The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination has issued election-year guidelines for congregations and outlined seven issues, from hunger to health care, that reflect the church’s emphasis on social justice.
The guide, “Called to Be a Public Church,” from the 5-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, suggests ways for churches to participate in the political process without endangering their tax-exempt status.
Unlike the “Faithful Citizenship” guidelines recently issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Lutheran guidelines generally refrain from addressing specific issues such as abortion. Instead, the document highlights broad topics that churches and parishioners could consider.
“This church understands government as a means through which God can work to preserve creation and build a more peaceful and just social order in a sinful world,” Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson writes in introducing the 76-page document.