April/May 2023: For Congregational Discussion

[1] As the ELCA urges congregations to host  open discussions on issues such as gun violence prevention, the following discussion guide gives readers a list of questions to discuss as a group after looking together at the “Notes from the Discussion” in this issue.

[2] Considering the nine ideas generated at the Lutheran Ethicists’ Gathering, consider which of these resonate the most with members of the group. Which of these ideas do not resonate as actionable?

[3] When thinking about social problems, what benefits and problems are there in taking an individual approach to the problem and what benefits are there in taking a communitarian approach to the problem?  Which of the underlying problems listed are ones that have social rather than individual solutions? Which require individual solutions?

[4]  What common ground can the group find between those in the group who advocate for gun rights and those in the group who advocate for gun control?

[5]  Which resources do you think are most and least important to consider at this stage?

* testimony given by children, victims, and perpetrators

* empirical data and statistics

* Lutheran theology

* Scripture

* Lutheran social ministry organizations

* social activist groups

[6] Having had this discussion as a group, consider creating an action list for the individuals and the group that details “What should WE do now?”

Jennifer Hockenbery

Jennifer Hockenbery serves as Editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics .  She is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Humanities at St Norbert College. She attends Grace Lutheran Church in Green Bay, WI.