Conference of Bishops Statement on March for Our Lives

//Conference of Bishops Statement on March for Our Lives

The ELCA Conference of Bishops, in solidarity with our children and youth, has approved the following statement supporting the March for our Lives on March 24. Bishop Humphrey, along with 60 other Bishops of the ELCA, has signed in support of the statement below.


STATEMENT IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Our children and youth are like a young Jeremiah prophesying to the people: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)
Recently, the students, faculty and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida experienced tragedy. Seventeen people – students and teachers – were killed by a 19-year old shooter. In response, students have invited their teachers, families and allies around the nation to join with them for a March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC; calling our country into a deeper conversation about school safety and second amendment rights and responsibilities.
We recognize this incident is the latest in a long list of tragic shootings in our country and young people have been calling for protest and change for many years. Some of those young voices have been ignored or silenced because of racial and economic injustice. We cannot let that reality keep us from acting now.
Adopted in 1994, the ELCA social message on Community Violence remains sadly relevant today. The message speaks about the causes of violence as complex and pervasive, and of how violence breeds violence. In proclaiming the forgiveness and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church addresses the root of violence while being committed to social actions that respond directly to violence and the people it affects.
From the Social Message: In the face of violence, God’s resolve for peace in human communities is unshakable. Deliberate acts to harm or kill innocent people violate God’s intention for human community. God’s commandment is “You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13). In proclaiming God’s law, we declare that all people are accountable before God and the community to honor and respect the life God has given. Christians, as salt of the earth (Mt. 5:13) and light of the world (Mt. 5:14), are called to respond to violent crime in the restorative ways taught by Jesus (Mt. 5:38-39) and shown by his actions (Jn. 8:3-11). We are empowered to take up the challenge to prevent violence and to attack the complex causes that make violence so pervasive. 
According to Lutheran theology, society is to be ruled by the civil use of the Law. Government is responsible under God for the protection of its citizens and the maintenance of justice and public order. As citizens in a democracy, we have the responsibility to join with others to hold government accountable for protecting society and ensuring justice for all, and to seek changes in policies and practices toward these ends. 
That social message was amplified by a social statement, For Peace in God’s World (1995) which, as part of its adoption, offered concrete implementation actions, including: To call upon the members and leaders of this church to support our youth in their struggle to define their identity and vocation as present and future peacemakers… 
The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in solidarity with our children and youth, and in response to our common baptismal vocation: living among God’s faithful people, hearing the word of God and sharing in the Lord’s Supper, proclaiming the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, serving all people following the example of Jesus, and striving for justice and peace in all the earth; offer our support, partnership and prayers for the March for Our Lives, its satellite city events, and our children and youth who are leading us forward as peacemakers.
The undersigned members have given their names in public and personal support of the statement.

The Rev. Thomas M. Aitken, Bishop
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Abraham D. Allende, Bishop
Northeastern Ohio Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Jon Anderson, Bishop
Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Jim Arends, Bishop
LaCrosse Area Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew, Bishop
New Jersey Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Daniel G. Beaudoin, Bishop
Northwestern Ohio Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Wm. Chris Boerger, Secretary
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Bishop
Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Michael Burk, Bishop
Southeastern Iowa Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Jeffrey Clements, Bishop
Northern Illinois Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Barbara J. Collins, Bishop
Upper Susquehanna Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Jessica Crist, Bishop
Montana Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Steven H. Delzer, Bishop
Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Suzanne Darcy Dillahunt, Bishop
Southern Ohio Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. James Dunlop, Bishop
Lower Susquehanna Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

The Rev. Paul D. Erickson, Bishop
Greater Milwaukee Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. R. Guy Erwin, Bishop
Southwest California Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Katherine Finegan, Bishop
Northern Great Lakes Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Mary Froiland, Bishop
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA

 

The Rev. William O. Gafkjen, Bishop
Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Mike Girlinghouse, Bishop
Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. William Gohl, Jr., Bishop
Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Jim Gonia, Bishop
Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. H. Julian Gordy, Bishop
Southeastern Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Richard H. Graham, Bishop
Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Erik K. J. Gronberg, Bishop
Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Roger Gustafson, Bishop
Central States Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. James Hazelwood, Bishop
New England Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Mark W. Holmerud, Bishop
Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Rick Hoyme, Bishop
Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA

 

The Rev. Robert F. Humphrey, Bishop
Virginia Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Rick Jaech, Bishop
Southwestern Washington Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Ralph E. Jones, Bishop
Northwest Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Donald Kress, Bishop
Southeast Michigan Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Kristen E. M. Kuempel, Bishop
Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Wilma Kucharek, Bishop
Slovak Zion Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Kurt F. Kusserow, Bishop
Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Felipe Lozada-Montanez, Bishop
Caribbean Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Patricia Lull, Bishop
St. Paul Area Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Brian Maas, Bishop
Nebraska Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. John S. Macholz, Bishop
Upstate New York Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt
East Central Synod of Wisconsin

 

The Rev. Donald. J. McCoid, Interim Bishop
Metropolitan New York Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Wayne N. Miller, Bishop
Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Rodger G. Prois, Bishop
Western Iowa Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Michael Rinehart, Bishop
Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Michael L. Rhyne, Bishop
Allegheny Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. S. John Roth, Bishop
Central/Southern Illinois Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Craig Alan Satterlee, Bishop
North West Lower Michigan Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Timothy M. Smith, Bishop
North Carolina Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Pedro Suarez, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Ann Svennungsen, Bishop
Minneapolis Area Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Andrew A. Taylor, Bishop
Pacifica Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Ray Tiemann, Bishop
Southwestern Texas Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Kirby Unti, Bishop
Northwest Washington Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Steven L. Ullestad, Bishop
Northeastern Iowa Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Shelley R. Wickstrom, Bishop
Alaska Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Lawrence R. Wohlrabe, Bishop
Northwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Herman Yoos, Bishop
South Carolina Synod, ELCA

 

The Rev. Samuel R. Zeiser, Bishop
Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA

By | 2018-03-08T09:39:44+00:00 March 7th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Conference of Bishops Statement on March for Our Lives

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Emily Pilat is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Synod. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned her BA in in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Digital Studies.If you have an announcement, upcoming event, or news story idea you would like to share, get in touch with Emily via email [email protected] or by phone (540) 389-1000