Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The hard but undeniable fact of deeply embedded racism in American society
has come to the fore in painful ways this past year through high-profile
occurrences of racial discrimination, hatred and violence – including
racially motivated killings. As Lutheran Christians, what should be our
response and witness? As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America, how are we called to confront the sin of racism?
We need to talk and we need to listen, but we also need to act. As one
important step in this process, I invite you to join me and William B. Horne II,
an ELCA lay leader and member of the ELCA Church Council, for a live
webcast conversation on the complexity and implications of racism on
Thursday, Aug. 6, at 8 p.m. (CDT).
Through our church’s social statement – “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity,
and Culture” – the ELCA collectively has expressed its calling to confront
racism and advocate for justice and fairness for all people. You can read
this social statement here. In addition, I have made several public statements on behalf of the church recently on this subject. Those statements are available here.
God’s intention for all humanity is that we see the intrinsic worth, dignity
and value of all people. Racism undermines the promise of community and
fractures authentic relationships with one another. As Christians, though, we
live in the conviction that the church has been gathered together in the
joyful freedom of the reign of God announced by and embodied in Jesus. That
reign has not come in its fullness, but the message of God’s “yes” to the
world breaks down all dividing walls as we live into that promise.
I urge you to deepen your involvement in and commitment to this important
work to which we all are called. I believe our live webcast on this topic on Aug. 6 is
one useful way for us to pursue this together, and I hope you will view and
take part in it.
You may read more about this webcast at www.ELCA.org/webcast,
where a link to the live webcast will be embedded. A live stream also will be
available at www.Facebook.com/Lutherans. Twitter hashtag is #ELCAConfrontRacism. If you would like to submit a question to be considered during the live webcast, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name and your congregation’s name, city and state.
Join me for this important conversation.
Your Sister in Christ,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America