Called to be Political, a popular resource published by Women of the ELCA, has been updated and refreshed to include the reflections of four Lutheran women who share their thoughts on faith and politics. Additional listings of current voting and advocacy resources within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are included too.
Exploring the Christian call to and responsibility of civic engagement, Called to be Political is ideal for personal reflection and study, drawing on Bible passages and the writings of Martin Luther. Called to be Political can easily be adapted for group use and is perfect for a virtual conversation in the days leading up to the November 3 elections.
Called to be Political is a free PDF download. More than 40 other resources perfect for individual, small group and retreat settings are also available from welca.org. Many of those resources are also available in Spanish.
The original text of Called to be Political was written by the Rev. Thomas Strieter (1933-2014). The updated and refreshed version of the resource includes material from a retired educator, a doctoral student and two seminary professors.
Shirley Paulson is a lifelong grace-not-works Lutheran who came of age in Minnesota during the social gospel era. She holds degrees from Concordia College (Moorhead), the University of Minnesota and the University of Connecticut. She is a retired educator who taught English at both the high school and college levels and served as an elementary school principal, a district supervisor for gifted and talented students and a district director of a college prep program for first-generation college kids for the Green Bay Area Public Schools. She is a former president of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin Women of the ELCA. She enjoys spending time with her two daughters and one amazing grandson.
Elyssa Salinas-Lazarski is a doctoral student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, Illinois) where she is studying theology with a focus on sex and the body. Alongside her academic interests she is a writer, and is published in Cafe(boldcafe.org), We Talk We Listen, The Mudroom, and Naked and Unashamed. Outside of writing, she adores to read murder mysteries, scrapbook and bake. Elyssa lives in Chicago with her husband Derek, daughter Frida, son Cully, and cats Marlowe and Fletcher.
Linda Thomas is Professor of Theology and Anthropology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She holds a B.A. from Western Maryland College, M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, N.Y. and a Ph.D. from American University, Washington D.C. As a constructive theologian and an anthropologist, what excites Dr. Thomas most is learning about religious meaning cross-culturally. She loves learning about the thick layers of significance of people’s faith journeys, which include celebration and struggle in everyday life. Her work at LSTC is a laboratory for creative energy and significant intellectual work. Dr. Thomas deeply and mindfully engages God’s presence in her life and work. She embodies a womanist perspective, which means she is anti-oppressionist, concerned about the vernacular, non-ideological, communitarian and spiritual. The life and ministry of Jesus Christ guides her constructive theology and ethical commitment to vulnerable people created in God’s image across the globe.
Jan Rippentrop Schnell is a homiletician and religious ethicist. Trained as a Lutheran pastor and ethics professor, she teaches in the D. Min. in Preaching Program of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools and adjuncts at Wartburg Theological Seminary (Dubuque, Iowa). She is completing her Ph.D. in ethics at the University of Iowa, where she studies how women community organizers use anger to bring about positive social transformation. Much of her academic writing works against oppression and toward liberation. In her teaching and research, she is committed to interdisciplinarity, theories that have street cred and pedagogies or methodologies that recognize the inherent value and wisdom that each participant brings. A conference speaker and teacher, she delights in God’s spirited movement in the fabric of our daily lives and on the streets of our public spaces. Schnell and her family live on an acreage that is off the grid, where they restore a natural Iowa prairie. They share interest in music, reading, theater, and playing outdoors.