ELCA Social Statements
“This church shall develop social statements … that will guide the life of this church as an institution and inform the conscience of its members in the spirit of Christian liberty.” – ELCA Social Statement, “The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective”
ELCA social statements are teaching and policy documents that provide broad frameworks to assist us in thinking about and discussing social issues in the context of faith and life. They are meant to help communities and individuals with moral formation, discernment and thoughtful engagement with current social issues as we participate in God’s work in the world. Social Statements also set policy for the ELCA and guide our advocacy and work as a publicly engaged church. They result from an extensive process of participation and deliberation and are adopted by a two-thirds vote of an ELCA churchwide assembly. The Social Statements also root LOPPW’s policy positions.
The description and procedures for developing and adopting these social teaching and policy documents are established by “Policies and Procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for Addressing Social Concerns.”
ELCA Social Messages
ELCA Social Messages are “topical documents adopted by the ELCA Church Council to focus attention and action on timely, pressing matters of social concern to the church and society. They are used to address pressing contemporary concerns in light of the prophetic and compassionate traditions of Scripture.” Unlike Social Statements, Social Messages “do not establish new teaching or policy. Rather, they build upon previously adopted teaching and policy positions, especially from social statements.”
Find the ELCA’s 15 Social Messages here.
Other Communications from the ELCA:
Bishop Eaton’s Letter on Charleston long_season_of_disquiet_letter (1)