The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is preparing a social statement on criminal justice, which may be considered by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly mandated the development of this statement. This document is the draft of that social statement and will be revised following discussion throughout this church.
The ELCA Task Force on Criminal Justice has written this draft as one of the steps toward the development of a social statement that may be considered by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Draft social statements have no official standing as statements of the ELCA. They are a means to invite participation by all in the process toward the creation of a statement. ELCA social statements are theological and teaching documents. They assist the ELCA and its members to reach informed judgments on social issues from a perspective of faith. They are intended to cultivate individual and community deliberation as well as to guide moral formation. They govern this church’s institutional policy in terms of its social witness and guide its work as a public church. Social statements are developed through an extensive process of deliberation involving the whole church and are adopted by a two-thirds majority of an ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
There are several ways to participate in that process:
Study, discuss, comment: You are invited to study, discuss and comment on this draft and thereby contribute to the development of the proposed social statement for 2013.
- Participate in a hearing: You are also invited to attend hearings on this draft to be held in various synods.
The deadline for submitting comments is Oct. 31, 2012. Information on how to respond and on acquiring additional copies may be found at the back of this booklet.
Click on the links below to read the Summary Statement and the Draft.