Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture is the ELCA Social Statement which comes with a Study Guide. The statement offers theological reflection on the church’s commitment to undo racism and move toward reconciliation, healing and embracing all people. Advocacy commitments for the church include:
- The ELCA expects our leadership to name the sin of racism and lead us in
our repentance. In a hostile and divided world, the church must insist on justice, resistcynicism, and refuse to blame victimized people. To pursue justice, the church mustaddress how racism affects society, political decisions and economic forces as well asindividual lives.
Participation in public life is essential to doing justice. The ELCA encourages publicwitness and insists on a public forum accessible to everyone. In living up to itscommitment to deliberation, the ELCA will model honest engagement on issues of race.
The ELCA received from its predecessor church bodies a solid foundation for advocacy. Advocacy will look for change and fair distribution of the social costs of correcting past wrongs. Advocacy will work for respect of cultures and oppose language-based discrimination.
The ELCA will support legislation that guarantees to all individuals equally: civil rights; access to quality education, health care, and nutrition; opportunity for employment with fair compensation; opportunity for business ownership; access to legal, banking, and insurance services; the right to purchase housing in any place; and access to public transportation. The ELCA will advocate for just immigration policies.
The ELCA Social Statement “The Church and Criminal Justice: Hear the Cries” addresses the impacts of mass incarceration on people of color and promotes advocacy actions to address the implicit and explicit racism in the system.
Troubling the Waters for Healing of the Church is a resource that is developed specifically for White congregational members and others to help them understand the role that White privilege and internalized White superiority has had in shaping their own attitudes, belief systems, cultures and those of the church and society at large. This resource has been designed by White people for White people to equip them with tools that will aid them in addressing and breaking the cycle of socialization that perpetuates racism and sustains an exclusive church.
The Journal of Lutheran Ethics has published many articles, book reviews and reflections on race. See a listing.
- “Today’s Dream, Tomorrow’s Reality” on racial justice. Contact your synod WELCA group to locate a copy
- A Bible Study: The Level Playing Field.
The Presbyterian Church has an extensive list of resources for addressing racism.
The following resources were shared by Vicar Carla Christopher at a Lower Susquehanna Synod Anti-Racism and Social Justice Training. Click on the link to access resource.
At the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, the “Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity in the ELCA” was adopted. This strategy includes a commitment to digging deeper into the history and theology that “ground, clarify, and justify our call and continuing commitment to ethnic diversity and inclusion.”
At its June 2019 meeting, the ELCA Church Council adopted a “Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent.”
“Unpacking White Privilege: The Important Work of Making the Church Less Harmful” -Article and study guide published in Living Lutheran, January 2020.