"For he [Christ] is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us".
— Ephesians 2:14
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,We need to talk. In this month when we have commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, we remain mindful of the many recent events in this country that prove we are not living in a post-racial society. I know it’s difficult to talk about race because too many Americans do not want to believe racism still exists in our country. Yet, as always, Christ promises to be alongside us, even in the most difficult of times, working for our reconciliation. Because of God’s promise, we can and must have a deep, honest and even painful conversation about racism.
I am writing to share with you a message that further explains the need for members of the ELCA, and all Americans, to talk about racism in honest and productive ways. Please read the entire message here. It contains a list of several resources and background materials that will help you and your congregations engage in this important conversation. I also invite you to view the video version of this message byclicking on the image to the right.
As a church called to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must continue to listen deeply, to speak out about racial equity and inclusion, to respect and uplift the dignity and humanity of every person and to join with others in organizing for change. In baptism we have become part of the body of Christ, and in Christ there is no barrier between us. I pray that our Lord will use us and this moment to make this baptismal promise a reality in our lives and in this church.
Elizabeth A. Eaton
For the full pdf of this article, as well as links to additional resources, click here: http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Bishop_Message_RacialJustice.pdf
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton's video message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YuMSc6XlzA&feature=youtu.be