it’s safe to say the policy arena is often somewhat confusing for many people. How are you supposed to evaluate 1,000 bills each legislative session to see if they impact your values? Do you have time to do the due diligence on all the candidates up for election? How can you ensure that groups that support biblical interpretations of family issues are coordinating with each other on important topics? The short answer: you probably can’t.

You trust us to do that, and we do. We are your eyes and ears while you are at work, spending quality time with your family, watching a football game, or even on vacation. To use an analogy, we are your watch dog. Our purpose is to guard that which matters most to you, alert you to potential threats, and defend you with our whole being, based on your priorities.

This past week I heard loud and clear from you that this trust is one of the primary reasons you support Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota. I thank you from the bottom of my heart that you place this sacred confidence in us. We will continue to represent you with everything we have. Thank you for entrusting us to protect your most deeply held beliefs. Rest assured, your watch dog is on duty.

Your faithful support is vitally important to helping us in this mission. I would ask that you consider making a contribution to Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota so that we can make North Dakota a place where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

 

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma

This Christmas season marks the end of a beginning.  A little over a year ago, North Dakota Family Alliance became Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota. While our fundamental mission never changed – protecting pro-family and pro-life values in North Dakota – it marked an exciting beginning.  Our organization launched with the vision of ensuring our state is one where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.

What lies ahead is the exciting prospect of working together in 2018 and beyond finding ways to further unleash our biblical citizenship here in North Dakota.

With your help, we accomplished much this past year.

We give thanks to God for this successful beginning, working together to protect and preserve our values.  As we enter 2018, we look forward to more wins for our families, hand in hand with you, our ministry partners.

May God bless you and your family this Christmas season as we celebrate our Lord’s birth.  Remember, this year has been just the end of the beginning.  Now we set about even more earnestly to “…work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director


Johann Sebastian Bach [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dear Friends,

Today, Johann Sebastian Bach is arguably the greatest composer in the history of the western world. And while he received some recognition during his life, Bach faced several challenges, disappointments, and embarrassments. He clashed with fellow musicians and was thwarted from his ambitions by short-sighted employers. He once authored a letter to the town council in Leipzig complaining about the lack of support for his work. In a letter to a friend he summarized the situation, “The authorities are odd and little interested in music, so that I must live amid almost continual vexation, envy, and persecution.”

Imagine having the talent of Bach and facing such obstacles. It’s a wonder he didn’t throw up his hands and quit! What drove him to continue to write and compose?

The answer lies in small script at the bottom of many of his works: “SDG.”

 The initials stood for the Latin phrase Soli Deo Gloria which means “For the Glory of God Alone.”

Though I fall far short of Bach-level genius when it comes to running Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, I identify with his experience. My team, supporters and I are working diligently every day to bring truth and light to Kansas. Yet, we face a steady stream of opposition and apathy. Nevertheless, we persevere, because we, too, understand that our ultimate ambition is not success, but faithfulness. Family Policy Alliance is working to the glory of God alone.

 During this Christmas season, may the miraculous reality of Christ’s birth – God become man to rescue his people – encourage you in your daily work to do everything with His glory in mind.

Sincerely,

Eric Teetsel
President & Executive Director

P.S. Make a tax-deductible gift to Family Policy Foundation of Kansas between now and December 31 and you double your year-end gift and double your impact thanks to a matching grant!

 

 

 

Dear Friends,

Are you tired of it yet?

It’s December, which means those who – like me – rely on the generosity of our supporters are busily reminding them it’s not too late to give. Undoubtedly, you’ve been the recipient of our emails, letters, and phone calls. (Frankly, if you’re still reading this, it’s a minor miracle.)

Asking for money is not my favorite part of this job. I would rather be speaking to a group of Christians about what the Bible teaches regarding citizenship, or working with colleagues on legislation to preserve fundamental rights, or read the latest research proving the centrality of strong families in healthy communities. Heck, there are times I’d rather be getting called names on Twitter. There are however two crucial facts that inspire me to do the fundraising required:

First, I believe the work of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas is one important way I fulfill God’s call for me to love my neighbor. The law can seem a sterile, distant force, but the fact is it has a direct impact on the lives of citizens. Public policies will either be just or unjust. They will help or hurt. As a Christian, I believe I have a responsibility to fight for laws that encourage human flourishing because I love my neighbor.

