ELCA Responds to Family Separations Policy Crisis at the Borders

Family separation policies explained

(June 18, 2018)

On the ELCA Advocacy blog, Program Director for Migration Policy Alaide Vilchis Ibarra explains the nuances surrounding immigration policies that have allowed for the recent separation of children and families at the U.S. border, as well as ways to accompany and advocate for these families. Religious leaders, including Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, have called for an end to family separation at the border.  Read the entire article here.

As policies continue to target vulnerable children and families, people of faith of have been leading the charge in providing services and advocating alongside these communities. Here are two ways in which you can help children and families facing these policies.

  • Join a Network that accompanies these children and families. The ELCA has the AMMPARO strategy in which congregations can form part of a welcoming congregations network around the country. These congregations commit to accompany children in their community, pray and advocate for migrant children and families. Lutherans can also learn more about these issues from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
  • Advocate. Advocate. Advocate. Whether in the budget process or through stand-alone bills, Congress can provide much-needed oversight and regulation to policies that are hurting children and families. They must hear your voice. Join our ELCA Advocacy Action Network and check our ELCA Advocacy Facebook page and twitter to stay current on these policies.

An American Success Story . . . Deconstructed

Social Justice & Advocacy Ministries Team

Our mission is to motivate and equip all members of the NC Synod to embody our faith and live our baptismal promises through education, advocacy, action, and witness.

Peace Not Walls

The ELCA is working for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel through our Peace Not Walls campaign. Through accompaniment, advocacy and awareness-raising, Peace Not Walls connects ELCA members to our companions and promotes dignity, full respect for human rights, healing and reconciliation. With our Palestinian Lutheran companions, we also accompany Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims working together for peace with justice.

Peace Not Walls Page

ELCA Social Statements are teaching and policy documents that provide broad frameworks to assist us in thinking about and discussing social issues in the context of faith and life. They are meant to help communities and individuals with moral formation, discernment and thoughtful engagement with current social issues as we participate in God’s work in the world. Social statements also set policy for the ELCA and guide its advocacy and work as a publicly engaged church. They result from an extensive process of participation and deliberation and are adopted by a two-thirds vote of an ELCA churchwide assembly.

Click here to access Social Statements from ELCA website. 

Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective articulates the teaching of the ELCA on the church’s relation to society and its public presence and responsibilities. The statement begins with the claim that the witness of the church in society flows from its identity as a community that lives from and for the gospel. It sets forth the basic affirmations that structure how faith is active in a love that calls for justice in relationships and structures of society. The statement also identifies as basic commitments the church’s institutional witness in society, the baptismal vocation of individual Christians, and the church as a community of moral deliberation. This documents was the first social statement, adopted by the ELCA in 1991.

To access full document (Spanish or English) click: CHURCH IN SOCIETY 

ELCA Social Messages are topical documents adopted by the ELCA Church Council to focus attention and action on timely, pressing matters of social concern to the church and society. They are used to address pressing contemporary concerns in light of the prophetic and compassionate traditions of Scripture and do not establish new teaching or policy. Rather, they build upon previously adopted teaching and policy positions, especially from social statements.

These messages draw attention to specific topics or social concerns that arise from our participation in God’s work in the world, and they encourage moral discernment, thoughtful discussion and action. Each message is reviewed by the Conference of Bishops and adopted by the ELCA Church Council, and expresses the convictions of the leadership of this church.

At this time, there are 13 social messages; click on any title below to access the document from the ELCA Website:

Human Rights (2017)         Gender-based Violence (2016)         Mental Illness (2012)     People Living With Disabilities (2012)