What can I do?
Anti-racist work is daily work; it’s a process, not a destination. Here are some actions you can take for yourself and your community to end racism.
Use the new ELCA five-session anti-racism study guide in your congregation this summer or fall. The study guide, “Now Is the Time,” stresses realism, self-examination, and accountability as the church acknowledges and apologizes for the history and impact of slavery and systemic racism. The resource, with a guide and participant materials, is available at elca.org/Resources/Racial-Justice.
Use the prayers for lament and healing from prejudice and racism found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship , All Creation Sings, and on the ELCA worship blog and resource web pages. Read Pastor Denise Rector’s call to lament racism here: https://blogs.elca.org/worship/3405/
Recognize that white Christian nationalism and supremacy attacks Black people as well as members of the Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino, Middle Eastern, American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. It also harms refugees and migrants and threatens our neighbors from other religious and ethical traditions. Work with the leaders of these communities in your area to develop joint actions to reduce the harm, protect one another, and organize for justice.
Plan a commemoration in your congregation of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Use the ELCA resources. https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Prayers_Litanies_Laments_Emanuel_Nine_Commemoration.pdf?_ga=2.24513850.1042077420.1652622135-1601453076.1652175162
Review your congregation’s worship and educational materials, artwork, prayers, and hymns. Consider with others how they may perpetuate white supremacy and exclusivity. Work to change this.
Contact your synod bishop and staff to find out how you can join or initiate anti-racist prayer and action in your area.