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


Linda and I spent a month touring Europe this summer. We anticipated a wave of discomfort because of the global immigration demands for life and safety. We anticipated verbal antagonisms and increased gun visibility by persons and authorities. We anticipated the isolation of Muslim and African peoples from events and sites. Our anticipations were thankfully…


I asked a question on my FACEBOOK page inviting comments about home gun safety. A lawyer did not grow up with guns in the home. She married someone who liked to hunt and thereby provided food for the freezer! He taught their boys how to shoot and be responsible around guns, keeping them from having…


As of the end of May 2019 there have been 148 mass shootings, 149 killed and 585 wounded in the USA. For comparison, in the USA, 2018 brought us 340 mass shootings, 14,751 deaths and 28,188 injured according to Gun Violence Archive. Other Western Developed Nations including New Zealand and Australia do not come close…


Disappointment describes my feelings after the Minnesota Legislature failed to pass two gun bills focused on gun safety: Comprehensive Background Checks and Red Flag (Extreme Risk Protective Orders). Analytics of these bills prove they save lives. See:,, But as the Jewish people say to each other: “Next year in Jerusalem!”, we can…