Lutheran Peace Fellowship

Recent Highlights of LPF’s Ministry
Seeking to do the things that make for peace…


With other peace groups, LPF advocates cutting military spending, and diplomacy to curtail Syria's chemical weapons and Iran's nuclear program with encouraging results. Our Women's Initiative develops resources on Stopping Violence Against Women and Women-led Peace Efforts throughout history. We organize a national gathering in July for members of LPF and other Religious Peace Fellowships.


LPF member efforts include helping many youth facing decisions about military service in Minnesota congregations, and forums & workshops on budget priorities, nonviolence, and leadership on the West Coast. A school shooting in Newtown, Conn. raises gun violence to national prominence, encouraging many LPF members and groups to advocate for background checks and other reforms.


The largely nonviolent Arab Spring protesting authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere sparks interest in forums and workshops among U.S. churches regarding nonviolence and social change Toward the end of 2011, the Occupy movements raise similar basic questions in the U.S. regarding the growing inequality in wealth and income, the role of money in politics, and other justice issues which are especially relevant as the nation suffers its deepest recession since the '30s.


With support from Wheat Ridge Ministries, LPF launches the Hunger Volunteer Training & Support Project offering training, mentoring, and help for volunteers in food banks and meal programs, many of which have seen large increases in numbers due to the economic crisis. The new project receives a very positive response. We expand advocacy efforts for increased development aid, and are among the most active of religious groups working to secure Senate ratification of New Start to reduce nuclear weapons & improve verification.


LPF’s World Hunger effort mobilizes new support for increasing and coordinating development aid. Our Youth Program prepares for Learning Tree workshops and a large activity area built around the LPF Path of Hope at the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans, July 23 to 26. We expand LPF’s ‘Peace Deck’ resource that builds on our popular peace cards of which 230,000 had been distributed.


Lutheran Peace Fellowship co-sponsors Christian Peace Witness for Iraq in Wash., DC. Monica Fisk returns to LPF as its eighth Youth Coordinator and launches a new LPF youth website greatly expanding LPF outreach and networking with Lutheran youth and young adults. LPF reaches two milestone: in less than a decade, a million people have used our computer activities on hunger and budget priorities, and our web site has been tapped over a million times.


LPF co-sponsors a moving prayer service at the National Cathedral and candlelight procession of 7,000 people to the White House calling for peace in Iraq. The ELCA Decade for Peace Task Force sponsors a 2nd nonviolence training for 45 leaders from around the U.S. LPF’s director develops the program, manual, and serves as lead trainer. LPF is a core organizer of the Puget Sound Millennium Goals Project that holds major hunger and development events at Town Hall, Univ. of Washington….


LPF holds a gathering in Seattle featuring as speaker, Rick Steves, host of public television and radio programs on travel, and author of numerous books including a Lutheran-sponsored guide to ethical travel. LPF launches a series of Spanish language resource translations for use in the US and Latin America. Allyson Fredrickson becomes LPF’s seventh Youth Trainer, serving Sept. 2006-Aug. 2007.


The ELCA Interunit Decade for Peace Task Force sponsors a training for trainers on nonviolence held in April 2005 for 50 leaders from every part of the country. LPF leaders develop the program, manual and serve as lead trainers. It sparks the creation of the ELCA Equipping for Peacemaking network and web site. LPF passes a milestone as the # of workshops offered by its national leaders passes 1000 in a decade. Sara Collins serves as LPF’s sixth Youth Trainer, Sept. 2005-Aug. 2006.


LPF is awarded a matching grant for 2004-06 with a special focus on our “Training for Trainers” workshops. LPF’s computer-based Budget Priorities Game earns rave reviews. The World Council of Churches Decade to Overcome Violence focuses on the US. LPF leaders Jean Martensen and Glen Gersmehl develop a peace worship insert that’s used in 10,000 churches around the world for a new International Day of Prayer for Peace, launched by Kofi Anan, UN General Secretary, and Dr. Sam Kobia, WCC Gen. Secretary. Pat Edrey becomes LPF’s fourth Youth Trainer, in Sept. of 2004.


