The ELCA Church Council has authorized a social message 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 November of 2015.
The Draft of a Social Message on Gender-based Violence was available for public comment and response from mid-September to the end of November 2014; thank you to all those who read and responded! It is now under revision in light of the feedback received, and in preparation for the November 2015 meeting of the Church Council.
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 were 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 anyone. (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 and 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.
Comments or questions can be shared about this project at any time by email.