Second, I believe you want this too. You want to see the dignity of every human life recognized, the family upheld as the foundation of society, and religious freedom preserved for all. But you don’t get to do policy and politics for a living. God has given you a different calling, so you have to rely on Family Policy Alliance of Kansas to advance these causes. What a privilege it is for me to do this work on your behalf. It’s not a duty I take lightly.

So, this isn’t like selling cars or getting you to upgrade your cable package; I’m proud to ask you to support Family Policy Alliance of Kansas. I believe in our work and I believe God has blessed each of us with our own unique role in making Kansas a better place to live and raise a family.

Oh – one last thing. There are lots of worthy non-profit organizations and ministries out there who rely on generous donors. If you feel led to support Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, thank God! But, if you feel led to support someone else, thank God! He’s got a plan, he knows how the pieces come together. We can trust Him to get it right.

Sincerely,

Eric Teetsel
President & Executive Director

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”—Psalm 139:13-14

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the conclusion of our four-part series highlighting our vision — a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

At Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, we believe that life is a precious gift from God and that it should be protected from fertilization to natural death. (Or, as Gov. Brownback is fond of saying, “womb to tomb.”) We are blessed to live in Kansas, which has long been on the frontline of the fight for life.

It wasn’t always this way. Wichita was once known as the “Late-Term Abortion Capital of the Country” for attracting women who could not legally have late-term abortions in other states to the infamous abortionist, Dr. Tiller. But, a dedicated group of faithful Christians stood up to say, “No more.” Over several years, they changed the culture and laws of Kansas.

The fight isn’t over. Any day now, we anticipate a ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court that could undo most or all of our pro-life laws. Family Policy Alliance of Kansas is working closely with a coalition of pro-life groups to ensure any such decision is met with swift, strong response.

We want you to join us in this effort! Daniel 11:32 says, “…the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” Simply put, it’s not enough to stand for what we believe — we must also act.

At Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, we call this “unleashing citizenship,” and we are counting on your help to unleash a movement of change across our state. I know we can count on your prayers. Can we count on your support as well?

Together, let’s turn Kansas around for the glory of our God!

Sincerely,

Eric Teetsel
President and Executive Director

Part 1: What Does, “A Kansas Where God Is Honored” Mean?

Part 2: Picture This: A Kansas Where Religious Freedom Flourishes

Past 3: Picture This: A Kansas Where Families Thrive

 

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…” –Ephesians 3:14-16

Dear Friend,

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” These are the words of the great Winston Churchill, spoken following the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. And although spoken nearly 70 years ago, these words remain true today. In short, family matters!

And that is why our vision proclaims: “an Idaho where families thrive“.  Welcome to part three of our four-part series highlighting the vision of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho.

We believe that God’s timeless design for the family is the strongest foundation for any free and successful society. Not only is the family the single best institution for the creation, protection, provision and training of children, whether biological or adopted – it is also the most beneficial establishment for the honoring and caring for elderly, and for the fulfillment of all human needs. As such, thriving families have the power to lessen the need for government intervention and should serve as an important check on the scope of our government.

With the incremental effect of government intrusion combined with the paralyzing result of increased dependency and a bloated entitlement system, we see a trajectory that continues to devalue the tradition family unit. As America becomes more secularized and the rate of moral erosion follows, God’s design for the family is directly in the crosshairs.

But together, we can change that trajectory!  Step by step, we can reinvigorate a culture in Idaho where families thrive!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I believe we should be in the business of encouraging and empowering families. This includes supporting state policies and programs that encourage parents to stay together and raise their children; empowering parents to assume control of their children’s education; highlighting the uniquely beneficial roles that men and women, fathers and mothers, bring to the family; and offering appropriate support to our single parents, guardians, relatives raising children, foster parents and those wishing to adopt.

