Racial Justice and Dismantling White Supremacy
- One Body Many Members: A journey for Christians across race, culture and class: From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America "One Body, Many Members" is a faith-based journey of discovery to learn, share and proclaim God’s intention of oneness among people of every racial, ethnic and class background. How do we find that unity in a world as diverse as ours? How can we build up “one body” as strong as that?
- ELCA Guidelines for Ministry in a Multi-Religious World: As Lutherans in North America, we have a remarkable opportunity to live out our Christian vocation in a multi-religious world. No matter where we live, the realities of religious diversity are not “out there,” but in our daily lives with our families, in our congregations, communities, and at work. Our ministries – whether as pastors, deacons, or lay people – are shaped by the religious diversity in our midst. The brand new “ELCA Guidelines for Ministry in a Multi-Religious World” provide a way for our ministries to also be shaped for our multi-religious context.
- A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to American Indian and Alaska Native People: From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America On Sept. 27, Church Council approved on behalf of the ELCA “A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to American Indian and Alaska Native People.” This declaration addresses Indigenous ELCA communities, Indigenous communities in the U.S., and non-Indigenous ELCA communities.
- Land Acknowledgement Guide: On Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2022, the ELCA published “A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to American Indian and Alaska Native People,” in which the church confesses its sins toward Indigenous peoples and lists the commitments it will begin working toward as it responds to its original “Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery” from 2016. One commitment found in each document is to formally acknowledge the original inhabitants of North America. The declaration states, “We commit to begin the practice of land acknowledgments at all expressions of the church.” Vance Blackfox, Director for Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations with the ELCA, has prepared a guide for those who wish to begin a journey toward truth and healing by practicing land acknowledgments. It includes examples of statements that you can speak at the beginning of every worship service, print at the top of worship bulletins, use to create outdoor signage and more.
- Praying with James Baldwin in an age of #BlackLivesMatter: This project offers 30 days of prayers for an age of #BlackLivesMatter. It looks to author and artist James Baldwin as a guide. Over 30 days we pray with the "Last Words" of those who have been killed by racism and police violence, and we pray for the courage to take "First Steps" to change the world around us. You can download a free PDF of the full project or check daily for prayers.
- Campaign Zero: Campaign Zero encourages policymakers to focus on solutions with the strongest evidence of effectiveness at reducing police violence. Our platform is continuously updated in response to the findings and insights of researchers and organizers nationwide.
- White Homework by Tori Williams Douglas
From activist, Tori Williams Douglas, White Homework offers a three-lesson curriculum discussing various topics, in response to the question white-folx ask themselves: "What can I do about racism?" This curriculum is available online for purchase, as well as a handful of other helpful resources through Tori's Blog.
- Becoming the Body of Christ: Condemning White Supremacy
Over 450 participants joined Bishop Kevin Strickland of the Southeastern Synod - ELCA, and several panelists on Thursday, May 21st, 2020 at 7-8:30pm EDT for a conversation around “Becoming the body of Christ where all bodies are valued: A conversation around the ELCA’s resolution to condemn White Supremacy.” Bishop Strickland was joined by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Other speakers joining our bishops included: Pastor Tiffany Chaney, Pastor Ron Bonner, Ms. Roxann Thompson, Ms. Judith Roberts, Pastor Matt Steinhauer, and more. #ELCATalks on Twitter will reveal more comments made in relation to this recording.
- Troubling the Waters for Healing of the Church
From its beginning in 1988, the ELCA has made a firm commitment to become an increasingly multicultural and an intentionally anti-racist church. Our continual failure to fulfill that commitment raises significant questions regarding the integrity of our witness to God’s love in Christ for the whole creation and causes deep concern for our viability in an increasingly and richly diverse context. Many will be uncomfortable with the phrase “White Christian.” We still prefer to identify ourselves with the culture and country of our immigrant ancestors. Even more disturbing is the word “privilege.” It is far easier for us to identify what we lack than confront the benefits that come to us by virtue of being White. Yet until we, in a spirit of humility and repentance, are willing to explore the power, privilege, and prejudice that belong to us as White Christians, it may be impossible for us to become the multicultural church I believe most of us sincerely desire to be.
- "Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture" - 1993 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America social statement which expresses the church's calling to regard seriously culture and ethnicity, confront racism, to engage in public leadership, witness and deliberation, and to advocate for justice and fairness for all people.
- A list of important resources for understanding and engaging the work of racial justice and reconciliation - by Austin Channing, Multicultural Liaison for Calvin College
- Race Forward and online magazine, Colorlines
- The White Privilege Conference - a conference that examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team-building strategies to work toward a more equitable world
- Showing Up for Racial Justice - SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice
Black Women's Blueprint: Building Power With Black Women & Girls Works to place Black women and girls’ lives, as well as their particular struggles, squarely within the context of the larger racial justice concerns of Black communities. They are committed to building movements where gender matters in broader social justice organizing so that all members of our communities gain social, political, and economic equity. They engage in progressive research, historical documentation, policy advocacy, and organizing steeped in the struggles of Black women within their diverse communities and within the dominant culture.
- For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies: Article by Courtney Ariel, discussing six things white folx can do to be stronger allies
- Lutheran Guide to Advocate for LGBTQIA+ People in Church and Society - This resource is a starting point for you and your Lutheran faith community as it seeks to advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual/aromantic (LGBTQIA+) people in church and society. It is ReconcilingWorks’ hope that tools and answers in this guide will give your community the boldness to proclaim Christ’s gospel of radical inclusion and hospitality to your neighbors, our church, and our world. Christ and Lutherans are called to care for everyone, against discrimination and marginalization, and work for justice.
Equality Federation: Equality Federation is the movement builder and strategic partner to state-based organizations advocating for LGBTQ people. From Equality Florida to Freedom Oklahoma to Basic Rights Oregon, we amplify the power of the state-based LGBTQ movement. We work collaboratively on critical issues—from advancing workplace fairness and family recognition to defeating anti-transgender bathroom bans and HIV criminalization laws—that affect how LGBTQ people experience the world from cradle to grave. Together with our partners, we work on cross-cutting issues impacting our community such as racial equity, reproductive justice, and immigration.
Disability & Neurodiversity
- ELCA Disability Ministry
- People Living with Disabilities: ELCA social message, “People Living with Disabilities,” makes a significant point in identifying an emphasis on people who are living with disabilities, rather than categorizing some people as “handicapped” or “disabled.”
- A Neurodiverse Church: An interview with author Daniel Bowman Jr. - Living Lutheran interview by Cara Strickland on Daniel Bowman Jr. and his book, On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity.
- Autism-Friendly Activity Bags for Church - "For children with autism, the noise and movement of an average worship service can be challenging. For their families, finding a welcoming church home can be just as difficult. This issue inspired two Pennsylvania congregations, St. Mark, Clifton Heights, and Temple, Havertown, to dedicate this past September’s “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday to doing their best to change the status quo." Read more from Living Lutheran's article by Krista Webb.
- Lutheran Introduction to Conversations About HIV/AIDS - Inspired by ReconcilingWorks' engagement at the 21st International AIDS Conference in July, this new conversation resource will help your Reconciling in Christ (RIC) community discern how to be a more hospitable space for those living with HIV and AIDS.
Allies Against Bullying
- Where All Can Safely Live - Revised and Expanded - This anti-bullying curriculum is an introduction to what bullying is, how it functions, and why we as Christians are called to prevent it from happening in our communities. It was developed with the help of the staff at the Pacific Violence Prevention Institute, from the pioneering research on bullying by Dan Olweus, and materials created by the United States government. This curriculum is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to stopping bullying. However, this guide provides a basic understanding of how bullying works and offers suggestions for steps in creating a congregational bullying prevention plan.
- "Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation" - American Psychological Association