Gov. Quinn Receives Award at Lutheran Day; Event Capped by 'Rally for the Common Good'
Quinn said, “It took courage for Martin Luther to nail the 95 theses to the church door [in Wittenberg] and invite controversy.” He also talked about his deep admiration for the late U.S. Senator Paul Simon, noting the senator had given him one of his trademark bowties.
“We were very honored to present the Paul Simon Courage in Public Service Award to our governor for his courageous stand for increasing taxes to be able to care for people in need across our state,” says Pr. Denver Bitner, LSSI president. “The governor seemed very moved to accept the award named in honor of a Lutheran legislator who consistently made a difference in the lives of the people in Illinois.”
“This was one of the rare occasions when we have had the Simon Award recipient with us on Lutheran Day to accept the award in person, says Dan Schwick, director of Lutheran Advocacy-Illinois and assistant to the president. “It was especially meaningful that then-Lt. Gov. Quinn had also been with us when we inaugurated the Simon Award in 2003.”
The presentation highlighted a full day as participants attended an issues briefing and advocacy training at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Springfield, a prayer service and meetings with their legislators.
Since 2004, Lutheran Day has provided Lutherans from across Illinois the opportunity to build relationships with public officials and each other, as well as demonstrate Lutherans’ involvement in their communities as citizens and as leaders of charitable organizations meeting human needs.
And, for the first time, Lutheran Day activities were followed by a “Rally for the Common Good,” which LSSI took a leadership role in organizing. The rally included representatives from approximately 50 organizations around the state.
“I was very proud of the leadership that our staff was able to provide for not only the Lutheran community but for the human care system as a whole at the Rally for the Common Good,” says Pr. Bitner.