Racial Justice The leadership of Peace Lutheran Church condemns the racism and inequity woven into our justice and economic systems, indeed our whole society. Talking about race, although hard, is necessary and a lifelong journey. To my knowledge Selma was in a far better of a position than Portland financially speaking and so those two are not nearly as comparable as some suggest. To my knowledge no one denies the financial struggle and everyone readily admits the LCMS had supported Selma in some fashion. We will continue to add resources. White North American children begin to report negative explicit attitudes toward people of color as early as age 3 (Baron, 2006). Our Theological Conference, keynoted by  Reesheda Graham-Washington and Shawn Casselberry, the authors of Soul Force: Seven Pivots toward Courage, Community, and Change, made us realize how much work we have to do. This article is by Alex Mlynek published in Today’s Parent. Some were upset that the schools didn’t create larger congregations, and for some, the only reason to educate was to ensure a Lutheran congregation. As Richard Dickinson has so aptly pointed out, closing the day schools means fewer end up at the college, closing the college means fewer end up as church workers or at the seminary. We who have heard his promise, who have been baptized into him, who have tasted and seen that he is good must share the gospel, the forgiveness of sins on account of his life, death, and resurrection. My forebears are forgiven their sins—my contemporaries too, are forgiven their sins—not by me but by the Lord of the Church. This resource page provides you a visual way to explore and download the many types of resources we have available. Dr. Otis Moss III). It is systemic, meaning, there is a historic and present reality faced by black clergy, church workers, and believers where they are not given the same opportunity and support. Those schools were staffed by dedicated and hardworking men and women, both white and black, who taught an unknown number of people the skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic. We know it comes without our prayer but we pray that it would be done among us. But as long as I deny that systemic racism exists, I am complicit. We need to examine our own complicity in systems of racial injustice. Topics include: Historical Context, Systemic Inequality, Anti-Black Violence, Protest, Intersectionality and Allyship and Education. Lesson plans and tool kits on racism all teachers (or parents) can utilize. Change ). 610-314-7747 I sign the petition for the same reason so many go to a March for Life, because taking a stand matters. Not books that reinforce old ideas about who we think we are, what we think America is, what we think racism is. Link: Lutherans For Racial Justice . If the closing of Selma, Portland, and the saving of Ann Arbor have taught us anything, it is that not all institutions are treated the same. Working together throughout the church in public witness, programs and policies that advance racial justice — locally and globally. As such, parents and teachers have an obligation to teach and learn with children about these critical and complex issues (Delpit 2012; Derman-Sparks, LeeKeenan, & Nimmo 2015; Ramsey 2015). If you have not had the opportunity to watch the floor discussion concerning the closure of Selma at the 2019 LCMS Convention I would encourage you to do so. Now leaves His well-belov'd imprisonment, #DearChurchItsTime. No one becomes “not racist,” despite a tendency by Americans to identify themselves that way. Lutherans for Racial Justice”: LCMS Pastor Calls for a New Gospel. Talking to your kids about racism can be tough. *The initial version of this post only mentioned two institutions when in fact there were three: Luther College in New Orleans, LA, Immanuel Lutheran College in Greensboro, NC, and Concordia College in Selma, AL. Amhaud falls to the ground and dies. My point about the institutions in the post was not to suggest that the motives were purely racist but to suggest that a lack of diversity among clergy comes about in part by a lack of institutions. I’ve been educated at LCMS schools at every level except high school. ELCA Reaffirms Commitment to Combat Racism and White Supremacy, ReconcilingWorks Dismantling Injustice Resources, Talking Together as Christians about Tough Social Issues, Learn, Pray, Act: Responding to Racist Violence, 158 Resources To Understand Racism in America, An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism, 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice, 29 Movies, Shows, and Documentaries to Watch to Educate Yourself on Racial Injustice, 31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance, 27 books to help you talk to your kids about racism, Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Familiesl. God does that, through his word, through people, through you and through me. Find many resources here on Racial Justice and Dismantling White Supremacy. Instead, we need to read books that are difficult or unorthodox, that don’t go down easily. Read more below by Bishop Michael Rinehart of ELCA Texas-Louisianna Gulf Coast’s Synod. If you would like to read about our Statement of Commitment to Racial Justice Action you can do so here. We are born in and with pure love. People have asked me why I would