Being a Publicly Engaged Church

What does the ELCA teach about… Being A Publicly Engaged Church?

The ELCA teaches that our churches, our members, and our leaders can and ought to be involved in public affairs.  In our social statement Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective” (adopted in 1991) the church has laid out six statements that lead us to this belief:

  1. The Gospel and The Church: The Good News of Jesus Christ frees us from sin, death, and evil in order to love and serve our neighbor.
  2. The Church Universal: We acknowledge and celebrate that we are part of the Universal Church that isn’t restricted on denomination, location, race and ethnicity, gender, or other human-conceived divisions.
  3. The Church “In” But Not “From” the World: We recognize that the world we live in is not fully the Kingdom of God (the description of the world given to us by Jesus) yet we are called to live in that world and for the betterment of that world.
  4. The Church’s Responsibility in Society:  Society continues to be the place where God’s love is shown as well as where wickedness exists.  We are called to use the structures of family, education, the economy, the state, etc. that are necessary for our present age so that we (1) Use them to serve others, (2) Hold those structures accountable.
  5. The Baptismal Vocation of Christians:  All Christians are called to Christian service, not only the ordained or those whose daily work is directly in church structures.  Social ministry and working to bring God’s Kingdom to the here-and-now is where Christians can live into their vocation.
  6. A Community of Moral Deliberation:  While all Christians have a moral compass and have gifts of discerning the will of God, the ELCA acts together to discern God’s Will.  This community of discussion, deliberation, and discernment brings with it a depth and breadth of experience and knowledge in scriptural, theological, and societal disciplines.

This means that we believe that we not only may be active in public society but we should be as a matter of our Christian identity. 

This does not mean that we as a church align ourselves with a political party or specific political leaders.

This does not mean that we tell people how to vote (although you may hear us encourage people *to* vote and be involved in government and elections).

This does not mean that we are all of the same mind politically or in the way of various policies.

Want to discuss it more?  Contact our office and we will be happy to sit down – maybe over a cup of coffee? – and chat.