ELCA Newshttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/Earth Day statement from Bishop Eatonhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8097https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8097<div class="ExternalClass448C8ED6E0A5449790E1BB8D2FAFD265"><p>​<em>O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.</em></p><p><em>—Psalm 104&#58;24</em></p><p>Throughout&#160;Scripture, God promises to restore God's people&#160;to health and wholeness, a promise that&#160;includes&#160;the renewal of all&#160;creation. This promise is&#160;depicted&#160;dramatically&#160;in the final pages of the book of Revelation as a&#160;grand&#160;vision of a new heaven and a new earth. The earth and its inhabitants are weary and uncertain, battered by plagues and&#160;death,&#160;wars&#160;and destruction. But God is still there,&#160;persistent&#160;and faithful.&#160;At the last, God&#160;reveals a&#160;renewed&#160;heaven and an earth&#160;permeated by the presence of God,&#160;transformed&#160;from pain&#160;to be&#160;a place of healing and wholeness for all things.&#160;The&#160;2021&#160;Earth Day theme, &quot;Restore Our Earth,&quot;&#160;reminds us of&#160;this vision&#160;and the&#160;holy work&#160;God entrusts to us —&#160;of seeking the&#160;well-being of creation&#160;as&#160;inseparable from&#160;the&#160;wholeness of humankind.&#160;&#160;</p><p>In the past&#160;year&#160;the world&#160;received a jolt from its collision with the COVID-19 pandemic, which laid bare&#160;persistent&#160;racial disparities&#160;in health care access and outcomes&#160;in our nation.&#160;The U.S.&#160;Centers&#160;for Disease Control&#160;and Prevention&#160;(<a href="https&#58;//www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/health-equity/race-ethnicity.html">CDC</a>) noted&#160;the disproportionate impact (increased hospitalizations and deaths) of the pandemic on some racial and ethnic minority groups. The CDC found that &quot;inequities in the social determinants of health, such as poverty and healthcare access, affecting these groups are interrelated and influence a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.&quot;&#160;&#160;</p><p>The racial reckonings&#160;of 2020 illuminate how the legacies of slavery,&#160;the Doctrine of Discovery and colonization continue to diminish life for people and creation.&#160;The&#160;glaring inequities exposed through the pandemic are&#160;being&#160;intensified by the&#160;global&#160;impacts of climate change.&#160;The&#160;final 2020 update of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's&#160;(NOAA)&#160;National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) found last year to be one of historical extremes. There were 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters across the United States, which shattered the previous annual record of 16 events in 2011 and 2017.&#160;All these disasters disproportionately&#160;affected&#160;people of color and the most vulnerable&#160;populations.&#160;We are&#160;one&#160;people and&#160;one&#160;earth&#160;in need of restoration. &#160;</p><p>Repenting&#160;the sin of racism and repenting our destruction of creation should happen together.&#160;Because God gave humans the vocation to be stewards of the earth, we proclaim that, for Christians, care of the earth is not an &quot;environmental cause.&quot; Instead, it is central to our holy calling to treasure the earth and care for it as our&#160;home, fully integrating creation care into our love of God, neighbor and all in the environment. Recalling the good earth and our call to be stewards of creation in hope and faith, we know our recovery from the pall of 2020 will, in many ways, be a&#160;transition&#160;to&#160;a new way of life. &#160;</p><p>Dear church, we can&#160;&quot;testify to the good news of God's grace&quot; (Acts 20&#58;24), which empowers us to move forward. We know that healing is possible — for the planet and for our communities. We are not too late.&#160;The time is&#160;now.&#160;To us, God is calling; through us, God wants to work a miracle; through our finite and inadequate efforts, God can and will bring about &quot;a new heaven and a new earth.&quot; God provides us with diverse&#160;gifts as protectors and guardians of creation. We affirm, therefore, the many stewards of the land who have been and are conserving the good earth that the Lord has given us.&#160;&#160;</p><p>As stewards of creation, we have many ways to lovingly serve the earth&#58;&#160;&#160;<br>• Explore and use ELCA Care for Creation resources, including video,&#160;study&#160;and action guides with information about the Creation Care Ambassadors initiative.