Category: anti-racism

January 21, 2022

Celebrate Diverse Ministries for Black History Month

This is our future church: A ten-year-old preacher and professional artist; a grassroots campaign for affordable housing; young and diverse communities. African Descent Ministries of the ELCA is celebrating Black History Month with Talks at the Desk, a new series that will explore diverse expressions of the church. Join us each Wednesday in February at 7:30 pm...

Read More →

January 14, 2022

Anti-Racism Education for Rostered Ministers

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s Anti-Racism Team has developed a new format for the anti-racism education required for all rostered ministers. The new format consists of: One 90-minute Zoom meeting to introduce the curriculum. The first one for 2022 is planned for Saturday, January 29, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Nine online modules outlining the historical context...

Read More →

January 21, 2022

“A Season of Hope”

If you missed the January 16 worship webcast of our Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Worship Service, you can now view it on video. Members of the Southeast Michigan Synod, ELCA, Acts In Common, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA, and the African Descent Lutheran Association presented this MLK Worship Event, featuring guest preacher...

Read More →

June 2, 2021

Mediator Youth Honored in Tulsa Centennial Writing Contest

Tredon Stevenson, a member of Mediator Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, received second prize in the youth (ages 14-17) division of the ELCA African Descent Lutheran Association’s national writing contest to honor the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre. He is an excellent student and participates in youth programs and choir and is a worship assistant and...

Read More →

May 26, 2021

Time for a Check-up

If you are like me, this year has included hearing about some historical events that were not in the textbooks used in school. Some of this history has been hard to hear, and I can see why people were tempted to leave it out. But in Isabel Wilkerson’s book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents”,...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

April 30, 2021

Resources to Commemorate Emanuel 9

As part of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members adopted a resolution designating June 17 as a commemoration of the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine — the nine people shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Refreshed worship resources for the Commemoration of...

Read More →

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,...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

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...

Read More →

January 29, 2021

The Response to Violence and Hate is “Beloved Community”

A message from Rev. Secretary Karl M. Richard in response to the Capitol riots and the transition of administrations.

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,...

Read More →

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...

Read More →