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.


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

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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.

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Book Review

Ibram X. Kendi’s
“How to Be an Antiracist”

by Diane Wassum

“How to be an Anti Racist” opens our eyes to the pervasiveness of racism in every aspect of our daily life. The author, Ibram X. Kendi states, “Some of my most consequential steps toward being an antiracist have been the moments when I arrived at basic definitions.” Kendi defines and demystifies with clarity and simplicity what it means to have racist ideas. He defines racist policies for us and what impact those policies have on society. Kendi takes us through how racism pervades our entire culture, how we unfairly value/devalue human behaviors based on the color of our skin, how we allocate resources unequally based on race. He helps us understand capitalism with racism as a back drop.

Most importantly, Kendi clearly defines for us what anti- racism looks like in behavior and in policy… an essential read for anyone who wants to go beyond awareness of racism and take the next step towards advocating for an equitable society.


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!

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Our Racial Justice Teams have been busy! Classes & book studies are underway. Civic Action has changed its name to Racial Equity Action Partners (REAP) and Pastor Ward is reaching out to churches in our area to form partnerships. See our Racial Justice Page for more details. If you would like to join a team, contact Carol Schierlmann at spiritualdev@adventlu.org. There will be links on the member dashboard for upcoming meetings which are open to all.

NC ELCA RACIAL JUSTICE NETWORK

Under the guidance of the African Descent Strategy Team of the NC Synod, a Racial Justice Network has been initiated. This is a network of Jesus followers across the state committed to being anti-racist leaders and committed to action in our hearts, our community, and our church. As the whitest denomination in the United States, we must actively dismantle white supremacy and name racism as a sin – and we do. Racism is a sin. White supremacy in all forms is condemned.  This network is a space to live into these truths. We will listen to leaders of color, reflect, confess, and repent. We will ally ourselves for the sake of the world.
There are five key foci for this Racial Justice Network – NC Synod:
  • We’ll be able to get curated content and conversations that start with listening, are filled with grace, stretch us to be uncomfortable, and help us to be more like Jesus in this world. 
  • We will meet people who share our interests who live near us, who care about the same topics, who share your faith and commitment to be anti-racist. 
  • We will make better, more well-informed decisions about the things that are most important to you and how you speak in your church, on social media, and even in our own homes. 
  • We will swap stories, experiences, and ideas (not necessarily advice) around our shared mission for becoming anti-racist.
  • We will find a little inspiration, thought-provoking conversations, and expert perspective each and every day. 
Cost is $25 to join. All participant fees are being matched (doubled) by the synod office.  50% of these funds will be reinvested in our communities of color as a testimony to God’s work in and through these communities.  Additionally, as leaders of colors share wisdom or we make use of their tools, they will be compensated for their work.
 
Several Advent members have already joined; consider joining them in this worthwhile work. To join, go to: https://www.racialjusticenetworknc.org/
 
To listen to Pastor John Spencer speak about the network, go to: 

Other Resources

The ELCA Social Statement

Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture expresses the ELCA’s calling to celebrate culture and ethnicity.

NAACP

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.

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  • Charlotte, North Carolina  28213
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