The Southern Ohio Synod Public Policy Ministry Team

Called, Equipped, and Sent to advocate for public policies that promote God’s Justice in our community and throughout Ohio.

Mission Statement:

The SOS Public Policy Ministry Team is called to use a prophetic voice with and on behalf of those who are in need to advocate for just public policies in Ohio that will prioritize the vulnerable, strengthen community, and recognize the dignity of all of God’s creation and people. 

Guiding Principles:

We Are Called to Advocacy by our Faith: As Lutherans, we believe advocacy is a public witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ where the Church speaks with and on behalf of others. Advocacy is an effort to identify how the whole community can live into God’s intended future. Just as Jesus advocates for us in front of God, we are called to advocate for our neighbors.

Some issues are controversial, but we still must engage: We cannot stand idly by while our brothers and sisters suffer. We want our neighbors to have economic sufficiency and stability, a healthy environment, and support when times are difficult.

Through collective action, we can address public issues: Charity work and personal responsibility are essential in addressing a crisis situation that appears in front of us today. Through advocacy work we are called to ask why the crisis situation exists and seek long-term solutions. Government is divinely instituted and it is where we should be able to come together in a civil manner to address public issues. The Church is called to witness to God’s justice and mercy for all and, when necessary, to lift up the voices of the marginalized in society within public discourse and debate.

A Concern for God’s Justice Guides our Work: Micah calls us to DO Justice. Multiple social issues such as discrimination, economic inequality, environmental degradation, violence and oppression are inter-connected. As the body of Christ – we are called to make those connections and advocate for just public policies accordingly.

What We Do:

Our ministry will work to identify how we can live into God’s intended future.

  1. Equip the Church: This ministry will provide training and resources for pastors, congregational leaders, and the community on how to organize and advocate for justice.
  2. Empower our Community: Work with other organizations, faith communities, and people to hear the voices in the wilderness of the oppressed and marginalized.
  3. Engage those in Authority: Bring the voices of the community to those with authority to align public policy with our call to justice.


Chairperson of the Southern Ohio Synod Public Policy Task Force is Mr. Nick Bates, Diaconal Minister. He can be reached at if you’re interested in being a part of this task force or being added to their communications distribution list.


Follow the Advocacy Team on Facebook!
Nick Bates, chairperson, or 614-216-6306.


Ohio Budget Process: Budgets are moral documents that establish the priorities and reflect the values of our state. The Ohio budget will be introduced on February 2nd and goes into effect on July 1st. Legislators care what YOU think, get involved today!

Ohio Budget Process Wheel PDF

Congregational Study Guides (for Leaders)

1. Receive with Thanksgiving, Study Guide on Economic Life
2. Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor, Study Guide on Healthcare
3. Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture, Study Guide on Race and Diversity Issues
4. Caring for Creation Now, Study Guide on Environmental Stewardship

ELCA Social Statements (link)

Click on the above link to access ELCA Social Statements, along with study guides. Social statements summarize the theology of the ELCA as it relates to different issues such as economics, criminal justice, healthcare, education, and many other areas.