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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Racial Justice Reading Group - 
White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness

Thursday, January 14
7:00 p.m.

Please join us for another Racial Justice Reading Group discussion this Thursday, January 14, at 7:00 pm. We're reading excerpts from Maurice Berger's book "White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness."

Click here to access the readings in Dropbox or click here to access the material in Google Drive. (NOTE: The Google Drive file is too large to preview but it is safe to download it.) If you have any problems access the readings, contact susanleemackey@gmail.com.

This reading group is geared toward white members of Advent interested in learning how race shapes our lives and our role in white supremacy; however, all are welcome to join. 

Zoom Link:
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/79432969846?pwd=UDdxSzNvNWRUbmlTT05pSWNQeWVxQT09
Meeting ID: 794 3296 9846
Passcode: 72rN2Q

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MLK Jr. Day Events

A Prophetic Call to the Church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 17 OR 18, 2021
4:00 p.m. on Facebook & YouTube

On Good Friday, April 12, 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Birmingham, AL after violating an anti-protest injunction and was kept in solitary confinement. During this time, the Rev. Dr. King penned the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” on the margins of the Birmingham News, in reaction to a statement published in the same newspaper by eight white clergymen condemning the protests.

The Rev. Dr. King’s prophetic call to action to the Church and fellow clergy is grievously and regrettably relevant over 50 years later. As we honor the Rev. Dr. King’s dedication to reforming the Church and American culture, you are invited to listen to the African-American voices of rostered leaders of the ELCA, once again asserting a call for action to the Church by reading the very words written by Dr. King.

The Metro D.C. Synod has partnered with the African Descent Lutheran Association to present this prophetic call to the Church on Sunday, January 17 at 4:00 PM and will be replayed on Monday, January 18 at 4:00 PM. You are invited to watch on the Metro D.C. Synod webpage, or on the Metro D.C. Synod’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Advent’s Discussion of MLK Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail
January 18, 2021
6:00 p.m. via Zoom

After watching the ELCA’s reading of Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, join your Advent friends for a conversation about the prophetic call and a discussion about the Letter.

Zoom:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85440928969?pwd=RHFQYUsraUJjRlg0ME02NFRKWWovZz09
Meeting ID: 854 4092 8969
Passcode: 941801


Results of Faith and Race Survey
and Call to Action

We had a very good return rate for the survey -- 100 completed responses. Following are some of the highlights pulled from the survey.
 
The majority of folks at Advent see the issue of racial justice as important and are committed to some level of action to address it. Support for most types of church supported actions ranged in positive response from 70% - 85% (with 10-15% of Not Sure). Based on these responses, we have decided to follow an action plan that includes three areas of focus: partnership with predominantly black local churches, education & worship, and civic action. These three areas are also in lockstep with the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge.

Another area of concern was identified by this survey: communal anxiety levels. Over 50% of the Advent community answered the anxiety question at a level of 7 or higher. If you are among those who feel anxious, you are not alone! These candid answers indicate a need for pastoral care and stress reduction education. Pastor Ward and Carol Schierlmann have both committed to researching in this arena to develop a plan for supporting our congregation during what is surely one of the most stressful times in a generation. In the interim, if you need to talk about these or other issues, please contact Pastor Ward directly.

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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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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