And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
In 2019, at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members adopted a resolution designating June 17 as a commemoration of the martyrdom of
the Emanuel 9—the nine people shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,
S.C. Congregations of the ELCA are encouraged to mark this day of penitence with study and prayer.
As church we are called to confess the sin of racism, condemn the ideology of white supremacy, and strive for racial justice and peace. Beyond
statements and prayers, we are called to also act and respond to injustices. We invite you to commit to one or more of the actions below:
- Sign the pledge, “I commit to study, prayer and action to become an anti-racist individual in an anti-racist church,” and share your participation on social media using #ELCA4justice.
- Work to dismantle racial injustice by listening to voices, experiences and the expertise of people of color. Learn about the ELCA ethnic-specific associations and their strategies.
- Learn the history of systemic racism in this country and the ways racism and white supremacy impact every aspect of our life together.
- Join, support or attend your synod’s anti-racism team or work with your synod leadership to start one in your congregation. Study the ELCA social statement “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture” and the “Explanation of the Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent.”
- Explore and use on “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday the forthcoming ELCA Advocacy resources on a “Just Society Supporting the Health of All,” which are focused on advancing racially equitable public policies, and by engaging in ELCAvotes to encourage and ensure voting rights for all.
- Start where you are by joining community organizations working for racial justice.
- Reach out to build or deepen relationships with Historic Black Churches. Consider using the congregational resource “Understanding One Another,” co-authored by the ELCA and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, or our Joint Statement of Mission with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church as a way to get started.
- Explore and use the anti-racism resources of our ecumenical partners through the A.C.T. Now to End Racism initiative of the National Council of Churches.
Let our prayers of lament be turned into ongoing actions for racial justice.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton Presiding Bishop
Mr. William B. Horne II Vice President
The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew
Chair, Conference of Bishops