Category: anti-racism

June 6, 2022

Bishop’s Responses to Concerns in Sierra Pacific Synod

Updated: June 6, 2022 June 6, 2022 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the...

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May 20, 2022

Prayer: Remembering Those Affected by Gun Violence

Updated May 25, 2022 to include the mass murders at a school in Uvalde, Texas. Published May 20, 2022 in response to mass shootings in Buffalo and Laguna Beach. Today we remember those who have died by gun violence, those who have survived gun violence, those who mourn deaths of family and friends by gun...

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May 20, 2022

Pastoral Message on Buffalo Racially-Motivated Killings

“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?” —Jeremiah 8:22 Our hearts grieve for those who have been killed and our souls cry out against more lives lost to the hatred birthed by racism. As we mourn those lives lost...

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May 19, 2022

Heeding God’s Call Statement on Mass Shootings

Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence is a partner in the work of addressing gun violence in our communities: Philadelphia: Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence (Heeding), the statewide faith-based organization devoted to reducing and preventing gun violence called for prayer for all those taken by gun murder in Buffalo and Geneva, for...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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”,...

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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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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...

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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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