&#160;&#160;<br>• Read the Lutherans Restoring Creation story <a href="https&#58;//lutheransrestoringcreation.org/5-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day-as-a-church/">&quot;5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day as Church Together but Apart.&quot;</a><br>• Accept the ELCA Young Adults <a href="https&#58;//blogs.elca.org/youngadults/">No Plastics for Lent</a> challenge this Easter season.&#160;&#160;<br>• Participate in a local cleanup (with appropriate distancing) if permitted by local&#160;authorities, or&#160;participate in the Earth Challenge 2020 citizen scientist initiative, focused on plastic pollution and clean air.&#160;&#160;<br>• Join with the ELCA's ecumenical partner <a href="http&#58;//www.creationjustice.org/">Creation Justice Ministries</a> in advocacy, education and prayer.&#160;<br>•&#160;&#160;Participate in <a href="https&#58;//zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcpcempqD0oG9wevcbPUs7EDD1ImfiMAzSw">Faith and Frontline Call to Action&#58; Good Trouble for Justice&#160;</a>on April 19, an ELCA-sponsored consultation focusing on climate migration, food security and just transition.&#160;This event brings together people of faith at this watershed moment and calls for the inclusion of the voices, ideas and expertise of the front line and faith communities alongside career politicians and others to address and implement climate solutions.</p><p>Envisioning a world that is just, sustainable and resilient, we, as Lutherans, heed God's call and take concrete steps to repair inequities and wealth divides locally, nationally and globally. A framework built on&#160;hope and&#160;connecting climate to economic and racial justice is essential to our reimagining of communities as resilient and inclusive, void of poverty and leaving no one behind.&#160;</p><p>&#160;In Christ,<br>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<br>Presiding Bishop<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America<br><br></p><p>- - -<br> <strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> Public Relations Manager<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> <br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p></div>04/13/2021Bishop Eaton issues statement on gun violencehttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8096https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8096<div class="ExternalClass459D415770324F9EA97BEFC7630DB662"><p>​<em>He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2&#58;24)</em><em>.</em></p><p>Dear church,&#160;</p><p>As a nation we have lived through a very difficult two weeks following the mass shootings in Atlanta on March 16 and again in Boulder, Colo., on March 22. The shooting in Colorado was only the most recent of <a href="https&#58;//click.everyaction.com/k/26696885/277785846/359820318?nvep=ew0KICAiVGVuYW50VXJpIjogIm5ncHZhbjovL3Zhbi9FQS9FQTAwMi8xLzY4ODYzIiwNCiAgIkRpc3RyaWJ1dGlvblVuaXF1ZUlkIjogIjIwOWRiMWQzLTA1OGQtZWIxMS04NWFhLTAwMTU1ZDQzYzk5MiIsDQogICJFbWFpbEFkZHJlc3MiOiAiSnVkaXRoLlJvYmVydHNAZWxjYS5vcmciDQp9&amp;hmac=x63AVSipJsbWh-b2mBX12Q7D4l5qOLH7PQHz3bQYcm0=&amp;emci=b2ffd318-fc8c-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&amp;emdi=209db1d3-058d-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&amp;ceid=3917953">104 mass shootings</a> already in 2021. Colorado has a painful history of mass shootings. Since 1993 the deadliest incidents have been the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora and now the 10 lives taken, including the life of a responding police officer, at a supermarket in Boulder.</p><p>Together&#160;with God, we grieve with the families and communities impacted by gun violence — especially in communities where it is an everyday occurrence. These shootings are not isolated but rather a pattern of the gun violence crisis in the United States. The numbers of victims tell only a part of the pain — the trauma caused by gun violence ripples across family members, friends, neighborhoods, communities and this country.</p><p>As we near the Sunday of the Passion, we enter into the suffering of Christ and into solidarity with the sufferings of the world. As we look to the healing power of the cross, we celebrate the gift of peace through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus, we are empowered to take up the challenge to prevent violence and grapple with&#160;the complex causes that make violence so pervasive.</p><p>The ELCA is a church in society <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Community_Violence_GunsSPR93.pdf?