The ELCA's Plan of Action for Ministry in African Descent Communities (African American, African Caribbean, African National)
“Write the vision: make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it” (Habakkuk 2:2).
In November 1666, Lutheran witness to the Gospel among people of African descent began on the island of St. Thomas, in what is now the U.S. Virgin Islands. On April 13, 1669, a Black man was baptized at a Lutheran congregation in New York. This baptism began the recorded journey of the African descent community in the Lutheran church in North America. Near the end of the 20th century and in the early years of the 21st, a series of listening models and participative events produced various documents that described Black ministry in the Lutheran church. Dialogue on evangelism and church growth in the African American context revealed the “tablets” for a vision and direction for Black ministry in the ELCA.
People of African descent congregations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are Christ-centered communities in ministry, sharing gifts, empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the power, love, and presence of Jesus Christ. This vision calls us to live out God's call in and through visionary pastoral leadership, worship, witness, discipleship, stewardship, family ministries, social justice, and unity and diversity. These areas of ministry work together in an integrated, holistic approach to our call of building the body of Jesus Christ in mission.
The following strategy describes the mission opportunities in these key areas, which have been identified for releasing the power to create and sustain the vision. The recommended actions are for this whole church's participation in the continuing journey of African descent Lutheran ministry. This strategy is a living document intended to stir imagination and ministry initiatives beyond what is presented on its pages.
Download ELCA African Descent Strategic Plan