LPF publishes an 8-page Iraq resource in January that is mailed to 800 synod and churchwide leaders, 1200 pastors, and over 4000 lay leaders. LPF leaders are interviewed on two dozen radio and TV programs and publish articles reaching 5 million people in publications ranging from The Lutheran and  Journal of Lutheran Ethics to secular newspapers. Grace Hanson becomes LPF’s Youth Trainer and leads 24 workshops and trainings by mid 2004. LPF’s computer activity on hunger and development is included in the largest critical thinking curriculum in the US, used in 45,000 classrooms.


LPF members around the country express opposition to war with Iraq by leading forums, visiting elected officials, distributing resources, writing articles, and participating in vigils, protests, and civil disobedience. LPF expands intensive Leadership Trainings and LPF’s youth work supported by a two-year grant from Wheat Ridge Ministries. We lead 20 workshops and make connections with youth leaders at conferences in eight states. LPF launches the “Peace Points” resource series
for youth and family leaders. Monica Fisk becomes LPF’s second LVC Youth Trainer, serving Aug. 2002 to July 2003. She co-coordinates peace activities of all the ELCA peace ministries at the 2003 ELCA Youth Gathering attended by 30,000 young people. LPF’s “Path (Wall) of Hope” is again a focus.


Kate Reuer is chosen as LPF’s full-time Youth Trainer through Lutheran Volunteer Corps, expanding LPF work with youth leaders, students, and youth directors.… Requests for information and workshops expand four-fold in the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the ‘war on terrorism.’ LPF’s fall newsletter is a double issue with comments on the crisis from two dozen Lutheran leaders and activists.


In two years, LPF leads 16 day-long and weekend Leadership Trainings on nonviolence and over 60 nonviolence workshops. Participants applaud the program’s insight and empowerment. We distribute over 100,000 print resources including 900 copies of the From Violence to Wholeness manual with LPF’s 50-page supplement. ELCA’s Dept. of Schools mails LPF materials to 2200 Lutheran schools.


Aid Association for Lutherans awards LPF an Innovations grant to develop nonviolence resources & workshops. By year’s end, the LPF resolution in support of the UN Decade for Peace is endorsed by 31 ELCA synods (the largest number in denominational history) and the Churchwide Assembly. The ELCA establishes an Inter-Unit Task Force to coordinate Decade work, issuing a brochure, worship resources, etc. LPF’s coordinator is named the US representative to UN Decade for Peace planning and joins 24 leaders from around the world invited to India to begin the Decade for Peace process. We launch an LPF web site and an Endowment Fund, raising $16,000 in its first year.


12 ELCA synods and several churchwide agencies endorse the Nobel Decade for Peace, committing to teach nonviolence. The United Nations designates the years 2001 to 2010 as “The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World” in Nov. LPF leads a study trip to Central America on the effects of a decade of war in Nicaragua and El Salvador.


Lutheran Peace Fellowship plays a key role in gaining ratification of the Chemical Weapons Treaty. in the US Senate. LPF co-leads the social justice “trek” at the ELCA Youth Gathering held in New Orleans. It features 12 room-size interactive activities and LPF’s dramatic 100-foot Path of Hope exhibit of peace and justice movements and heroes from around the world and throughout history.


LPF’s leadership and resources are key to helping Lutherans gather more petition signatures for a global landmines ban than any other denomination in the US (in fact, more than any other group in the US!). LPF develops a landmines worship resource mailed to every ELCA pastor and leader. The Campaign to Ban Landmines, of which LPF is part, receives the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.


ELCA closes its Peace Education office shortly after approving the Peace Statement.  LPF expands its peace education efforts, averaging over 100 workshops per year on World Hunger, Biblical Peacemaking, Conflict Transformation, Christian Nonviolence, and other topics. LPF launches the Ruth Youngdahl Nelson Youth Scholarship Fund, raising $3500 in its first year.


LPF office moves to Seattle and to Central Lutheran Church as Glen Gersmehl becomes national coordinator. The program builds on significant peace education, advocacy, and organizing efforts and skills of previous LPF directors, Bonnie Block (1990-94), Tom Witt (1983-94), and volunteer leaders including John Backe, Alton Motter, Lloyd Berg, Jean Martensen, Jon Nelson, and others.


. . . and for highlights of the 60+ years before that . . . A Panorama of Witness and Struggle
See also “Program Update,” and the “LPF Top Ten List" (pdf html) as well as resources on
LPF issues and programs at


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