ELCA NEWS SERVICE
August 7, 2007
ELCA Assembly Calls for Social Statement on Criminal Justice by 2013
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The 4.8 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will develop a social statement -- the church's most authoritative teaching document -- on criminal justice issues to be prevented to the denomination for adoption in 2013.
By a vote of 957 to 68, the voting members of the ELCA churchwide assembly approved the initiative that grew out of memorials from three of the denomination's synods or regional units.
The churchwide assembly is the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, which is meeting here Aug. 6-11at Navy Pier's Festival Hall. About 2,000 people are participating, including 1,071 ELCA voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is "Living in God's Amazing Grace: Thanks be to God!"
The social statement will be developed following widespread consultation with church members and others involved in criminal justice, and is likely to deal with such issues as the prison system, rehabilitation for those convicted of crimes, and the current cost of incarcerating criminals, all subjects mentioned in the memorials from the Rocky Mountain Synod, the South Dakota Synod, and the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Area Synod.
A 1991 social statement of the ELCA dealt with the death penalty.
The preparation of the social statement is expected to cost about $35,000 per year for the four or five years it takes to develop the statement. The 2013 date was chosen for the statement because the ELCA already has a social statement on sexuality under way, being prepared for consideration by the churchwide assembly in 2009.
Information about the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly is at http://www.ELCA.org/assembly on the ELCA Web site.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog