World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

LWF 10th Assembly

31 July 2003

Adopted version of message from the Tenth Assembly 

Winnipeg, Canada
21-31 July 2003 

V. REMOVING BARRIERS THAT EXCLUDE

(34) The current pandemic of HIV/AIDS has moved us as churches to confess how we have sinned against those infected and affected by this disease, by stigmatizing and discriminating against them, particularly on the basis of assumptions regarding their sexual practices. We are reminded of God's healing power of inclusion into the community, as well as the many ways that we, as Lutheran Christians, could promote healing through social justice and advocacy. 

(35) We acknowledge the diversity within the communion on matters of human sexuality. At the same time, we believe it is important to enter into dialogue to clarify our understandings and learn from the Scriptures, contemporary knowledge and our different experiences. In approaching such dialogue we seek to preserve the human rights and dignity of all people. 

VI. THE CHURCH'S MINISTRY OF HEALING

46) Therefore, we commit ourselves and call on member churches to:

  • our socio-political and environmental contexts, permeated by concerns such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, violence and destructive lifestyles, 

VII. JUSTICE AND HEALING IN FAMILIES

(48) In a changing world the integrity of family as a place of love, nurture and safety is continually challenged and often broken by violence, disease, the impact of poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, and changing patterns for our life in community. Families in all parts of the world experience massive changes and tensions, especially in times of war, economic upheaval and devastating pandemics such as HIV/AIDS. 

(51) Therefore, we commit ourselves and call on member churches to:

  • further awareness regarding prevention of the HIV/AIDS pandemic through education and information, including speaking-out against harmful, abusive and exploitative sexual practices, treating sexually transmitted diseases, promoting faithfulness in marriage and advocating effective means of prevention (e.g. abstinence, use of condoms, sterilized needles, clean blood supply)