Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
For many years, New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation has held a weekly Legislative Bible Study during the legislative session in Albany. Held in the Legislative Office Building across the street from the New York State Capitol, the Bible study is typically attended by a diverse group of state legislators from both political parties. Elected officials in Albany are bombarded with messages from people who want something from them. In contrast, we offer the Word of God, prayer, and a bite to eat; we ask for nothing in return. NYFRF has held studies on topics such as “The Importance of Christian Unity,” “Five Spiritual Habits of Great Leaders,” and “What Does It Mean to Be a Disciple?” The Bible Study has been an avenue for evangelism, encouragement, instruction, fellowship, and spiritual growth.
In early 2020, NYFRF’s new Legislative Chaplain, Pastor Eric Walton, reported that legislators had been “receptive, responsive and participatory” during the Legislative Bible Study. Pastor Eric added that playing pickup basketball games with legislators had helped him to connect with them. Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant limits on in-person gatherings have required changes in how Pastor Eric sows into the spiritual lives of our elected officials. Since March 2020, Pastor Eric has not been able to hold Bible studies at the Legislative Office Building. It is quite likely that COVID-19-related mandates will prevent him from doing so for the first portion of the 2021 legislative session as well. Instead, Pastor Eric is preparing Scriptural teachings on video for distribution to legislators and is making efforts to build one-on-one relationships with them through the use of the available technology.
Friends, the Legislative Bible Study is one of few opportunities afforded to legislators who seek spiritual nourishment while in Albany. Please pray that the study will be allowed to resume in the near future, and that the Lord will continue to give Pastor Eric other ways to share the eternal truth of God’s Word with members of the Legislature.