Resolution of the Council of Advent Lutheran Church Supporting
Pastor Ward Misenheimer in
Social Justice Work
WHEREAS Jesus calls us to participate in building God's reign here on earth by struggling for justice and peace and by c,hallenging unjust political and social systems. "Strive first for the reign of God and God's justice." (Matthew 6:33); and
WHEREAS the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELGA) approved a Declaration to People of African Descent on June 27, 2019 that includes an apology for our complicity in slavery, lamenting the white church's perpetuation of racism, and
From the Pastor's Desk
June 4, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As the pastor and spiritual leader of our faith community, I must confess to my Advent brothers and sisters who are black, brown, or contain more pigmentation in their skin than I do, that I am personally sorry that I have not spoken up and spoken out against the horrendous and egregious act that led to the murder of George Floyd on Monday, May 25.
As of the time of writing this letter, 11 days have passed and I have not publicly denounced the actions of Officer Derek Chauvin, who killed Mr. Floyd by keeping his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds (or the three other Minneapolis Police officers who stood by and watched a fellow officer kill another human by asphyxiation.) I cannot imagine the suffering that George Floyd experienced during these last minutes of his life.
Faith and Race Check-In
Advent, along with many other churches, has increased the amount of focus we are giving to issues and events tied to faith and race. We have partnered with a research firm that has designed a (free) survey to help us understand which areas the congregation would most like to see Advent concentrating on. The survey is short and will take less than 10 minutes of your time. Your participation will make sure that the programs we design reflect your areas of concern and interest.
Summarizing our ELCA Social Statement on Race
As Lutherans pondering our role in attaining racial justice, we can find our mission in the ELCA social statement entitled “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture.” A full reading of the 8-page document reveals the word “time” repeatedly. We might conclude that it’s about time we address racial justice! A brief summary follows:
The statement instructs that first we must face God and recognize how scripture supports our oneness. We must enter into a time of confession and a time of commitment. We must recognize this spiritual crisis in all its social, economic, and political dimensions.
From there, the statement moves to facing obstacles. It is a time to confront the sin of racism. We are still in the process of realizing the complexity of the sin, which pervades the entire social system. We must acknowledge that white people have benefited socially, economically, and politically from their privileged position. It is a time to be the church, living our connectedness with each other. We expect our ELCA leadership to guide us in our repentance and to direct us toward meaningful change.
Lastly, the statement speaks of doing justice. Talk, talk, talk is good, but not good enough. It is a time for public leadership, public witness, and public deliberation. We are not to be the faint of heart. The ELCA vows to support legislation that guarantees civil rights for all and grants access to quality education, health care, housing, and employment opportunities. A tall order, but essential!
In conclusion, you may be surprised to learn that this social statement was adopted in 1993, though it resonates as if written in recent months. Most would agree that some progress in addressing racism has been made in these 27 years, but we know there is still a lot of hard work to be done. With the heinous death of George Floyd, the eyes of many holdouts to change have been opened, and compassion has poured forth. Let us capitalize on the momentum and be the legs of the ELCA, helping to accomplish a mission it lifted up a long time ago!
Spiritual Director of Advent, Carol Schierlmann attended the Faith Leaders gathering.
by Walter Brueggemann
Adult Sunday School via Zoom
July 26th - September 20th
Silence is a complex matter. It can refer to awe before unutterable holiness, but it can also refer to the coercion where some voices are silenced in the interest of control by the dominant voices. It is the latter silence that Walter Brueggemann explores, urging us to speak up in situations of injustice.
Interrupting Silence illustrates that the Bible is filled with stories where marginalized people break repressive silence and speak against it. Examining how maintaining silence allows the powerful to keep control, Brueggemann motivates readers to consider situations in their lives where they need to either interrupt silence or be part of the problem, convincing us that God is active and wanting us to act for justice.
For a link to the Adult Sunday School Zoom meeting please login at Member Login, and then go to the Members Dashboard webpage.
NC ELCA RACIAL JUSTICE NETWORK
Beyond statements and prayers, we are called to also act and respond to injustices.
We invite you to 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.
The ELCA Social Statement
Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture expresses the ELCA’s calling to celebrate culture and ethnicity.
Take a stand. Answer the call for equality. Answer the call for civil rights. Join the oldest and boldest civil rights organization in the nation. Join the NAACP
Equal Justice Initiative
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Be the Bridge
"Our vision is that people and organizations are aware and responding to the racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. People are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but are grounded in truth. All are equipped to flourish."
Join the #IAmABridgeBuilder Movement