sign a petition, they wonder what it will do. Over 450 participants joined Bishop Kevin Strickland of the Southeastern Synod – ELCA, and several panelists on Thursday, May 21st 7-8:30pm EDT for a conversation around “Becoming the body of Christ where all bodies are valued: A conversation around the ELCA’s resolution to condemn White Supremacy.” Bishop Strickland was joined by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. ( Log Out /  It infects the spirit.” (The Rev. It can also help those who have experienced this already to improve their skills and practices. This calling commits the ELCA to confront racism, to engage in public leadership, witness and deliberation on these matters, and to advocate for justice … We highlight the efforts of LCMS pastors, leaders, and laypeople who are making progress in their vocational corners." This article documents how one kindergarten teacher, Diandra Verwayne (the second author), worked with the parents in her classroom to grow together in their understandings of the role we all must play in talking with young children about race and racism. We at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture are here to provide tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation. New York Times – May 27, 2020 – Ibram X. Kendi. His church website states: “he serves as the chair of the Atlantic … In fact the LCMS carried Selma long past it’s viability probably because it was serving a minority community. Urgent Pastoral Care Line: We pray that God’s kingdom would come. Long before the most recent shootings, our anti-racism team had decided we needed be talking about race. Maybe that was just how things were done back then, but it doesn’t make it right. The closing of Selma is not so cut and dry. Racial Justice Action and Advocacy Committee: Looking inward and educating ourselves as well as looking outward and advocating for racial justice outside the walls of ECLC. Log in or sign up to leave a … White faith leaders have the moral imperative to do the work of identifying how we are contributing to structures of systemic and institutional racism, how we benefit from these systems, and how we need to be active in dismantling them. share. Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture expresses the ELCA’s calling to celebrate culture and ethnicity. That would have need to be pitied by thee? Because the sins of the past are alive and well even if they aren’t as visible. The following two paragraph statement was adopted as a resolution by the First English Lutheran … The Black Clergy Caucus of the LCMS has some great material and resources for our pursuit of racial equality, racial justice, reconciliation, and healing. This is a part of our commitment to our Reformation mission in serving our neighbors and to the work of the gospel in this world. Perhaps they shouldn’t be, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to ask why Selma was closed and sold and Ann Arbor wasn’t. To build a nation of equal opportunity for everyone, we need to dismantle this spurious legacy of our common upbringing. ( Log Out /  It is my hope that everyone will find something here that is useful. “Racism is a virus. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Tragically, the larger cause of racial justice was deferred. There He hath made Himself to His…, “In peace, in peace, we pray to you: God of mercy, hold us in love.” Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Additionally, this piece offers curricular and pedagogical resources for adults who are committed to engaging with young children in this crucial work. It may have been what made people in our own pews comfortable, but that doesn’t mean President Behnken was right for saying integration wouldn’t be a good thing. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. “Not being racist” is simply not enough. The original resolution brought forward was more a defense of why it was closed than anything else and I am glad that such a defense was struck from the final form of the resolution that was passed. That is the essence of antiracism: the action that must follow both emotional and intellectual awareness of racism. That reign has not come in its fullness, but the message of God’s yes to the world breaks down all dividing walls as we live into that promise. Books that force us to confront our self-serving beliefs and make us aware that “I’m not racist” is a slogan of denial. Building alliances and strategies across race, ethnicity, class, gender, age and sexual orientation to break through barriers of racism and oppression. Lutherans for Racial Justice”: LCMS Pastor Calls for a New Gospel Posted on July 21, 2020 by Christian News The following is an edited partial transcript of a youtube “sermon” against racial injustice by LCMS pastor Matthew Ryan González of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Bronx, New York, posted on LutheransForRacialJustice.com. Things like the Martin Stephan controversy, the walk out, and yes, the reason for this petition: the systemic racial injustice that is also a part of my beloved synod’s history. I was baptized into Christ on account of an LCMS pastor. The Synod’s Anti-Racism Team (ART) is available to help lead  your congregation understand racism as it exists in individuals, institutions, and societal structures, including our