Addressing Social Concerns

As a church that believes God calls us into the world together, the ELCA is committed to addressing life in society in a variety of ways. Our diverse witness as a church in society flows from our identity as a community that lives from and for the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Scripture teaches, faith is active in love, and love calls for justice in the relationships and structures of society. Our grateful response to God’s love and grace motivates us to live lives that demonstrate our responsibility for the well-being of society, communities and the environment. Addressing social concerns as a church involves many dimensions and occurs in many ways, but can be summarized as:
  • Supporting the vocation of members in their daily callings and work
  • Encouraging learning and moral discernment
  • Developing and endorsing social teaching and policy
  • Witnessing for social justice as individual Lutheran Christians and as organized faith communities
As individuals and as a faith community — Christ’s church — we live our Christian faith in the thick of life with the concerns and complexities that shape our lives together in God's creation. We work at social concerns as individuals, communities, congregations, synods and a churchwide organization, as well as through related ministries, agencies, social ministry organizations, educational institutions, networks, other partners and across denominations. Information, resources and opportunities for action and involvement that address social concerns are found throughout the ELCA Web site.

There are ELCA resources for social teaching and policy. These documents include social statements, social messages and social policy resolutions. These documents arise from and reflect on the changing circumstances of the world in light of God's presence and work. They are developed to assist members and congregations in thinking about social issues, and to guide the church’s life in society and creation. “Policies and Procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for Addressing Social Concerns” provides more information about the work of the ELCA in society and describes the theological foundations and practices that lead to development of social teaching and policy that uphold human dignity, pursue justice and seek peace.