January 21, 2020
Connecting faith and public life is what we know as advocacy and as Lutheran Christians, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. God uses our hands, through our direct service work and our voices, through our advocacy efforts, to restore and reconcile our world. Through faithful advocacy, the ELCA lives out our Lutheran belief that governments can help advance the common good.
We in the Southeastern Synod take seriously what it means to connect our faith and public life. We have been blessed for the past five years by the faithful service of Mr. Hilton Austin. Mr. Austin has served as the Director for Advocacy for our synod and helped to cultivate, craft, and curate a vision and plan for how we as a synod can actively engage our faith and public life as advocates for all of God’s children. Under his faithful leadership, we have flourished as a synod and because of this, we now have the creation of the Georgia Interfaith Policy Council, a stronger synod advocacy focus, and the equipping of many among our four states who have felt called to do this work in their local communities.
At the end of January, Mr. Austin will end his tenure in this role and we give abundant thanks for his work and ministry among us in this way. Because of his building these foundations, we will be able to continue with a person serving in this role. On February 1st, we welcome The Rev. Matt Steinhauer who will become the Assistant to the Bishop and Director for Advocacy for our synod. Pastor Steinhauer will be serving in this role 15 hours a week and continue as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Lebanon, TN.
Please join me in giving thanks for Mr. Austin’s work and ministry and welcoming Pastor Steinhauer to our staff. Thanks be to God!
Bishop Kevin L. Strickland