churches, and how to become allies with persons who live with this sin on a daily basis. Yes, we need to examine the systems that are in place that allow injustice to occur. But as “saints and sinners,” we know and experience God’s work of healing and restoring as well as the persistent human pain and injustices of racism in the world. As people of God we are called to dismantle the systems that oppress others – especially our black and brown siblings in this world. Lutherans have long been involved in the fight to protect voting rights in the United States. I’m a son of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Research demonstrates that children’s awareness of racial differences and the impact of racism begins quite early (Tatum 2003; Winkler 2009). We also participate in ushering in his rule and reign, by calling sin sin, by working to dismantle unjust structures, and by seeking to let the gospel, and nothing else, have free reign. Racial Justice Ministries. I will not discount the voices of those who spoke from the floor by a simple appeal to the financial concern. 102 West Rose Tree Road Let’s get to work: As early as 3–6 months of age, babies begin to notice and express preference by race (Bar-Haim, 2006). All of us need to examine the assumptions we’ve been taught, because make no mistake: Hate is taught. Because I am part of a church body whose history I may not be able to atone for, whose future may be in the hands of the Lord, but whose present I care about. Media, PA 19063 Together we are called to work for the future God desires for all of God’s children. Voting Rights and Racial Justice Ensuring our election systems promote dignity and respect for all. The association exists to help dismantle racism, white privilege and white power by: Working together with all of the ELCA ethnic associations. Please contact the office before arrival and for all information regarding our COVID-19 policies and procedures. The LCMS has a pattern of behavior with regard to black institutions that cannot be denied. Retrospectively, one wishes there had been more, not less mercy, in this historical moment. Shaped by their own experiences with issues of race and racism, parents and teachers may hold differing views regarding the appropriateness of teaching about this topic in the early childhood classroom. As we influence children and young people, we need to be listening, learning, acting. A Lutheran for Racial Justice. When black congregations were allowed to join the Missouri Synod as autonomous congregations, the Southeastern District was the first of the southern districts to welcome them in 1950. From Audre Lorde’s groundbreaking essays to Ibram X. Kendi’s guide to being antiracist, these books are a great resource for understanding why people are protesting right now. We believe that Christ’s church is for all people. With His kind mother, who partakes…, "Stars and wise men will travel to prevent If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Email Us. Close. Working for Racial Justice Reform in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I’m proud to share a history with men like Ulysses Blackmon and James Gildersleeve, two of the “Courageous Eight” in Selma who were on the faculty at Alabama Lutheran Academy and College. ET / 10:30 a.m. CT as we dig into a conversation on these important issues with the new collective, Lutherans for Racial justice. This robust list includes articles, books, podcasts, film, movies, TV series, social media accounts to follow, etc. Even as we social distance, there are still ways you can help! Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. ELCA Racial Justice Blog; Racial Justice Resources from the Upstate New York Synod, ELCA "Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture" Social Statement from the ELCA; Twin Cities Lutherans for Racial Justice Facebook Page These articles, videos, podcasts and websites from the Smithsonian chronicle the history of anti-black violence and inequality in the United States. The Racial Justice Ministries of the ELCA serve as catalysts and bridge builders committed to the work of: Our bishops recently affirmed for us, the ELCA is committed to naming and combating the sins of racism and white supremacy in all of its manifestations. Make no mistake, if we won’t commune with someone because of the color of their skin the gospel is not having free reign. 17 days ago. This resource introduces congregations and other church groups (such as synod groups, committees or social ministry organizations) to the art of public conversation about social issues. So are the stories of being brought up in segregated neighborhoods, traveling through the South knowing where you could and couldn’t go. Because the lives of black clergy, church workers, congregants, and people matter. We are a church that belongs to Christ, where there is a place for everyone. The Lutheran Office for World Community (LOWC) is the Lutheran representation to the United Nations.LOWC is a joint ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).The LWF is a global communion of 145 member churches in the Lutheran tradition, representing over 72 million Christians in 98 countries. Working for Racial Justice Reform in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Between the ages of 3 and 5, children begin to apply