Click here to be redirected to ELCA resources on racial justice.
Click here for the Explanation of the Declaration of the ELCA to the People of African Descent
In 2019 the church council of the whole Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a statement addressed to people of African descent in which the ELCA apologizes for our historic complicity in slavery and its ongoing legacy of racism. In the document, the ELCA takes a clear stand that racism, in all its forms, is sin and denies the reconciling work of the cross.
When the congregational council of ALC was considering the request of several members to display a “Black Lives Matter” banner on church property (at our July meeting) we consulted that explanation of the statement as well as the statement itself. We held what we read there alongside scripture, prayer, and our discernment of the particular way that God is calling ALC to follow Jesus and be the body of Christ in the world at this moment in time.
The conversation was rich, beautiful, and at times quite uncomfortable. We were aware of the weight that our decision to put up such a banner carries for our congregation and our witness in this community. In the end, we found that while the Holy Spirit was indeed urging us to make public proclamation that black lives matter and that we were in agreement that a large banner, hung on the building itself, was one way that we would do that, it was not enough for us to make that proclamation alone. We decided, therefore, to follow the church wide council’s lead and include a sentence that stood out from the ELCA’s statement, “We confess, repent, and repudiate the times when this church has been silent in the face of racial injustice” along with a link to the whole document and explanation for those who wished to learn more about the decision and need for this public proclamation that black lives matter.
You are invited to join us for a blessing of the banner, Saturday, September 12 @10am on the East side of the church building immediately before its installation. We will gather outside, wearing masks, and maintaining appropriate distance.
Those of you who are not able or choose not to join us, please hold ALC and the whole church catholic in your prayers as we learn how to lean ever more fully into the liberating grace of God.
In God’s love,
ALC Council President