_ga=2.146074100.1328511596.1616679128-299342222.1616514018">striving for peace</a> in all the world. Let us join with others in calling for greater gun safety, including preventing easy access to assault-style weapons and strengthening our federal system of background checks for all gun sales. We call for support and protection for those living out their vocations to protect and defend society, enforce the law and work toward restorative justice. We pray for rostered ministers who provide support and counseling services to those affected by gun-violence-related crimes even as we pray for the perpetrators of violent acts. We call upon congregations to hold safe space for those dealing with the fears and threats related to violence in all its manifestations. </p><p>&#160;<br>In Christ,</p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<p>Presiding Bishop<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America<br></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.</p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> <br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p></div>03/26/2021Bishop Eaton issues statement addressing anti-Asian racismhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8095https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8095<div class="ExternalClass274FC195A27142B6ADDF02B63ACEF917"><p>​<em>My enemies trample on me all day long, for many fight against me. O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me? </em>(Psalm 56&#58;2-4).</p><p>As a nation, we continue to witness and suffer from the cruelties of racial and gender-based violence. In recent days, we have witnessed the horror of gun violence in Atlanta and the vandalism of one of our ELCA congregations in Seattle.</p><p>As church we grieve the mass shooting in Atlanta, Ga., that took the lives of eight people, six of them Asian women. As church we join Bishop Kevin Strickland of the Southeastern Synod in observing that &quot;God has called us to become the beloved community that God created where all are valued and honored. We then are called through the waters of our baptism to strive for justice and peace in all the world, for all.&quot;</p><p>Naming the victims' gender and race matters. Women of color live at the intersection of racism and sexism and do not get to choose oppressions. The ELCA social message &quot;Gender-based Violence&quot; (2015) teaches that &quot;gender-based violence is a global evil that marks millions of lives&quot; (2). A white male killing six Asian American women is a racist and gender-based act of violence. Over the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in anti-Asian racism and violent attacks, fueled by hate speech and racist political rhetoric. The organization Stop AAPI Hate has <a href="https&#58;//click.everyaction.com/k/26380883/276776298/1103053433?nvep=ew0KICAiVGVuYW50VXJpIjogIm5ncHZhbjovL3Zhbi9FQS9FQTAwMi8xLzY4ODYzIiwNCiAgIkRpc3RyaWJ1dGlvblVuaXF1ZUlkIjogImNlMWU5ZDZkLTVlODctZWIxMS04NWFhLTAwMTU1ZDQzYzk5MiIsDQogICJFbWFpbEFkZHJlc3MiOiAiSnVkaXRoLlJvYmVydHNAZWxjYS5vcmciDQp9&amp;hmac=3mrsh3I9pAeCiVFa-m-zpHcPkDBfWYnYs1Bplk9XvYw=&amp;emci=b08bd2e3-4a87-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&amp;emdi=ce1e9d6d-5e87-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&amp;ceid=3917953">tracked </a>3,795 hate incident reports from Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Women constituted 68% of the victims, with many reporting instances of sexual harassment and sexual and physical abuse. Reports of escalating violence do not stop in the United States — they are global.</p><p>For the Asian community, fear of violence affects daily life. This week Grace Chinese Lutheran Church in Seattle was targeted with a racist message scrawled on the driveway of its property. Responding to this incident, Shelley Bryan Wee, bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod, said, &quot;The violence that is being done against people of Asian descent is heartrending and blasphemous. We are mindful that people are being injured and even killed in the name of bigotry.&quot;</p><p>As church, let us affirm the words of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms&#58; &quot;A crime against any community is a crime against us all.&quot; As church, we condemn the sins of racism, sexism and xenophobia in all their forms. As church, we lift up and pray for the support and protection of Grace Chinese Lutheran and its pastors, Jimmy Hao and Wendy Chew. We declare solidarity with our Asian American siblings; we lament with the families that lost loved ones in the shootings; we remember our neighbors working on the frontlines of the pandemic; and we seek ways to support organizations that combat racial violence against all communities. This violence and aggression must stop.</p><p>I invite you to watch this <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Vd3beUCnQ">video</a> in which members of the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders-ELCA share the &quot;Embodied Blessing and Healing&quot; prayer, part of the litany for the church's day of lament for anti-Asian racism.