In baptism we are called “to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.” Daily we live out our baptismal vocation among people of different religions and worldviews – our family and friends, our co-workers and neighbors.
As church, we have declared that “it is our duty and joy to extend God’s love, grace, mercy, and justice to all those who are made in the image of God and to the whole of creation.” To this end, I commend two new guides to you:
“ELCA Guidelines for Ministry in a Multi-Religious World” provides general guidance for occasions when Christians and people of other religions come together. Included are recommendations for prayer services, crisis and tragedy response, social ministries, pastoral care, weddings and funerals.
“Preaching and Teaching with Love and Respect for the Jewish People” explores challenging topics, lectionary selections, and Bible passages to inform Christian preaching and teaching so that they respect the integrity of the Jewish tradition and avoid anti-Jewish interpretations of New Testament texts.
These and other inter-religious resources seek to guide the whole church in upholding the commitments we have made to love and serve all people and to strive together for justice and peace for the whole of creation.* As we abide in God’s baptismal promises, I pray that we will experience profound joy in the sharing and receiving of God’s good gifts.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
* These new resources build upon our three ELCA inter-religious social policy documents: “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A Policy Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America“ (2019), “A Declaration of the ELCA to the Jewish Community” (1994) and “A Declaration of the ELCA to the Muslim Community” (2022).
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,700 worshipping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. The ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder
Public Relations Manager