Our Mission

To awaken hearts to God’s work in the world through Jesus Christ, to confront injustice, oppression, and white supremacy as offenses to the gospel, and to inspire transformational action for personal and systemic change throughout the ELCA and society.

Our History

When the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was formed in 1988, it established a Multi-Cultural Ministries Unit (MMU) as part of an effort to become a more diverse church. This unit provided staff and support for the multi-cultural ministries and offered financial support for the ethnic/cultural/racial groups to create membership associations.

In 2003, the ELCA went through restructuring and the MMU was eliminated. The ethnic associations advocated for the ELCA to revisit its proposal to maintain and expand the MMU. At this time the ethnic associations asked for a group of white Lutherans to form to stand with them in the church and be funded and included in this MMU. The thinking was that in the MMU, white Lutherans would be present at the table as one among equals rather than as a majority. A group of about 25 white Lutherans organized over the next few years and in November 2008 launched the European American Lutheran Association (now EDLARJ). Unlike the other ethnic associations tasked with representing specific ethnic and cultural concerns in a predominantly white church, EALA was tasked with addressing our white peers about white privilege and power. Hence, the transition from EALA to European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice.

Our Board

The EDLARJ board consists of laypeople and clergy from around the ELCA who are committed to dismantling white supremacy in our church.

Rev. Mark Cerniglia

Rev. Mark Cerniglia

Cathi Crimi

Cathi Crimi

Bev Dirkin

Bev Dirkin

Board Treasurer

Elle Dowd

Elle Dowd

she/her/hers

Bethany Fayard

Bethany Fayard

she/her/hers

Rev. Kelly France

Rev. Kelly France

he/him/his

Rev. Jessica Harren

Rev. Jessica Harren

she/her/hers

Julie Hettig

Julie Hettig

Job Title

Kathy Long

Kathy Long

Rev. Russell L Meyer

Rev. Russell L Meyer

Board President

Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings

Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings

she/they

Shari Siefert

Shari Siefert

she/her

Board Vice-President

John Summerlot

John Summerlot

he/him or they/them

Rev. Andrew Tengwall

Rev. Andrew Tengwall

Board Secretary