From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Task Force Presents Health Care Statement to ELCA Assembly

Date Wed, 13 Aug 2003 11:28:24 -0500


August 13, 2003

Task Force Presents Health Care Statement to ELCA Assembly

     MILWAUKEE (ELCA) -- The 2003 Churchwide Assembly of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) today was presented
with a proposed social statement on health, healing and health
care for action later this week.
     The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of
the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 11-17 at the Midwest Airlines
Center. There are about 2,500 people participating, including
1,031 ELCA voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is
"Making Christ Known: For the Healing of the World."
     "Too many people today in this society continue to suffer
and die [due to the] lack of adequate care," said the Rev.
Herbert Anderson as he presented the statement to the assembly.
Anderson, Seattle, chairs the 20-member task force that developed
the proposed statement, which was authorized by the 1999 ELCA
Churchwide Assembly.
     Social statements are major documents adopted by the ELCA
Churchwide Assembly that address significant social issues.  If
adopted by this assembly, the health care statement -- "Caring
for Health: Our Shared Endeavor" -- would be the ninth social
statement to be adopted by the ELCA.
     Anderson said that the proposed statement was developed in
response to the health care crisis in the United States and the
Caribbean "that hasn't abated in four years."  He said his task
force addressed four areas:
     + the biblical and theological background;
     + issues of access to health care and equity of health care;
     + the church and its affiliated health care institutions;
     + the role of congregational health ministries.
     "The church cannot solve the health care problem by itself,"
Anderson said, and neither can government nor the free market.
He said the church must partner with other institutions in
society in order to be effective in solving health care problems.
     Participants in a hearing Tuesday morning on the proposed
social statement indicated no opposition to the statement overall
but some did indicate they would offer amendments to portions of
it.  The assembly will take up consideration of the social
statement Aug. 15.
-- -- --
Information about the ELCA Churchwide Assembly can be found at
http://www.elca/org/assembly/03 on the Web.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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