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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Central States Synod

Resolution to The Central States Synod Assembly
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

June 2000

Presented by Gethsemane Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Missouri

Statements viewing access to adequate health care as issues of faith and justice, were issued by assemblies of the Lutheran Church in America in 1978 and the American Lutheran Church in 1982. A 1989 ELCA church wide assembly reaffirmed those decisions: "The positions of the predecessor church bodies in favor of access to quality health care for everyone, regardless of income, urging Congress, and encouraging members and congregations to work toward passage of appropriate national health care legislation."

The 1999 Church-wide Assembly continued its concern for health care by directing the Division for Church in Society to develop a Social Statement on Health and Health Care to be presented at 2003 Church-wide Assembly.

In 1999, ELCA representatives joined with representatives of the 35 member communions of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA to acknowledge that Christians are called to be concerned and take action at this time because,

"Current availability of health care to all people in the United States has been drastically reduced by changes in the private sector organization, financing and delivery of health care..."

"The direct result of these changes is that more than 43 million Americans have no health care insurance coverage.  Perhaps more than 100 million people experience serious barriers to access."

    The 1999 NCCC General Assembly statement went further to:

    "Commend to its member communions a renewed faith community action campaign for comprehensive universal health care with democratic principles to which we have been historically committed, a campaign consisting of public education and action focused at the congregation and community level in cooperation with a larger coalition seeking to put this issue back on the national agenda."

    "The assembly took action to aid a ‘renewed faith community action campaign for comprehensive universal health care’ by joining with the Universal Health Care Action Network and the Gray Panthers to launch U2K, the Universal Health Care 2000 Campaign, whose goal is universal health care that is affordable, accessible, comprehensive, high quality and publicly accountable. The U2K leadership, including clergy from NCCC member communions, offers resources and coordination to aid in congregational education, community cooperation and action to place universal health care on the national agenda."

    The U2K Campaign is a non-partisan educational campaign with non-profit status. The campaign will not endorse a particular universal health care plan nor any candidate for any public office.

    Therefore, be it resolved,

  1. That this Synod Assembly record its support of the1999 resolution of the 35 member communions of the National Council of the Churches of Christ.
  2. That this Synod Assembly record its support and give full cooperation to development of the Social Statement on Health and Health Care directed by the 1999 Church wide Assembly by participating in the public process used in developing such statements.
  3. That this Synod Assembly direct our Central States Synod Council to: Endorse the U2K Campaign as a helpful means to move toward our stated goal of universal health care; request the ELCA Church Council to endorse the U2K Campaign as a way to achieve our ELCA's goals of universal health care; and direct our Division for Church in Society to take part in the U2K Campaign through our Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs. 
  4. That this assembly direct the Central States Synod Council to use appropriate means to alert CCS congregations to these resolutions, urging congregations to study the facts of the current health care crisis in our country, reflect upon Scriptural teachings which call the faithful to ministries of healing and justice, and support efforts to put universal health care on the national legislative agenda in the 2000 electoral campaign.


Faithful Reform in Health Care ~ P.O. Box 6174 ~ Wilson, NC 27894-6174 ~ 1-888-863-8910