From Our Program Director's Desk
Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a person could stake their life on it a thousand times.
- Martin Luther
I want to encourage what I am seeing across the country among our African descent ministries as daily evidence of faith. I see people individually and together, moving by faith in a way that is nothing less than acting out confidence, not confidence in what has been, nor confidence in the wavering circumstances of our times, but confidence in the sufficiency of God’s grace.
In full assembly in 2005, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America African Descent Strategic Plan was adopted as the ELCA’s plan of action for ministry with and in African Descent Communities (African American, African Caribbean and African Nationals).
In its last assembly our African American Lutheran Association passed resolution changing the name of our association to the African Descent Lutheran Association.
I celebrate this change as evidence of our growth toward being more than ever, intentional in our mission and ministry focus not just as congregations but also as a network of people of African descent who are faithful members of the ELCA.
I celebrate the clear sense and season of solidarity that the new name calls for among us as people of African descent. Now let us move in a living daring confidence in God’s grace, trusting God to mold us together in powerful new ways to bring God glory and help our church, the ELCA live out our mandate to be a truly multicultural church in ways that respect the dignity of all people, all across the country and all around the world.
I celebrate the emerging alliance and partnership between President Minister L.B. Tatum and the newly elected board members of the association and others who have long stood in service to God in this church. We owe a debt of thanks to our past president Rev. Dennis Mims and the servant leaders who have provided direction and invested themselves to bring to where we find ourselves now. We dare not forget our Elders and those whose work has laid the foundation upon which we build.
- I celebrate the creation of a new website for our ELCA African descent community;
- I celebrate the partnership of our new program director for African National ministries Dr. Joseph Bocko as he engages our African immigrant community within the ELCA and the unique needs and opportunities they represent;
- I celebrate the bold new energy aimed at dramatically increasing the membership of our African Descent Lutheran Association and our collective capacity for doing the work of ministry.
We don’t have all the answers. There are new things yet to be put in place. What we do know, what we do have is in faith, and a living daring confidence in God’s grace to lead and guide us and find us becoming more than we’ve ever been and doing more than we’ve ever done.
It’s a good time to celebrate grace.
The Rev. Dr. Albert Starr
ELCA Program Director for African Descent Ministries
Ethnic Specific/Multicultural Ministries Team,
Congregational and Synodical Missions Unit ELCA