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You are Called into Action

You are called into action

Voting members of Ninth Triennial Convention address social issues

Convention action

When the voting members of the Ninth Triennial Convention met last July in Charlotte, N.C., they debated and discussed several social issues, resolving to involve all expressions of Women of the ELCA in addressing human trafficking, bullying, care of children, and solar power for a hospital in Liberia.

One action, “Creating Safe Churches for Children,” encouraged participants and congregational units (CUs) to support their congregations in reviewing their childcare policies and providing child abuse education and prevention training for all staff and volunteers who have contact with children and youth.

An action that originated in the Northeastern Minnesota Synodical Women’s Organization (SWO) relates to the Western African nation of Liberia. It called all expressions of the organization to hold Liberia in prayer as it recovers from civil war (this action was taken before the devastating Ebola outbreak in Liberia). The action encourages women throughout the organization to support the work of the Northeastern Minnesota SWO with Rural Renewable Energy Alliance and the National Lutheran Church Women Fellowship of Liberia to develop and provide solar power to Liberia’s Phebe Hospital. Read more here.

Responding to the thousands of unaccompanied minors who were making their way across the U.S. border last year, the voting members called all SWOs and CUs to educate themselves about this humanitarian crisis and to work with established programs such as Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). Voting members further called SWOs and CUs to encourage their congregations as places of hospitality to reach out to local Latino communities and to offer assistance and shelter for children. A video with discussion guide is available at lirs.org, along with other resources to assist your CU in responding.

On the matter of bullying and harassment, all expressions of the organization are called to “champion this concern for safety of our children and to advocate for congregational education to prevent bullying, harassment, and related violence in church, school and society.” Synodical organizations are called to partner with other organizations working in this area and to offer presentations at synodical events on this topic, seeking to change bystander behavior into ally behavior and creating partnerships between youth and adults.

Finally, SWO boards were called to convene a committee to review and promote resources on the prevention of human trafficking so that the SWOs can help CUs inform, educate, and mobilize their congregations and communities to prevent human trafficking through prayer, ministry, and political action. SWOs are to report back at the 2016 Conference of Synodical Presidents.

The complete text of all these actions can be found here.