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Lutheran World Federation Tenth Assembly

logo links to the ELCIC Hosts LWF home page

July 21 - 31, 2003
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

Justice and Healing in Families

1. What are the most important qualities or features of family for you?

  • unconditional love
  • dependability/trust
  • togetherness
  • sense of belonging
  • support and encouragement
  • passing on traditions
  • teaching
  • nurturing
  • conflict resolution place
  • values making and sharing
  • spiritual formation
  • respect /harmony
  • acceptance
  • listening to each other
  • patience
  • tolerance
  • forgiveness
  • empathy/compassion
  • sharing
  • communication
  • parental example, guidance
  • cooperation
  • discipline
  • safety/protection/security
  • provision of basic needs, shelter, food, etc
  • a haven from the ravages of the world
  • do not have to be biologically related

2. How do we minister to families when they become places of injustice and pain?


  • grief support and education
  • pastoral counselling and referrals
  • Bible studies
  • become aware of and seek education about situations and resources

Support outside the Church

  • open the church to organizations
  • CLWR for victims assistance
  • financial support for local agencies

Living as examples

  • be compassionate
  • non-judgmental
  • pray
  • respect them and their needs
  • offer help — listen, support, being there
  • act as a liaison
  • be a safe haven/extended family
  • forgive
  • encourage participation in activities outside the home
  • accept separated, divorced and single parents within the congregation

3. Policies are needed for the sake of greater justice for families. For what kinds of policies should the ELCIC be advocating?

Within the church

  • greater flexibility in accepting what constitutes a family unit
  • fairer treatment for those who differ from us
  • focus on church support of a Christian family
  • church may enter homes, intercede and provide intervention and physical help
  • National Church should have policies in place about issues like ethical investing, not supporting advertising or media campaigns that promote or condone violence.

Societal Policies

  • much more interest needs to be shown by church, members, boards, etc., in our legal system
  • adequate and affordable day care
  • no penalties for those on social assistance who are willing to work to increase their quality of life
  • higher minimum wage
  • affordable housing
  • breakfasts for students
  • affordable legal aid
  • shelters for battered women and children
  • policies that make resources available and accessible
  • adequate subsidies
  • policies to make it easier to allow one parent to stay home to nurture their own children

Counseling and Support Groups

  • school counselors needed at all levels
  • parent support groups
  • confidentiality
  • Christian counseling centres
  • many Pastors are not effective, trained counselors. Some do not wish to be involved.
  • Pastors should shepherd their sheep to the appropriate personnel or agency which reflects Christian values

Extra Note:

  • The church needs to communicate its policies and what it doing to advocate for families.
  • National church needs to take a public, vocal stand against violence in the media and on computers
  • We all need to speak out when Christian values are threatened knowing what our church policies are.

Bishop Ray asks:

As Lutherans in Canada prepare for the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Winnipeg, in what ways can the church insure greater support and justice for families?


  • more information and education needs to be shared with congregational members
  • study and action groups
  • education for politicians to make them more approachable and cut through red tape
  • education about today's issues
  • teach what our values are and how we can make them known

Resources to tap

  • parish nurse
  • family/marriage counseling


  • family events
  • invite families to Sunday School, church services, events
  • sponsor children to summer camp
  • provide baby sitting for events for parents
  • soup kitchens
  • support with finances
  • get rid of child poverty
  • stand behind your principles ie funds from gambling
  • vocalize your support of petitions demonstrating the dangers of pornography/child prostitution

Attitudes and behaviour

  • be kind and friendly
  • be a Good Samaritan
  • rid ourselves of prejudice
  • accept "families" in whatever shape or form they take
  • reaching out and following through
  • pray
  • spiritual healing
  • school education should be encouraged


In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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