In 1999, Rev. John Stumme wrote the ELCA “Message on Suicide Prevention”. The church council approved the Message on November 14th, 1999. The Message ‘urges synods to support members, congregations and affiliated institutions in their efforts to prevent suicide’ and calls upon the church’s educational advocacy programs to make suicide prevention an important concern in their ministries.’
Awarded Wheatridge Suicide Prevention Grant in 2009 for two years to implement suicide prevention programs for teens, survivors of suicide and general information about suicide prevention in Northern Illinois area, ELCA Metropolitan Chicago Synod.
The Lutheran Suicide Prevention Ministry (LSPM) was organized in 2010 as a Georgia non-profit corporation to implement the intent of the ELCA Message on Suicide Prevention approved by the ELCA church council on November 14th, 1999.
In 2010, prepared listing of “21 Practical Faith Community Suicide Prevention Programs” The programs are identified for congregation, synods, and church wide efforts. They are ‘no cost”, “just do it” programs.
The 2011 ELCA church wide assembly approved the following resolution: ‘Resolved, that we call upon all expressions of this church, as appropriate, to seek ways to deal with this issue, consistent with the Message on Suicide Prevention., approved 1999 by the ELCA church council.’
In 2012, produced and currently distributes the educational 6 disk DVD series titled “Telling Secrets: A Path to Abundant Living.” “Grassroots” Lutheran tells how they cope with mental illness, addiction and suicide. It is a powerful resource to reduce the stigma around these silent issues – stigma that prevention people from seeking help and perpetuates the tragedy of these illnesses.”
Published in the fall 2012 issue of the web based journal “Caring Connections” (an Inter-Lutheran journal for practitioners and teachers of pastoral care and counseling,) the article titled “Lutheran Suicide Prevention 2012.
The Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (WELCA) Southeastern Synod, collaborates with the Lutheran SPM by providing exhibit space at their annual conference. WELCA Chapters in local congregations have hosted information meetings to inform members about the Lutheran SPM educational DVD series “Telling Secrets: A Path to Abundant Living.”
The Lutheran SPM has established collaborative working relationships with appropriate church wide office through personal visits and ongoing dialogue for the implementation of the Message on Suicide Prevention.
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod and Northeastern Iowa Synod are supportive of the work of the Lutheran SPM and continue to seek ways to build collaboration.
We’re an Independent Lutheran Organization!
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As an ILO, LSPM was approved by the Church Council of the ELCA in November 2013, and works collaboratively with the Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit of the church-wide organization to implement policies approved by the ELCA. The ILO receives no funding from the ELCA, is staffed by volunteers and funded by voluntary contributions. The ILO’s mission is to activate the ELCA’s social message on Suicide Prevention.