Public Witness

Public Witness in the ELCA

In their social statement on Church in Society, the ELCA sets forth the precedent that “Faithful participation in society is integral and vital to the mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” The ELCA is made up of many committees working boldly and providing public witness in some of the most challenging aspects of community, including advocacy, corporate social responsibility, racial justice, science and ethics, peacemaking, justice for women, social issues, and community organizing. Learn more about the ELCA as a publicly engaged church.

Public Witness in Our Synod

The Bishop’s Committee for Public Witness consists of work groups with a mission to provide witness to the synod’s Statement of Purpose. The work groups receive support of synod staff as they address issues specific to their mission. Currently, these work groups include: Advocates for Racial Equity (ARE), Cherish All Children Ministry Team, Care of Creation, and ENGAGE. If you are interested in forming a public witness work group, contact Bishop Lull at or 651-224-4313.

Advocates for Racial Equity (ARE)

The Saint Paul Area Synod’s anti-racism work is led by the Advocates for Racial Equity (ARE) work group. Its mission is to embolden our public witness by empowering God’s beloved to confront privilege and racism in and through the synod. Primary areas of activity are education, advocacy, and direct actions designed to build relationships and seek public accountability. Click here to learn more about the group, their activities, or review recommended resources.


Care of Creation

The Care of Creation work group believes that we are called to care for God’s creation as a central part of our Christian faith and identity. The group was established in 2018 to:

  • explore life-giving ideas
  • share best practices within our synod, the larger church and the community
  • become part of the public and teaching voice of the church

The Care of Creation team works closely with the EcoFaith Network of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod to encourage and action among ELCA congregations. This collaboration includes the EcoFaith Network website, which contains a variety of resources, as well as a monthly Green Blades Rising newsletter.


Cherish All Children Ministry Team

Cherish All Children seeks to raise healthy generations free from sexual exploitation. The Cherish All Children Ministry Team works to educate and engage congregations in action to prevent child sexual exploitation. The organization offers presentations and training to adult groups, youth groups, and confirmation class-parent groups to educate about the issue of child sexual exploitation, online safety and healthy relationships.

Cherish All Children provides tools to engage congregations in prayer, education and action to keep all children and youth safe:

  • Youth Groups and Confirmation classes: the four-session Safe and Healthy Relationships Youth Guide supports youth in gaining life-long skills in both online and in-person relationships.
  • For adults: My Neighbor Is Not for Sale four-session discussion guide leads adults in key topics to prevent child sexual exploitation combined with a Biblical response.

Learn more at


ENGAGE: Lutherans for Gun Violence Prevention

This synod work group exists to meditate on, educate about, and advocate for gun violence prevention (GVP) in the nonviolent spirit of Jesus Christ. In 2021, gun deaths in Minnesota totaled 571, of which 176 were homicides, 391 suicides, and five undetermined. Nationally, nearly 47,000 died by gun violence. The United States has the highest rate of gun violence (25:1) among western developed nations. Sadly, two shooters, Dylan Klebold (Columbine) and Dylann Roof (Mother Immanuel), were ELCA youth.

ENGAGE seeks to lessen gun violence by:

  • Hosting weekly “Connecting the Dots” sessions on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. when we present timely and relevant GVP issues.
  • Hosting quarterly conversations featuring higher profile persons and issues.
  • Providing a website ( that has commentary and resources for personal and congregational reference.
  • Maintaining a Facebook site: Feel welcome to view and become a “friend” so you can post your reflections. Or, just browse!

People are invited to join the ENGAGE Action Team in which members are informed of timely actions one can choose to respond out of conscience. ENGAGE also provides and leads in-congregation sessions on Sundays and other convenient times using the Table Talk II design as found on the ENGAGE website.