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


The expression is “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” The bi-partisan Conference Committee met yesterday to debate two public health gun safety bills: Comprehensive Background Checks and Red Flag. See earlier blogs for descriptions. After three hours of debate a vote was taken and the bills were defeated. The “other side” prevailed again.…

PSALM 23 Day

Another school shooting. Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In the USA, a school shooting occurs every 12 days. Everytown reports there have been at least 41 incidents of gunfire at schools in 2019. PSALM 23 provides balance for this day. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me;…


The Second Amendment is sacrosanct to gun owners. However, there are caveats. The amendment begins with a focus on “militias.” This sets the context. Why militias? 1) The Southern slave states wanted militias to be able to control the slave population; 2) Since we were a young frontier nation, the government felt the need to…


Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter, falls on 20 April in 2019. Another date of infamy. Hitler’s birthday and the 20th Anniversary of Columbine. Bishop Eaton of the ELCA, describes Holy Saturday thusly: “We are given this holy space to grieve, to be empty, to realize that life as we know it,…