ELCA reaffirms commitment to combat racism and white supremacy

5/29/2020 2:45:00 PM


What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reaffirms its commitment to combating racism and white supremacy following the recent murders of Black Americans. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon (Sean) Reed, and George Floyd were our neighbors. Ahmaud Arbery was chased down, shot, and killed by a retired police officer and his son while jogging in Brunswick, Ga. (Feb. 23, 2020). Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was shot eight times by Louisville Metro Police Department officers who entered her apartment while serving a "no-knock warrant" (March 13, 2020). Dreasjon (Sean) Reed, a 21-year-old from Indianapolis died after being shot at least eight times by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer (May 6, 2020). George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis while begging for his life, a block away from Calvary Lutheran, an ELCA congregation (May 25, 2020). As the Conference of Bishops, we condemn the white supremacy that has led to the deaths of so many unarmed Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color in our country. We grieve with, pray for and stand in solidarity with the families and friends of all whose loved ones have been and continue to be victims of injustices run amok, racist violence and the insidious venom of white supremacy.

The ELCA's social policy resolution, "Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric," adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, states: "As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions." As church, together we must work to condemn white supremacy in all forms and recommit ourselves to confront and exorcize the sins of injustice, racism and white supremacy in church and society and within ourselves as individuals and households.

On May 21, the ELCA Southeastern Synod hosted a webinar: "Becoming the Body of Christ – Condemning White Supremacy" in response to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. This is one of many strategic opportunities happening across this church to address white supremacy and racist rhetoric. On June 17, we will gather again as church to commemorate the Mother Emanuel 9 and to repent of racism and white supremacy. An online ELCA prayer service, including leaders from across the church and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton as preacher, is being planned for June 17, 2020, marking the fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9. We encourage congregations to reaffirm their commitment to repenting of the sins of racism and dismantling white supremacy that continue to plague this church by marking this day of penitence with study and prayer leading to action.  https://www.elca.org/emanuelnine

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

Presiding Bishop

Deacon Sue Rothmeyer              



The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew              

Bishop, New Jersey Synod                                      

Chair, Conference of Bishops


The Rev. Thomas M. Aitken       

Bishop, Northeastern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. Abraham D. Allende    

Bishop, Northeastern Ohio Synod


The Rev. Jon V. Anderson           

Bishop, Southwestern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. James A. Arends           

Bishop, La Crosse Area Synod


The Rev. Daniel G. Beaudoin      

Bishop, Northwestern Ohio Synod


The Rev. Susan J. Briner

Bishop, Southwestern Texas Synod


The Rev. Shelley M. Bryan Wee 

Bishop, Northwest Washington Synod


The Rev. Michael L. Burk            

Bishop, Southeastern Iowa Synod


The Rev. Susan Candea 

Bishop, Central States Synod


The Rev. H. Jeffrey Clements      

Bishop, Northern Illinois Synod


The Rev. Barbara J. Collins         

Bishop, Upper Susquehanna Synod


The Rev. Yehiel Curry    

Bishop, Metropolitan Chicago Synod


The Rev. Patricia A. Davenport  

Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. Suzanne D. Dillahunt

Bishop, Southern Ohio Synod


The Rev. James S. Dunlop           

Bishop, Lower Susquehanna Synod


The Rev. Paul T. Egensteiner      

Bishop, Metropolitan New York Synod


The Rev. Paul D. Erickson            

Bishop, Greater Milwaukee Synod


The Rev. R. Guy Erwin   

Bishop, Southwest California Synod


The Rev. Katherine A. Finegan   

Bishop, Northern Great Lakes Synod


The Rev. William O. Gafkjen       

Bishop, Indiana-Kentucky Synod


The Rev. Michael K. Girlinghouse            

Bishop, Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod


The Rev. William J. Gohl

Bishop, Delaware-Maryland Synod


The Rev. James W. Gonia           

Bishop, Rocky Mountain Synod


The Rev. Erik K. Gronberg           

Bishop, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod


The Rev. Constanze Hagmaier   

Bishop, South Dakota Synod


The Rev. Lorna H. Halaas            

Bishop, Western Iowa Synod


The Rev. Regina M. Hassanally

Bishop, Southeastern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. James E. Hazelwood    

Bishop, New England Synod


The Rev. Mark W. Holmerud

Bishop, Sierra Pacific Synod


The Rev. Robert F. Humphrey    

Bishop, Virginia Synod


The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer    

Bishop, Grand Canyon Synod


The Rev. Richard E. Jaech

Bishop, Southwestern Washington Synod


The Rev. Laurie A. Jungling         

Bishop, Montana Synod


The Rev. Donald P. Kreiss           

Bishop, Southeast Michigan Synod


The Rev. Wilma S. Kucharek       

Bishop, Slovak Zion Synod


The Rev. Kristen E. Kuempel       

Bishop Northwest Intermountain Synod


The Rev. Kurt F. Kusserow          

Bishop, Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. Laurie A. Larson Caesar             

Bishop, Oregon Synod


The Rev. Michael L. Lozano        

Bishop, Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. Patricia J. Lull  

Bishop, Saint Paul Area Synod


The Rev. Brian D. Maas 

Bishop, Nebraska Synod


The Rev. John S. Macholz           

Bishop, Upstate New York Synod


The Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt      

Bishop, East-Central Synod of Wisconsin


The Rev. Idalia Negron-Caamano            

Bishop, Caribbean Synod


The Rev. Leila M. Ortiz  

Bishop, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod


The Rev. Michael L. Rhyne          

Bishop, Allegheny Synod


The Rev. Michael W. Rinehart    

Bishop, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod


The Rev. Peter Rogness 

Interim Bishop, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin


The Rev. S. John Roth    

Bishop, Central/Southern Illinois Synod


The Rev. Craig A. Satterlee         

Bishop, North/West Lower Michigan Synod


The Rev. Laurie Skow-Anderson 

Bishop, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin


The Rev. Timothy M. Smith        

Bishop, North Carolina Synod


The Rev. Kevin L. Strickland        

Bishop, Southeastern Synod


The Rev. Pedro M. Suarez           

Bishop, Florida-Bahamas Synod


The Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen   

Bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod


The Rev. Andrew A. Taylor         

Bishop, Pacifica Synod


The Rev. William T. Tesch           

Bishop, Northwestern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. Steven L. Ullestad        

Bishop, Northeastern Iowa Synod

The Rev. Shelley R. Wickstrom

Bishop, Alaska Synod


The Rev. Lawrence R. Wohlrabe

Interim Bishop, Eastern North Dakota Synod


The Rev. Herman R. Yoos           

Bishop, South Carolina Synod


The Rev. Samuel R. Zeiser           

Bishop, Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. David Zellmer 

Interim Bishop, Western North Dakota Synod



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