Watchmen on the Wall conference

Lobby Day Just Two Weeks Away!

 

The new year has begun and, for most everyone, that means resolutions lived up to and those already abandoned. Sometimes it is useful to include on your resolution list a few items that are one-time events for the year and not prolonged marathon projects like losing weight or quitting some annoying habit. This way, you actually succeed at some and feel that it was worth the time to make the list in the first place.

 

With that in mind, here's a great one-time event you will feel proud to include among your 2009 accomplishments; one that will make a dramatic impact in our ongoing campaign to see Virginia promote and maintain traditional values: Family Foundation Day at the Capitol, on January 19 . . . just two weeks away!

 

We are excited that Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling will address attendees on family issues that will become before the 2009 General Assembly. Lt. Governor Bolling has been a staunch advocate for marriage and human life, first as a 100-percent Senator on the TFF Action Score Card and now in his current office. Lt. Governor Bolling presides over the Virginia Senate and last year cast the deciding vote to defund Planned Parentood in the state budget. 

 

Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) also will join us. Senator Cuccinelli introduced the budget amendment defunding Planned Parenthood and was The Family Foundation’s 2008 Legislator of the Year. 

 

Also, since Governor Kaine has supported a ban on state trooper chaplains from being able to pray in Jesus name, religious liberty will be a big issue this year. This is why we are pleased to announce that Jordan Lorence, Senior Counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, will be our keynote speaker (see a previously posted video of him here). A dynamic speaker, he will address the issue of religious liberty, what our rights are and how we can make a difference. (See below to watch him speak to pastors at the Watchmen on the Wall conference we co-hosted with Family Research Council this past fall.)

 

You won’t want to miss these inspirational and informational opportunities, as well as the chance to meet with your senator and delegate to remind them to put principle before politics in this important election year. Making your presence known and voice heard makes a difference in ensuring Virginia continues uphold traditional values and remains a great place to raise a family. Not only that, you will have lived up to one of your New Years resolutions as well.

Family Foundation Day at the Capitol is January 19, 9:00 a.m. until the Afternoon, free of charge, Richmond Marriott, 500 East Broad Street

To register now, and for more information, contact John Smith, Grassroots Coordinator, at 804-343-0010 or John@familyfoundation.org. Register no later than January 13!

 

Pastors Energized To Make A Difference After This Week's "Watchmen on the Wall" Conference

Nearly 250 pastors and church leaders earlier this week joined together in Williamsburg at a "Watchmen on the Wall" conference co-sponsored by the Family Research Council and The Family Foundation of Virginia. The attendees were urged to speak out on important issues of the day and to encourage their members to take their civic responsibilities seriously.This year The Family Research Council is hosting several "Watchmen on the Wall" pastor conferences across the nation, including in Washington, D.C.; California, Arizona and New Hampshire. To date, nearly 2,000 pastors have joined together and hundreds of others have joined The Family Research Council's pastors' effort. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told the crowd, "Your leadership is absolutely fundamental and essential to this nation. My hope for America is not bailing out Wall Street. My hope for America is not in education. My hope for America is not in our strong military. My hope for America is Jesus Christ."

Former U.S. Representative Bob McEwen (R-Ohio) encouraged pastors to make sure people in their congregations are registered to vote. He said, "There are fifty million self-identified evangelicals in the United States. That's fifty million votes. Fifty million votes wins everything." Statistics indicate that at least half of self-identified evangelicals are not registered to vote. Dozens of churches in Virginia have been holding voter registration drives and will continue to do so up until the registration deadline (click here to see how to get involved).

Pastors also were educated by Alliance Defense Fundsenior counsel Jordan Lorence about their legal rights concerning speaking about issues, educating their congregations and providing election materials. Lorence has argued numerous times before the United States Supreme Court. 

The audience also heard from Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, Yorktown) and Attorney General Bob McDonnell. 

The Family Foundation, along with its pastor outreach arm, Pastors For Family Values, co-hosted the event. Pastors For Family Values provides support for pastors who speak on cultural issues and provide civil leadership. Pastors For Family Values formed in 2007 after Virginians in 2006 overwhelmingly voted to pass a Constitutional amendment defining marriage — as an outgrowth of pastoral involvement in that effort, several pastors of various denominations and ethnicities approached The Family Foundation with the concept of forming a pastors group.

It is absolutely essential for church leaders to take the lead and speak out on the values issues that shape our nation and our culture. While some organizations try to intimidate and discourage religious leaders from exercising their rights and freedoms in the political sphere, we urge them to reject those fear tactics and take a vocal stand on important issues. Only when our churches take a stand will we see our laws begin to reflect the traditional values our nation once stood upon.

Attendees left the "Watchmen on the Wall" conference excited and challenged. Nearly 20,000 church going Virginians were represented by the participating pastors. The impact these pastors and those church members can have on Virginia's political culture is enormous.

There is a tremendous amount of energy among pastors and church leaders and there is no question this energy will affect the congregations they represent. The potential impact of this energy and leadership cannot be underestimated. It isn't intended simply to affect one election or one campaign cycle but to bring change to an entire culture. This week was an important step toward that change.