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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

Overcoming Violence

1. How can our faith in Jesus Christ help us to respond to horrendous acts of violence?

Moves us to:

  • put our life in God
  • pray for enemies, victims and those in authority — there will be wars and rumours of wars, fear not, let not your heart be troubled
  • Jesus who identified with the oppressed
  • hope in Jesus Christ
  • give hope and strength that we can find peace
  • the commandments

Moves us to love

  • love one another
  • do not pay back evil for evil
  • try to keep from being desensitized
  • emphasize the love for our fellow beings
  • be caring and kind
  • accept that sinners live among us and are part of us
  • realize there are two or more sides to every story

Moves us to action

  • forgiveness for self and others
  • victim and guilty person should be brought together
  • support help agencies, women's shelters, etc.
  • help victims
  • speak out about violence and war being unacceptable
  • Canada be Peace Keepers
  • allow oppressed people into our country and support them
  • change attitudes
  • lobby government agencies to improve their way of dealing with programs that inflict hardship on minority groups, individuals or other nations
  • work/advocate for just social systems
  • letter writing through Amnesty International
  • withdraw support from companies who by their policies, cause harm

2. How can memories be healed and cycles of violence be overcome?

Action

  • break silence so others feel free
  • provide tangible support
  • identify church as "safe" place
  • repent

Being Involved

  • do not respond to violence with violence
  • get involved with abuser and abused
  • Christian professional counselling
  • vigilance by a community
  • hands-on assistance of Christian workers
  • create positive memories
  • work to change the roots of violence

Modeling Christian Behaviour

  • share our abundance
  • forgive
  • dialogue
  • be a listening ear
  • pay back evil with blessings
  • face problems/confrontation
  • prayer
  • education
  • by sharing hurts
  • love our enemy
  • change attitudes
  • welcome people into our churches
  • offer hand in friendship
  • be non-judgmental
  • tell our stories
  • share our faith
  • time and patience

3. How can our church advocate with others, especially through the World Council of Churches' Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010), for the sake of justice, peace and reconciliation?

Support

  • generous donations
  • volunteer support

Education

  • learn to understand our differences
  • address issues that have contributed to the subservient role of women
  • ongoing discussion at the local level feeding thoughts up to WCC
  • WCC should be a liaison with UN to present issues that need to be stopped in areas of the world

Advocacy

  • more pressure on politicians
  • address violence on TV
  • zero tolerance re violence in schools
  • help refugees
  • promote justice, peace, reconciliation in homes and communities
  • mission work
  • parish Social Workers
  • march for Peace and other peaceful protests
  • better TV programs, videos, movies, music
  • governments should deal with homelessness
  • support CLWR
  • remain a member of LWF and the World Council of Churches
  • professional

Christian Living

  • model peace
  • living examples of love
  • prayer
  • forgiveness
  • foster ecumenism
  • love
  • treat people with respect
  • Christian churches need solidarity
  • get to know others of different races and creeds
  • through youth groups working together
  • show leadership in our own communities

Bishop Ray asks:

As Lutherans in Canada prepare for the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Winnipeg, in what ways is violence an issue in your community? How is your congregation addressing violence?

Violence in community

  • family abuse/violence
  • shoplifting
  • not an issue
  • homeless
  • poverty
  • mass murder
  • child neglect
  • break and enters
  • home invasion violence
  • youth violence
  • war in Iraq
  • property damage
  • bullying
  • road rage
  • assaults
  • robbery

Congregation addressing violence

  • educate ourselves
  • be involved
  • group called "Changing Ways" aimed at family abuse
  • support battered women's shelter and a facility for troubled youth
  • support of MESH, GHDA
  • support community programs, soup kitchens
  • prayer
  • provide a youth centre and activities
  • * VBS in community
  • school programs against violence
  • congregation should speak to agencies about the need for more assistance and grass roots assistance
  • peace vigils
  • provide access to building for programs
  • not sure our congregation is doing anything
  • worship regularly

 

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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