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Organization: St. John's Lutheran Church (ELCA), Northfield, MN  55057
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Postal address of organization/institution

500 West Third Street
Northfield, MN 55057

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

507 645 4429

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

Lutheran Peace Fellowship
Lutheran Human Relations Association
Bread for the World
worldwide & local programs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
Northfield Community Action Center
(Peace & Justice Group:  Northfielders for Peace and Goodwill,  other local peace groups)

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

The Peace and Justice Group had articles in the church newsletter each month  and had 8 monthly meetings each year  plus a number of Sunday Forums focusing on local and international issues:  Health care programs, ethics for distributing scarce resources in a pandemic,  ways of eliminating poverty in MN by 2015,  programs working to eliminate violence against children  and women (with support for a safe house),  promoted nonviolence through study of MLKing's work and a workshop onsite, support work for justice and nonviolence in Colombia including accompanying threatened Colombians, organized vigils in support of those dealing with mental illness, participated in all community celebrations of the International Day of Peace and Justice Fair (hosting the 2009 event), celebrated the 60th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (with events, articles in the city newspaper, bulletin boards), programs & discussion on the consequences of budget cuts on our court system, an annual Day of Fasting & Prayers for Peace, advocacy action through Bread for the World, visits and letters to elected representatives. All events were open to everyone.  Members of the congregation also participated in commnity programs: serving at the weekly commnity free dinner Thursday's Table, Meals on Wheels, CROP Walk, tutoring in schools, preparing school bags, layettes, quilts, and other items needed by many.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

There has been an increased awareness of the  many ways to work for peace.   The Church Council developed  a list of "Values for Dialog in a Safe Environment"  which has been useful in many situations.  This autumn we had an important discussion on the guidelines the ELCA has accepted that  congregations may follow in calling  homosexual clergy.    Contrasting points of view were expressed and received with respect.

Following the values on the list develops a pattern of respect that is essential in a culture of peace.   There will be further opportunities for using this resource and increasing its effectiveness.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

The biggest obstacle is indifference or lack of interest among some members and our larger audience.     There is still some shyness about speaking out on difficult topics.      We would like to see a greater awareness of the opportunities and the critical need  to advance a culture of peace.        Lack of financial resources curtails some  educational programs:  nonviolence training, for example.   Busy schedules also affect the amount of participation at times.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

As a congregation we will coninue to respond to the needs within our group,  our community  and the world,  reaching out through programs generated locally and through  national and international  groups.    While we do not endorse political parties or individuals,  we will continue to educate ourselves and others about the ways peace and justice can be promoted in all areas of our lives.    Education and advocacy are our strengths.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

Leadership from every group and on every level is needed.  
Learning the power of nonviolence  would help many in power to see more clearly the disadvantages of war and violence.     The strength of spiritual teaching is important both in developing a culture of peace and in maintaining it.  From spiritual traditions we also learn the broader cultural concept of 'peace'  which must become embedded in the decisions made by world governments.
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Organization: St. John's Lutheran Church (ELCA), Northfield, MN  55057

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