Category: anti-racism

April 30, 2021

Racism Breaks God’s Heart

The Rev. Violet Cucciniello Little, pastor of The Welcome Church in Philadelphia, shares her thoughts with us. Not long ago I posted a prayer on Facebook that was written by a group known as @Brickhouseinthecity. I was looking for something to give me the words for what I was feeling after seeing the news clip...

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March 31, 2021

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

I just finished reading Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.  I would recommend this book as a must-read for those who want to expand their understanding about the pervasive sin of racism in America. She is brilliant and has opened up yet another reality for me.  From the book jacket: “Beautifully written,...

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March 30, 2021

Writing Contest: Addressing US History of Racial Injustice

This year marks the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, which took place on May 31 to June 1, 1921. Mobs of white residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, OK. It has been called “the single worst incident of...

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March 17, 2021

Carrying the Cross

Lutherans are the least racially diverse denomination in America.  This is not an accusation, but a fact.  There are some legitimate historical reasons for that reality.  Our denomination was historically established as an immigrant church. When our congregations were created they preserved, not only the theology, but also the culture of “the old country.” Many...

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March 17, 2021

Join in Lament Against Anti-Asian Violence

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod sends its prayers to all who are affected by last night’s heinous shootings in Dallas, and with our Asian and Pacific Islander sisters and brothers who face an increasing number of violent attacks. Join Day of Lament Against Anti-Asian Violence The Asian and Pacific Islander Association of the ELCA recently issued...

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March 8, 2021

Why Anti-Racism?

By Janet Bischoff SEPA Anti-Racism Team We Americans like to think positively, to look on the bright side of things, build the future. In our optimistic efforts to forge ahead, could it be that we have forgotten, maybe even deliberately erased, large chunks of history from our collective memory? William Faulkner famously said that “The...

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March 1, 2021

Anti-Racism Resources

SEPA Synod members participated in a four-week discussion of Debbie Irving’s book “Waking Up White.”  In it, she shares the experiences that led her to a greater awareness of the role of race and the impact of racism.  An appendix to the book provides a list of suggested resources that readers can access to go...

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February 24, 2021

From The Anti-Racism Team: Waiting

A child stays up to watch the late night news. She waits. Yes! They’re showing the lion dance. Firecrackers are set off. Drums and cymbals break out in joyful rhythms. The world knows it’s Chinese (lunar) New Year. She is happy.  She can now go to sleep. — A woman was doused with an acid-like...

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February 16, 2021

An Awakening

I have participated in numerous anti-racism training events over the years, sponsored by either the synod or the churchwide organization. (For those events, I express a profound feeling of gratitude.) But I did not fully comprehend the reality of “white privilege” until I had an unexpected conversation with a fellow pastoral care resident at the...

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February 10, 2021

Historically significant Black lives that matter: A Lutheran legacy

Care for and by children of God in Black skin has a long history in the Lutheran church, despite the impression one might have of the ELCA as currently a predominantly “white” denomination. The Rev. Richard Stewart, associate professor emeritus of communications and parish administration at ULS, gives a glimpse of significant early Black Lutheran...

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February 5, 2021

No White Guilt

On a local community website, I read a post that said signs have been popping up in my community that say “No White Guilt”.  A lively discussion followed in replies to the post.  My mostly white neighbors had varied reactions, and some of them were apparently too much for the moderator of the site, because...

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January 29, 2021

The Response to Violence and Hate is Beloved Community

A message from our Synod Secretary, the Rev. Karl M. Richard: Grace and peace from Jesus Christ, the redeemer of the world. I was horrified by the events that took place in Washington DC on January 6th when armed rioters stormed the capitol building in an attempt to overturn the election.  It made me ask,...

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January 18, 2021

Seeking Unity and Justice

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18- 25) whose cry for unity is “That they all may be one” John 17:21 and whose theme this year is: “Abide in my love…you shall bear much fruit.”, begins this week. We also celebrate on Monday, January 18th the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his...

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January 18, 2021

Bishop Davenport Offers Prayer for Our Nation

Greetings Beloved, As we prepare in our nation’s capital for the historic inauguration of Joe Biden, as our 46th president, and Kamala Harris as our first African America-South Asian American woman, vice president, we must not forget the fury, violence and vitriol unleased in our capitol on January 6th, for many it was truly an...

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January 15, 2021

Bishop Eaton Offers Prayer for Our Nation

As we reflect on the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and look toward the inauguration, and share concern about possible violence at our state and national capitols, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton offers the following prayer: The psalmist reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm...

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June 30, 2020

Statement on Race, Racism, and Black Lives Matter from The United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) Alumni Association (TULSAA) Board

No thoughtful citizen of this country can look at the violence and systemic racism under which Black Americans live and fail to be outraged. The brutal deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others call us all—both as Americans and as Christians—to stand in solidarity with those who have been denied justice...

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June 9, 2020

Deans Express Concerns About Racial Injustice

The committee of Deans of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod express their deep concern for the ongoing racism and racial injustice that is deeply embedded in the fabric of our society.  We have chosen to respond with words of Holy Scripture, knowing and trusting that God’s Word brings both comfort and challenge.   Pastor Erika Wesch,...

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June 9, 2020

Bishop’s Letter on Black Lives Matter Protests

Dear Beloved, The question has been posed, “Is the bishop going to respond to the horrific death of Mr. George Floyd?”  “What is the bishop’s response to the protesting, the rioting and looting throughout the city of Philadelphia?” I do have a response, and it is not unlike that of Rachel: “A voice is heard...

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June 5, 2020

Church must combat racism at the grassroots

The riots and protests in the United States, following the killing of a black man by a police officer, are an opportunity for people of faith to “live what we profess, to stand behind our statements and to walk according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Many pastors and deacons are “on the front line”...

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June 5, 2020

‘We Are A Nation In Distress’

  June 5, 2020   “Out of my distress I called on the Lord” (Psalm 118:5). We are a nation in distress. We are a church in distress. The coronavirus has killed 103,000 of us. The virus of racism has taken hundreds of thousands more throughout our history. Now these two deadly viruses converge. Under...

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