Lutheran Day 2008 Scrapbook
On April 16, nearly 200 Lutherans and other people of good will participated in the fifth annual Lutheran Day in Springfield, which is held annually to advocate for people in need. This year, the focus was to call legislators’ attention to a growing crisis in social services funding. Participants met with individual legislators to educate them about the problem and to ask for adequate and timely reimbursements.
The highlights of the day included a morning educational session at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Springfield, which included inspirational presentations from staff and clients from participating agencies. In addition, Dan Schwick, director of Lutheran Advocacy-Illinois, spoke about human services funding in Illinois, and Jennifer DeLeon, associate director of government relations at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), delivered a rousing presentation on how to effectively interact with legislators and present issues to them.
“Every year, the Lutheran Day planning team takes a hard look at the evaluations we get from Lutheran Day participants,” says Dan Schwick, reflecting on the day’s success. “There was so much enthusiasm this year because so many participants got to meet with their legislators. That’s the whole point of the day, so when that happens, we’ve had success!”
The day also included the presentation of the annual Paul Simon Courage in Public Service Award to State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago). Like the late Senator Simon, throughout her career, Rep. Currie has been an advocate for her community and low-income parents and children.
In addition, four state lawmakers were named Legislative Champions for Social Services for their leadership, hard work and dedication in representing their constituents and advocating on behalf of the state’s most vulnerable residents. They are: Rep. Rosemary Mulligan (R-Park Ridge), Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign), Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont).
Lutheran Day sponsoring organizations included: LSSI; Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS); Bethel New Life; Lutheran Life Communities; Advocate Health Care; Lutheran Senior Services; Mosaic; Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services; Concordia Avondale Campus; Saint Luke Ministries; and Zion Development Corporation. Lutheran Advocacy-Illinois, a grassroots justice advocacy organization, also sponsored Lutheran Day.
All photos by: Kristen Schmid
Nearly 200 Lutheran Day participants gathered at the Lincoln statue on the east side of the Capitol.
Ladine Shelby (Champaign), Lutheran Social Services of Illinois foster parent (right), and Esther Portnoy (Urbana), a member of Lutheran Advocacy-Illinois, meet with Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign) in his office.
(At left) Rep. Harry R. “Randy” Ramey (R-55, Carol Stream) meets with two of his constituents, John Schnier (St. Charles), executive director of LSSI’s Children’s Community Services; and Tammy Jackson (Carol Stream), director of Administration and Synodical Support for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Participants at Lutheran Day 2008 gathered in the Rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol for a prayer service led by the Rev. David Bueltmann, district president of the Central Illinois District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).
Listening to speakers at the reception where the Paul Simon Courage in Public Service Award was presented are (from left): the Rev. Robert Ramus, pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Urbana and LSSI board member; and the Rev. David Bueltman, district president of the Central Illinois District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).
At Lutheran Day’s awards presentation members of three of the sponsoring organization present Rep. Barbara Flynn Curry (D-25, Chicago) (center) with the 2008 Paul Simon Courage in Public Service Award. Presenters included (from left): Chris Johnson, associate director, Mosaic; Dan Schwick, director, Lutheran Advocacy-Illinois; Pr. Fredrick Aigner, president, LSSI; and Gene L. Svebakken, president, Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois.