This moment is ripe for reclaiming the Christian practice of moral deliberation, which is just another way of saying “talking together.” It’s a critical time for us to learn and practice the art of public conversation about social issues. In the ELCA, we have undertaken this deliberative process together many times, both through our bi- and triennial Churchwide Assemblies and the action of our Church Council. Our social context and political system are in dire need of examples of how to undertake respectful, healthy, and holistic conversations about major issues. The church, too, is ever in need of refreshing its own understanding of how to have these discussions in a way that doesn’t divide, but instead builds up, the body of Christ.
When we talk about tough issues together, we grow together through the Spirit’s work in us. This is why a team from the Office of the Bishop and a host of experienced contributors from within the Rocky Mountain Synod are offering a new series to lift up the educational and devotional power of the body of theological teaching in our ELCA Social Statements. In Living Faith: Church in Society will be a revitalized curriculum to offer current and insightful perspective on seven of our Social Statements, with rich resources to help anyone in a ministry setting lead a teaching and discussion series about them.