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Help spread the word among your Lutheran friends!
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) will be considering a resolution of support of H.R. 808 at their Churchwide Assembly in August 17 -23 in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Synod is sponsoring the resolution. Eileen Anderson from All Saints Church in Minnetonka would like help getting the word out to other churches and individuals who may be attending the national assembly. Below are the documents they prepared that were approved by the Minneapolis Synod. Would you forward this to any Lutheran activists who could help spread the word. If anyone would like to contact Eileen directly I'd be happy to put you in touch.
Thanks so much,
Mary Jane

ELCA Support for U.S. Department of Peace (Bill HR808)



WHEREAS Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace who calls us to love our neighbors and to be at peace with one another; and



WHEREAS citizens of the United States and people around the globe desire nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution so that God’s children live in peace; and



WHEREAS we applaud and seek to augment the marvelous work the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) does to promote peace in our world; and



WHEREAS the churchwide Assembly of the ELCA on August 20, 1995 adopted FOR PEACE IN GOD’S WORLD, a social statement on the responsibility of the church to work for peace; and



WHEREAS House Resolution 808 (HR808) would implement action in keeping with the goals stated in FOR PEACE IN GOD’S WORLD by creating a cabinet-level Department of Peace; and



WHEREAS the ELCA’s former Director International Relations and Human Rights, the Rev. Dr. James Vigen, wrote in a letter, dated November 14, 2005, that “The goals of this legislation {HR808} are worthy and well in line with our ELCA Social Statements on seeking peace, and are certainly ones we would support”; therefore be it



RESOLVED that the Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly memorialize the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to endorse HR808 by calling on the Unit for Church in Society to notify its co-workers in the nationwide network of state public policy advocacy offices, and the Members of the United States House of Representatives, of this church’s support for HR808; and be it finally



RESOLVED that the Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly memorialize the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to call for the Communication Services unit to provide ELCA congregation members and staff with information about HR808 through all appropriate media including, but not limited to, The Lutheran magazine and the ELCA website.



Author: Eileen Anderson, All Saints Lutheran Church, All Saints Advocates for Peace,

952-934-6260 Email: [email protected]

Contact: Beth Young, All Saints Lutheran Church, All Saints Advocates for Peace,

952-937-8870 Email: [email protected]



BACKGROUND INFORMATION



For more information on the Alliance for Peace and the nationwide call for a Department of Peace, go to www.thepeacealliance.org

Proposed Federal Legislation to Establish a U.S. Department of Peace
Summary



· The primary function of a Department of Peace and Nonviolence is to educate, research, facilitate, and articulate nonviolent solutions to resolve domestic and international conflicts.

· Introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives during the 107th, 108th, 109th, 110th, and now 111th Congress on February 3, 2009. The Bill is number HR 808.

· Minnesota Co-Sponsors: Rep. Ellison, Keith [MN-05-D], Rep. McCollum, Betty [MN-04-D], Rep. Oberstar, James L. [MN-08-D]. There are 69 Co-Sponsors of the Bill as of April 2009.


The Need:

· Reduce domestic violence (intense financial pressure on city, county, and state government budgets)
· Reduce international violence (nuclear proliferation creates critical need for the interruption of current cycles of violence)
· Gather and coordinate information and recommendations from America’s peace community
· Teach violence prevention and mediation to America’s school children
· Effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology
· Rehabilitate the prison population
· Build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad
· Support our military with complementary approaches to ending violence


What a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence will do:

· Appoint a Secretary of Peace who will lead the new Department and advise the president on peace-building needs, strategies, and tactics for use domestically and internationally
· Create and administer a Peace Academy, a sister organization to our military service academies which will build a world-class faculty of peace-building experts
· Fund the creation and expansion of proven domestic peace-building programs in our communities, such as mediation trainings for police, firefighters, and other emergency services personnel; alternative dispute resolution techniques, peer mediation and nonviolent communication programs in public schools.
· Provide ways to meaningfully prevent conditions of conflict before violence erupts
· Become the institutional platform necessary to successfully apply American genius to dramatically alleviate our national and global epidemic of violence
· Be funded by a budget equal to 2% of the defense budget.


Growing Support in the US:

· Grassroots efforts support the Department of Peace legislation. Activist groups exist in all 50 states and over 280 Congressional Districts!
· Governing bodies across the U.S. are acknowledging the practical impact a Department of Peace will have at reducing violence in our nation and abroad. 38 bodies have endorsed so far representing a collective population of over 13 million people, including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, L.A., San Francisco, Lansing, and Minneapolis city councils.
· Major organizations endorse a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence:
All Saints Lutheran Church Council, ELCA ’07, ’08, ‘09 Veterans for Peace
Western Parks and Lakes Conference Assembly, ELCA 2008 Pax Christie, USA
American Psychiatric Nurses Association Amnesty International
Sept. 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows American Muslim Voices
N.O.W.- National Organization for Women Fellowship of Reconciliation
Buddhist Peace Fellowship Physicians for Social Responsibility
And MORE.


Growing Vision Worldwide:

· The following countries and regions are involved in the Global Alliance working for Peace Departments: Japan, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Asia, U.S., Africa, and Costa Rica. Nepal and Solomon Islands already have Peace Departments in place.

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Cool Mary Jane! I shared this with my Facebook friends, too.
Mary Jane, FY,I I did send about 8 letters to different Lutheran churches in our state of New Hampshire. Don't know if anyone was to be represented at the convention, but thought, in the least it would up the consciousness on the matter. Will you send out an update, if you indeed do learn how the Bill was received? Thanks, jaNH

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