The following resources from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may be helpful as we prepare for another election year. These non-partisan resources can be used by individuals, small groups, and in adult education offerings. They will be important both before and after the November elections as a way to encourage conversation and discourse about our call as Christians to be a public church.
- Christian Principles in an Election Year (link to pdf below) is a two-page reproducible resource from the National Council of Churches. It offers ten principles for public discourse and a group study guide ideal for discussion and conversation.
- An ELCA Voting and Civic Participation Guide, “Called to Be a Public Church” (link to pdf below) is a useful tool for congregations wishing to wrestle with faithful responses to difficult issues. It includes issue briefs intended for conversation, bible study, reflection on Lutheran theology and more.
- Other advocacy resources for getting involved in the political process are available at Advocacy Resources and the ELCA Legislative Action Center.
- Eugene Peterson’s Where Your Treasure Is: Psalms that Summon You from Self to Community focuses on eleven Psalms inviting Christians to prayer and action in response to the politics of our time. (An introduction and study guide—pdf developed by Pr. Deanna Wildermuth, Holy Trinity, Mercer Island, WA is also available.)
- Cynthia Moe-Lobeda’s Public Church: For the Life of the World (from AFP’s Lutheran Voices) is an excellent introduction to a Lutheran understanding of civic responsibility. Five short chapters with questions for discussion.
- Join an online advocacy community such as Faithful America.
- Called to be Political (link to pdf below) is a two-hour program offering a fascinating glimpse into the teachings of Martin Luther on the role of Christians in politics. Topics include what the Bible says about faith, politics, and hope, what Luther said, and being God’s partners for justice.
- The October 2012 issue of The Lutheran features an article about congregational preparation for an election year. (Note: when this resource was posted, the October issue has yet to be posted, check back soon.)
Julie K. Aegeson, coordinator of the ELCA Resource Centers and Director of the Eastern North Dakota Synod Resource Center compiled these resources. Thanks to Sharon Ely Pearson of Building Faith for bringing them to the attention of ECF Vital Practices.