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Lutheran Peace Fellowship

1998 ELCA Synod Assembly Resolution on Nonviolence 
Lutheran Peace Fellowship


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not repay evil for evil... 
If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Romans 12

Whereas Christ calls us to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9) and the church to be a reconciling presence for the world (2 Cor. 5:18-19), breaking down the dividing walls of hostility among people (Eph. 2:13-22); 

Whereas violence takes many forms --- on the street, at school, in family life, in the community, in the media, and between nations --- so that many children grow up in a "culture of violence";

Whereas the ELCA social statement, For Peace in God's World, eloquently reminds us that peacemaking and reconciliation are an important part of discipleship for both individuals and communities of faith, and explicitly calls for "education about nonviolence in our church and elsewhere" (page 20, adopted in 1995); 

Whereas the Bishop's Initiatives to Prepare for a New Century calls on congregations to "turn inside-out in witness and service," and urges that "we redouble our efforts to aid children, youth and young adults at risk from racism, hunger, violence and poverty, both at home and throughout the world";

Whereas twenty Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have sponsored an appeal "for the children of the world" calling for a Decade of Nonviolence (2001-2010) "to teach the practical meaning and benefits of nonviolence in our daily lives in order to reduce violence and . . . build a new culture of nonviolence"; 

Be it resolved that the ___________ Synod:

(name)

1. supports the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates' appeal for a "Decade for a Culture of Nonviolence," and a "Year of Education for Nonviolence" with special emphasis on children and youth;

2. encourages congregations to make a priority to teach, practice, and model nonviolence --- both for their own members and in service to their communities --- making use of resources from Lutheran Peace Fellowship, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and other sources; 

3. memorializes the 1999 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to adopt this resolution; asks the Office of the Bishop to support its implementation; and requests that synods and Churchwide units help provide the leadership and resources needed to carry out this much-needed "witness and service." 


This resolution was passed in 1998 by ten ELCA synod assemblies: Allegheny (PA), Greater Milwaukee, La Crosse Area (Wisc.), Metro Wash., DC, Minneapolis, Eastern North Dakota, NW Washington, Rocky Mountain, SE Iowa, and Upper Susquehanna (PA). In general, the resolution was passed by congregation church councils first. If you want to encourage your synod to pass it, contact your synod office to find out the process and deadlines by which a resolution must be submitted. Urge friends to encourage their congregation to pass the resolution. The Appeal should be printed on the back of the resolution. Plan to support the resolution in conferences and at the assembly, e.g., identify people to speak on its behalf from the floor. Please send a copy of your resolution and/or inquiries about helpful resources to the contact info at the bottom of this page.

See more at: Decade for Peace Resources, Nonviolence Resources

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