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This church shall develop social statements … that will guide the life of this church as an institution and inform the conscience of its members in the spirit of Christian liberty” (ELCA social statement, “The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective.”) 

ELCA social statements are teaching and policy documents that provide broad frameworks to assist us in thinking about and discussing social issues in the context of faith and life. They are meant to help communities and individuals with moral formation, deliberation and thoughtful engagement with current social issues as we participate in God’s work in the world. Social statements also set policy for the ELCA and guide its advocacy and work as a publically engaged church. They result from an extensive process of participation and deliberation and are adopted by a two-thirds vote of an ELCA Churchwide Assembly. 

The description and procedures for developing and adopting social teaching and policy documents are established by “Policies and Procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for Addressing Social Concerns,” adopted by the 1997 ELCA Churchwide Assembly and revised periodically by the ELCA Church Council. 

- ELCA.org