WHEREAS, in the Letter to the Hebrews we read, “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.” (10:24);

WHEREAS, in Minnesota in 2019, gun deaths accounted for 355 suicides, 112 homicides, 11 fatal shootings by law enforcement, and three accidents (Protect Minnesota);

WHEREAS, almost 45% of Minnesota households have at least one gun, and the presence of a gun in the home makes it five times more likely that a woman will be murdered by an abusive domestic partner, 22 times more likely to be used to shoot a family member than an intruder, and doubles the risk of homicide and triples the risk of suicide (Protect Minnesota);

WHEREAS, the St. Paul Area Synod has authorized ENGAGE: Lutherans for Gun Violence Prevention as a Public Witness Work Group;

WHEREAS, the Mission of ENGAGE is to: MEDITATE on, EDUCATE about, and ADVOCATE for gun violence prevention in the nonviolent Spirit of Jesus Christ;

WHEREAS, provoking love and good deeds means taking actions in our homes and public places through personal responsibility and public action;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the SPAS-ELCA in Assembly, urge congregations to provoke love and good deeds towards gun violence prevention by scheduling conversations utilizing the resources of ENGAGE, Protect Minnesota, Moms Demand Action, and/or by inviting a guest preacher;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the SPAS-ELCA in Assembly encourage members to attend candidate forums, advocate for gun violence prevention policies, urge support for Universal Background Checks and Red Flag Laws, support safe storage of guns in homes, and vote for candidates who will respect responsible gun ownership and work for reduction in gun violence.

SUBMITTED BY: ENGAGE Leadership Team (Rev. Rolf Olson, Rev. Bob Kriesel, Jay Thacker and Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes)