“Faithful participation in society is integral and vital to the mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” - Social Statement Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective
The ELCA is a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together. As part of this call, we seek the common good for society, provide moral vision and are committed to addressing social and cultural injustices and issues. The ELCA participates in God’s just and loving purpose for all of creation in many different ways, from the daily actions of members as citizens, to efforts in social service, to public witness for justice.
In response to God’s gracious love that seeks justice, the ELCA equips and nurtures us for our callings in the world, fosters social service and ministries of mercy, encourages learning and moral deliberation around social and cultural concerns, enacts social teaching and policy documents, interprets and applies social policy, and partners with agencies, organizations and institutions dedicated to service and justice.
"Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered,
and sent for the sake of the world."
This is the mission statement of the ELCA. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus’ name throughout the world.
Biblical and theological foundation
Members of the ELCA are called and privileged to participate in God's work in the world. God calls and empowers us for mission through baptism. As a community of believers justified by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), we do not describe mission in terms of our own work but with reference to the healing, salvation and restoration that God accomplishes through Christ. We seek the guidance of the Spirit in our planning, while expecting surprising developments and unanticipated opportunities. Grounded in God’s love and forgiveness, we are equipped to live and serve here and now, in the world, with all its complexities, tensions and ambiguities. We have the courage to explore the world as saints and sinners are certain of God's promises and of the confident hope that all God's loving purposes will be fulfilled when our risen Lord Jesus Christ returns (1 John 3:2).
Strategic directions for the ELCA churchwide organization
The ELCA churchwide organization, working collaboratively with congregations, synods, agencies and institutions and other partners will give priority to:
~Accompanying congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission, and
~Building capacity for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace.
To this end, the churchwide organization continues to play a significant and pivotal role in the life of this church by working with its local and global mission partners to build, support and extend the mission of this church