The ELCA Church Council has authorized a social message writing project on gender-based violence. Messages are adopted by the Church Council as a means to encourage learning and moral discourse. The tentative timeline calls for a message, or messages, to be considered by the Church Council in April of 2015.
The ELCA’s Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ requested this message after a year of listening events at which intense concerns have been voiced about the growing level of gender-based violence in U.S. society. "Gender-based violence" includes, but is not limited to rape, sexual abuse, physical and sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and sexual harassment. It can be perpetuated by male or female. (For information about the full span of work being done by the task force, visit the Women and Justice page.)
Staff of the Theological Discernment Team in the Office of the Presiding Bishop is responsible for the project. The message will be developed in light of existing ELCA social teaching documents such as the statements on race; ethnicity, culture and sexuality; the message on commercial sexual exploitation; and the policy resolution on domestic violence. These resources can be found on the Theological Discernment resource page.
The tentative timeline anticipates a period of public comment on a draft document by means of an online forum September through November.
Additional information will be posted on this web page as it becomes available. Comments or questions can be shared about this project by emailing us here.