ENGAGE is a Saint Paul Area Synod public witness committee on gun violence prevention.Peacemakers Matthew 9,5

Our mission is to meditate on, educate about, and advocate for gun violence prevention in the non-violent spirit of Jesus.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

As peacemakers and children of God, the members of ENGAGE commit to:

  • Addressing gun violence and gun safety in a manner consistent with personal and ministry integrity
  • Preaching, teaching, and speaking on matters of gun violence
  • Gathering to pray and plan actions to address gun violence prevention
  • Working with congregations to host respectful, balanced discussions on the topics of gun safety, suicide, personal protection, and the impact of gun violence on communities

Why is the ELCA actively raising awareness on gun violence?

The ELCA has a long history of church-wide resolutions advocating for peace and encouraging church members to counter the reality and fear of violence in their communities. Read more >>

Who is involved with ENGAGE?

In 2015, Saint Paul Area Synod (SPAS) Bishop Patricia Lull requested the formation of a working group to address gun violence in our congregations and communities. Members of ENGAGE include pastors, concerned parents, gun owners, and activists in our community committed to prayerfully and respectfully reducing gun violence. There’s room for you, too. Learn more >>

How can I attend an ENGAGE event?

ENGAGE hosted three congregational gatherings in 2015. The events were well-received and we’re looking forward to working with congregations to host more gatherings in 2016. Learn more >>

How can I stay connected with ENGAGE?

We’re just getting started, but we have big plans. You can read our blog and follow us on our social channels (coming soon!). Read more >>


Contact us

Email Rev. Ron Letnes

Blessings and peace

Latest Blog Posts


NEHEMIAH AND THE NRA are at loggerheads. As the NRA opens the floodgates of gun rights, Nehemiah embraces protection for the common good. Nehemiah writes following the return of the Israelites from Babylon. Jerusalem needed to be rebuilt and a protective wall was required. Why? “Then they said, ‘Let us start building!’ So they committed…

2019 PREP!

2019 PREP! is a reframing of VOTE UP!. The Church’s public witness is guided by the interplay between WORD and WORLD. Each tugs at the other. There are parameters of respect. The challenge is designing ways for common enlightenment. 2019 PREP! is one such way. It is as Bonhoeffer wrote (paraphrase): “We cannot experience the…


ENGAGE is sponsoring an educational advocacy event called VOTE UP!. The purpose is to energize action to address gun violence prevention (GVP). GVP needs laws as well as personal responsibility. VOTE UP! will stress both with the balance weighted on political involvement. Here are the specifics. Hope to see you! VOTE UP! A Time to…


TRAVEL AND GUN DEATHS. Linda and I just returned from a 33 day European holiday. We visited six countries: Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Other than guarding our passports, credit cards and cash, we felt safe from gun violence. Indeed, the only time we saw weapons was in airports, the train…