You would think that someone who has spent the majority of his life within the synod would know the history of the synod. We believe black lives matter and we believe saying that statement without action is hollow. 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. 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. *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. By 6 years of age, children demonstrate a pro-white/anti-Black bias (Baron, 2006). Sign the pledge to start listening, learning and working to dismantle racial injustices. 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). How can I help my children’s/family ministry to be anti-racist? 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. Link: Lutherans For Racial Justice . We learn the hate that exists within us. Building alliances and strategies across race, ethnicity, class, gender, age and sexual orientation to break through barriers of racism and oppression. Email Us. Tragically, the larger cause of racial justice was deferred. If you would like to read about our Statement of Commitment to Racial Justice Action you can do so here. And I do know it, only, I don’t know all of it. These resources have been ordered in an attempt to make them more accessible. Failing criminal justice systems that target Black people; education systems that fail to close the achievement gap; a history of redlining neighborhoods to promote segregation. I’ve served as a pastor within this synod for six years now. That would have need to be pitied by thee? Books that force us to confront our self-serving beliefs and make us aware that “I’m not racist” is a slogan of denial. This calling commits the ELCA to confront racism, to engage in public leadership, witness and deliberation on these matters, and to advocate for justice … Instead, we need to read books that are difficult or unorthodox, that don’t go down easily. Together we are called to work for the future God desires for all of God’s children. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Lutheran Office for World Community. Anti-Racism confession and reconciliation introduced at 2017 Synod Assembly. 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). We are born in and with pure love. 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. Before we can take action, we need to create the space to listen and learn from Black voices. All of us need to examine the assumptions we’ve been taught, because make no mistake: Hate is taught. I took my confirmation vows, my marriage vows, and my ordination vows all within LCMS congregations. White North American children begin to report negative explicit attitudes toward people of color as early as age 3 (Baron, 2006). Lutherans have long been involved in the fight to protect voting rights in the United States. Thought-provoking article from 'The Atlantic' on figuring out how to teach from an anti-racist perspective. Seest thou, my soul, with th…, "Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb, Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go, This article is by Alex Mlynek published in Today’s Parent. Read more below by Bishop Michael Rinehart of ELCA Texas-Louisianna Gulf Coast’s Synod. 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. To counter racist socialization and racial bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Amhaud falls to the ground and dies. Even as we social distance, there are still ways you can help! Adults often worry that introducing these topics too early could be harmful (Husband 2010). LCMS Lutheran. Below are resources meant to help us become educated on the issues of racial injustice and learn ways that we can be allies working to break down the things that divide us and oppress others. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Click here to check out the many ways we can serve our neighbors during this time. Every donation goes directly to the Black Clergy Caucus of the LCMS to be used as a seed money to jumpstart The Institute. Working together throughout the church in public witness, programs and policies that advance racial justice — locally and globally. The Black Clergy Caucus of the LCMS has some great material and resources for our pursuit of racial equality, racial justice, reconciliation, and healing. Working for Racial Justice as a White Teacher – Robert Roth on an anti-racist approach to high-school history, Reformation Lutheran Church Resources, though, were never in great supply. 8. We are a church that belongs to Christ, where there is a place for everyone. Today’s question: How can I help children’s/family ministry to be anti-racist? 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. 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. On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, left home and went for a jog. ( Log Out /  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. 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. Please contact the office before arrival and for all information regarding our COVID-19 policies and procedures. Education is a powerful force for social mobility today, that was true back then too. Lutherans for Racial Justice”: LCMS Pastor Calls for a New Gospel. Working for Racial Justice Reform in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I sign the petition for the same reason so many go to a March for Life, because taking a stand matters. ... the ELCA gives thanks to God for the ministry of women. But here’s the thing, the history I’m describing, it isn’t just the stuff of sixty years ago. Closing of Selma had nothing rondo with racism. Now leaves His well-belov'd imprisonment, We have to take a minute and ask ourselves why black congregations exist within the synod at all. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations, and can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression. What is the work of the Roseville Lutheran Our Neighbors and Me (ONAM) team? 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. 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 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. Lutherans for Racial Justice started this petition to The Members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) presides over 6,000 congregations with more than 2 million members, 778 elementary schools, 84 high schools, 8 colleges and 2 seminaries -- not to mention its many educational, missional and service efforts around the world. 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. 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. Urgent Pastoral Care Line: Long before the most recent shootings, our anti-racism team had decided we needed be talking about race. As we work on becoming anti-racist ourselves, we’ll be able to help teach and form the young people in our care. The questions surrounding its closure, however, are still open. New Orleans, Greensboro, and Selma all have similar stories about funding, resources, and priority. ( Log Out /  Make no mistake, if we won’t commune with someone because of the color of their skin the gospel is not having free reign. 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. 28 comments. In fact the LCMS carried Selma long past it’s viability probably because it was serving a minority community. So are the stories of being brought up in segregated neighborhoods, traveling through the South knowing where you could and couldn’t go. God does that, through his word, through people, through you and through me. 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. 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. 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. Because showing solidarity matters. 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. 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. Log in or sign up to leave a … I’m proud of the students and faculty who ignored that prohibition. 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. Close. "...to pursue the work of racial reconciliation in their churches and communities. 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. To build a nation of equal opportunity for everyone, we need to dismantle this spurious legacy of our common upbringing. We know that his kingdom comes when we hear his word and lead godly lives here and in eternity. Storytelling has played a crucial role in Black American history. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Andrea Collier, a Black author and multimedia journalist from Lansing, Michigan, spoke recently on the importance of storytelling within the Black community. It’s easy to point fingers at a criminal justice system that has certainly failed, but each of us has a part to play in ending racism. When the synodical conference began the work of reaching out to black people in the south after the Civil War, it did so by doing what the LCMS does better than anyone else, it planted schools. Talking about race, although hard, is necessary and a lifelong journey. With His kind mother, who partakes…, "Stars and wise men will travel to prevent 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. #DearChurchItsTime. It has the legacy of contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. We believe that Christ’s church is for all people. ( Log Out /  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 has names of my fathers and mothers in the faith, names like Martin Franzmann, CFW Walther, and Rosa Young. 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. 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. save hide report. 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. A Lutheran for Racial Justice. My forebears are forgiven their sins—my contemporaries too, are forgiven their sins—not by me but by the Lord of the Church. 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. We will continue to add resources. The interviews conducted after the closing of Selma that are cataloged at https://www.storiesfromselma.com are helpful in understanding the pain and frustration. 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. “The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it — and then dismantle it,” writes professor Ibram X. Kendi. This calling commits the ELCA to confront racism, to engage in public leadership, witness and deliberation on these matters, and to advocate for justice and fairness for all people. 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.