Some say, “It takes a village.” At Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, we say, “It takes a family.”  And, in reality, even for “the village” to survive – it takes the family.

Our vision is an Idaho where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes and families thrive. We want you to play a part in this! You can do that right now by visiting our website, and adding your name to the growing number of concerned Idahoans who are speaking up, linking arms with Family Policy Alliance of Idaho and standing for families.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Julie Lynde
Policy Director

Part1: PICTURE THIS! An Idaho Where God Is Honored

Part 2: Illuminating an Idaho Where Religious Freedom Flourishes!

Part 4: Imagine…An Idaho Where Life is Cherished…

 

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…” –Ephesians 3:14-16

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” These are the words of the great Winston Churchill, spoken following the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. And although spoken nearly 70 years ago, these words remain true today. In short: Family matters!

Welcome to part three of our four-part series highlighting the vision of Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota. Today, we look at the third part of our vision: a North Dakota where families thrive.

We believe that God’s timeless design for the family is the strongest foundation for any free and successful society. Not only is the family the single best institution for the creation, protection, provision, and training of children – whether biological or adopted – it is also the most beneficial establishment for the honoring and caring for elderly, and for the fulfillment of all human needs. As such, thriving families have the power to lessen the need for government intervention and should serve as an important check on the scope of our government.

I don’t know about you, but I believe we should be in the business of encouraging and empowering families. This includes supporting state policies and programs that encourage parents to stay together and raise their children; empowering parents to assume control of their children’s education; highlighting the uniquely beneficial roles that men and women, fathers and mothers, bring to the family; and offering appropriate support to our single parents, guardians, relatives raising children, foster parents, and those wishing to adopt.

Some say, “It takes a village.” At Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota, we say, “It takes a family.”

Our vision is a North Dakota where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished. We want you to play a critical part in this! You can do that right now by visiting our Action Center, reviewing our current action items, and adding your name to the growing number of concerned people who are speaking up and standing for families.

Thank you for speaking out for the preservation of family values here in North Dakota. Families matter, so let’s be sure everyone knows we want a North Dakota where families thrive!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

 

Part1: Imagine a North Dakota Where God Is Fully Honored

Part 2: Imagine a North Dakota Where Religious Freedom Flourishes

Part 4: Imagine A North Dakota Where All Life is Cherished

Welcome to part three of a series dedicated to explaining the vision of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas. Today, we examine the third part of our vision – a Kansas where families thrive.

Dear Friends,

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” These are the words of Winston Churchill, spoken in honor of the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. These words remain true today.

At Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, we believe that God’s design for the family is the foundation of a free and prosperous society. Social science proves what we know to be true: Families are best able to provide for the creation, protection, provision and training of children who become healthy, productive adults. In short, where families thrive, people flourish; where the family is diminished, government grows, and people suffer.

For too long, the importance of family has been taken for granted, even as society has chipped away at it. The normalization of divorce, infidelity, out of wedlock birth, premarital sex and cohabitation, same-sex relationships, and more has steadily undone our society’s understanding and appreciation of family. Now, we look at a country suffering from a thousand ills – from lack of educational attainment to poverty to crime – and wonder, “What happened?”

There are no silver bullets in life, but reaffirming and encouraging strong, stable family formation is as close as it gets. We should be in the business of encouraging and empowering families. This includes supporting state policies and programs that encourage parents to stay together and raise their children; empowering parents to assume control of their children’s education; highlighting the uniquely beneficial roles that men and women, fathers and mothers, bring to the family; and offering appropriate support to our single parents, guardians, relatives raising children, foster parents and those wishing to adopt.

Some say, “It takes a village.” At Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, we say, “It takes a family.

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

Sincerely,

Eric Teetsel
President and Executive Director

 

Part 1: What Does, “A Kansas Where God Is Honored” Mean?

Part 2: Picture This: A Kansas Where Religious Freedom Flourishes

Part 4: Picture This: A Kansas Where Life is Cherished