Additional Resources for Health and Healthcare
1. To adopt "Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor" as a social statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in accordance with "Policies and Procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for Addressing Social Concerns" (1997).
2. To call upon members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to renew their prayer for the health and healing of all people, to strengthen their congregations as communities of healing, to study the scriptural witness to the God of healing, and to participate in the shared endeavor of health care in their daily lives, using the social statement "Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor" to help form their judgments and carry out their commitment;
3. To challenge all members of this church to become good stewards of their own physical and mental health by attending to preventive care, personal health habits, diet, exercise, and recreation, and by making prudent use of health-care resources;
4. To urge all members of this church to develop reasonable expectations for their own health and for the health care they receive at each stage of life and to engage in thoughtful preparation with health-care professionals and loved ones for difficult choices in their health care;
5. To encourage congregations and church-related institutions to be centers for dissemination of health education for their members and their communities;
6. To call upon all pastors, other rostered leaders, teaching theologians, bishops, and other church leaders to give renewed attention to the healing dimensions of Scripture, liturgy, hymnody, prayer, pastoral care, and other forms of ministry;
7. To exhort all church leaders to help members of this church in vocations of health, healing, and health care to see their work as a part of God's healing work in the world, and to encourage members to enter these vocations;
8. To challenge all congregations, synods, social ministry organizations, public policy advocacy ministries, other affiliated organizations of this church, and all churchwide units to carry out the substance and spirit of this statement, and to intensify their work with Lutheran Services in America and various ecumenical, interfaith, and secular groups in pursuit of its commitments;
9. To urge all members of this church to study the policy statement on health ministry of the Division for Global Mission to increase understanding of global health issues;
10. To direct the Division for Church in Society, in cooperation with other churchwide units, to provide leadership and consultation on the basis of this social statement and to provide information on congregational models for health ministries;
11. To request that the Division for Congregational Ministries, in consultation with the Division for Church in Society, develop worship and educational resources to interpret this social statement;
12. To encourage all churchwide units to model the principles of this social statement in their ongoing work and relationships with employees, and to exhort all congregations, synods, and affiliated organizations to do the same;
13. To direct the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs to advocate that all people living in the United States of America, Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories have equitable access to a basic level of preventive, acute, and chronic physical and mental health care at an affordable cost, to call upon all state public policy offices of this church to do the same, and to urge synods, congregations, and members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to share in this endeavor;
14. To request that the Division for Ministry (a) study the current trends and future needs for ministries in health-care chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, and clinical education; (b) examine the clinical and academic education need for the future of these ministries; and (c) present the findings and possible recommendations for action to the board of the Division for Ministry by the end of the year 2005; and 15. To urge that the Division for Global Mission continue (a) to cultivate connections with churches and social ministry organizations worldwide; (b) to stimulate awareness in this church of global health issues; and (c) to call upon partner organizations to do the same.