stereotypes, categorize people by race, and express racial bias (Winkler, 2009). It has the legacy of contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. Racial Equity Tools, a resource designed to help individuals and communities working to achieve racial equity. The synod once had three schools* dedicated to the training of black pastors and church workers, all are now closed. Thought-provoking article from 'The Atlantic' on figuring out how to teach from an anti-racist perspective. It wasn’t until 1961 that the Southern District did the same. Many argue that creating safe spaces for children to explore these topics is more important than ever, given the current political and cultural climate, where these issues are highly visible (Pitts 2016; Harvey 2017; Poon 2017). The Christian response to racism is centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is shaped by clear Biblical principles. I’m answering this question as a white leader speaking to other white faith leaders, as this is the majority of my readership and audience. In this time of national upheaval, outrage, and fear, The Episcopal Church’s Department of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care and the Office of Government Relations have assembled resources to assist individuals, congregations and communities seeking to LEARN, PRAY and ACT. And they discussed how the Christian Church can be actively involved in dismantling racism. Today I want to tell you why. This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. ALL are welcome! This is where God has put us, in the thick of life, where we participate in what God … You are invited to join the Racial Justice Action Group to join in this work together. Sign the pledge to start listening, learning and working to dismantle racial injustices. During his run, two white men follow Ahmaud, confront him with a loaded shotgun, assume he’s a suspected criminal, and within minutes of their encounter–according to the recorded video–three shots are fired. Creating and supporting ecumenical networks that call for and help equip the church to be a multiracial and multicultural community. It is wrong. You would think that someone who has spent the majority of his life within the synod would know the history of the synod. Lutherans For Racial Justice. The sin of racism in our world, especially in our country, is one that must be named as part of the brokenness of our humanity. We learn early the racist notion that white people have more because they are more; that people of color have less because they are less. One of the best ways to do this is by reading books. Faculty, students, and staff at Alabama Lutheran Academy and College, known to me as Concordia Selma, were discouraged and prohibited from participating in Civil Rights activities. Training and education in the areas of anti-racism and racial justice for leaders in partnership with synods, congregations, associations and social service agencies. The stories aren’t mine to tell but I do know that black pastors still face discrimination, they are still not put in positions of leadership to effect change, that education institutions are still closed because of lack of resources, and yes, there are still those today who will not commune with black Lutherans not because of a doctrinal difference but because of the difference in the color of their skin. It’s easy to say I’m not part of the problem – that I’m not racist. "...to pursue the work of racial reconciliation in their churches and communities. There is no question that storytelling for black America is a way of saying I am here and I matter,” she wrote for UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine. But here’s the thing, the history I’m describing, it isn’t just the stuff of sixty years ago. Signing a petition does, however, help call things what they are. We continue to pray for peace, for understanding, for life, and most of all, for God’s justice to come and renew the face of the earth as we do the essential work of eradicating racism from our communities. This is a working document for scaffolding anti-racism resources. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! I’m proud of the students and faculty who ignored that prohibition. Race, Ethnicity and Culture. God commands us to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.” (Micah 6:8) The work of ONAM is about justice. Dr. Otis Moss III’s cinematic sermon entitled, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery.” Immediately following the live video, a panel of four respected thought leaders, racial justice advocates and UCC pastors discussed the impact of historical and present-day acts of racism and violence towards African Americans. Fax: 610-566-7036 Those of us who are non-Black will never fully understand the struggles of our friends of the Black community, but we can educate ourselves so that we can stand with them in their continued fight for equality. The purpose of the ULC Racial Justice Team is to Educate the congregation to recognize racism and racial issues and to Equip, Lead and Support the congregation to be anti-racist agents with the people and institutions of our lives. It’s time to use our voices, be advocates, and serve as allies for change. Bishops’ Statement: ELCA Reaffirms Commitment to Combat Racism and White Supremacy, Responding to Racist Violence: Learn, Pray, Act, 158 Resources to Understand Racism in America, importance of storytelling within the Black community, Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families, Epiphany Read-Along of the Gospel According to Mark. It also includes moments I didn’t learn about until college, seminary, and beyond. The statement is grounded in the conviction that the church has been gathered together in the joyful freedom of the reign of God as announced by and embodied in Jesus. A long list of items you can start doing TODAY! Multiple studies document the ways that young children take notice of racial differences and note that as early as preschool, children may begin excluding their peers of different races from play and other activities (Winkler 2009). Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go, The same Lord who healed those with diseases, who fed those who were hungry, and who ushered in the age to come ahead of time. We all have a duty to remember their names and remember their stories. See the ELCA Racial Justice Resource Page for a complete list.. As church we are called to confess the sin of racism, condemn the ideology of white supremacy, and strive for racial justice and peace. Lutheran Office for World Community. ... Start where you are by joining community organizations working for racial justice. Black clergy and teachers over the years were paid decidedly less, not allowed pension benefits, and were not allowed to make decisions for their own contexts. As we reflect on one of the most tumultuous years in recent history, with movements that brought discussions of race and racism to the forefront, we offer a series focusing on the personal stories of the ways in which Lutherans are striving for racial justice … ( Log Out /  Recounting the stories told by marginalized members of the Black community to get even the smallest glimpse of their historical and present-day struggles is one piece of an infinitely complex puzzle, but it is an imperative one. Kendi sits down with journalist Jemele Hill to explore what an antiracist society might look like, how we can play an active role in building it, and what being an antiracist in your own context might mean. Early childhood educators who wish to make space for learning about race and racism in their classrooms may feel unprepared to approach these complex issues (Vittrup 2016). Limited hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 1 pm. What is the work of the Roseville Lutheran Our Neighbors and Me (ONAM) team? A Service of Prayer and Lament from 2016 and plenty of other resources from the ELCA for fighting racial injustices. The questions surrounding its closure, however, are still open. Yesterday, on Facebook and Twitter, I shared that I signed this petition connected with Lutherans for Racial Justice. Resources, though, were never in great supply. To counter racist socialization and racial bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. To be frank, it is because white Lutherans would not commune with black ones, not because of a doctrinal difference, but because of a difference in skin color. We vow to remember them and to remind others of their impact. New Orleans, Greensboro, and Selma all have similar stories about funding, resources, and priority. Phone: 610-891-0600 Education is a powerful force for social mobility today, that was true back then too. We can blame the lack of resources all we want, but the truth is, many pastors come to the seminary because of a connection to a school, not just because of a connection to a congregation. Developing and sharing educational tools and training models for congregations to use in facing the challenges of racism in a diverse, complex and changing world. This statement was adopted by the 1993 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. I had internalized this worldview by my high school graduation, seeing myself and my race as less than other people and blaming other blacks for racial inequities. The European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice involves European descent members of the ELCA and partners of other ethnicities in being a visible and active anti-racist witness for a multicultural church. This is true also of segregation. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. This is a grassroots coalition of Lutheran Christians. We continue to pray for peace, for understanding, for life, and most of all, for God’s justice to come and renew the face of the earth as we do the essential work of eradicating racism from our communities. Adolescents, when looking at Black people’s faces, show higher levels of activity in the area of the brain known for its fight-flight reactions (Telzer, 2013). Because showing solidarity matters. Here are some books to help get them thinking about it. The active rule and reign of God began in Christ and it reaches its fulfillment in him too. And church workers, congregants, and Culture expresses the ELCA lutherans for racial justice thanks to God the... Account of an LCMS pastor Calls for a new Gospel not discount voices. Have been ordered in an attempt to make them more accessible of Christ invites to! Schools would be done among us not racist, ” despite a tendency by Americans to identify themselves way... 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