<br></p><p>O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your own image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we may see your face in the faces of our Asian siblings and people around the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (Adapted from <em>Evangelical Lutheran Worship Occasional Services for the Assembly</em>.)</p><p>In Christ,</p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<p>Presiding Bishop<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America<br></p><p>- - -<br> <strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> Public Relations Manager<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> <br></p><p><br></p><p>&#160;</p><p><br></p></div>03/19/2021ELCA and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) resume dialoguehttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8093https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8093<div class="ExternalClass972A6263457A4B648DAB2DABF430BDB4"><p>​CHICAGO&#160;— The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have resumed a bilateral dialogue that will define a new ecumenical relationship for common mission and ministry.</p><p>In a March 10 meeting, leaders from the two church bodies resumed the dialogue that had begun in 2004 but been put on hold due to leadership and staff changes at both churches.</p><p>The goal of the dialogue is to determine what form of ecumenical relationship will enable the two church bodies to affirm their common confession of the Christian faith and to witness to the good news of Christ together more fully. The two churches will explore how they have grown in mutual understanding and common mission over time. An important consideration will be the maturity of the full communion relationship each church shares with the United Church of Christ (UCC). For this reason, the UCC was invited to appoint an observer. </p><p>&quot;We celebrate the resumption of this dialogue with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as a sign of the visible unity that is already ours in Christ Jesus,&quot; said the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop. &quot;This dialogue will intentionally draw from the deep well of shared mission and ministry in local and regional settings, while tending to the complex theological questions that arise between us as churches. In this way, we hope to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit and the possibility of new forms of ecumenical relationship that serve the gospel and enrich the body of Christ.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I am grateful that we are now moving forward in our dialogue with the ELCA,&quot; said the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. &quot;In times like these, it is more important than ever that we as Christians can model for the world what it looks like to walk together, serve together, even when we may disagree on points of doctrine. Our goal must always be to amplify our witness to the limitless love of God, and we have an opportunity to reimagine how we do that through this dialogue with our Lutheran siblings.&quot;</p><p>This first round of meetings focused on building relationships, identifying the questions participants bring into this dialogue and sharing ideas for next steps.</p><p>&quot;The path to Christian unity is hard, but if we can embody the love and grace of God revealed in the life of Jesus, then the journey the ELCA and Disciples have undertaken will be worth the effort,&quot; said the Rev. Dr. Robert D. Cornwall, who serves as dialogue co-chair from the Disciples of Christ. &quot;We may not know where the journey ends, but I am ready and willing to get on the road.&quot;</p><p>&quot;The renewal of this dialogue is extremely important right now,&quot; said the Rev. William O. Gafkjen, bishop of the ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod and dialogue co-chair from the ELCA.&#160;</p><p>&quot;In a world that is so deeply divided as we try to deal with profound changes and challenges in our common life, these two different traditions sitting at the table to listen deeply, think creatively, and act boldly together is a much-needed witness to the justice- and peace-seeking spirit of the crucified and risen Christ.&quot;</p><p>In the next round of discussions, planned for later this year, the churches will focus on getting to know one another, as traditions and as people. They will make use of case studies developed by each church that highlight examples of common mission and challenges to fuller cooperation and ministry, along with papers from the initial round of dialogue in 2004.<br></p><p>The two churches agree that seeking unity is not the goal of this dialogue, because that has already been accomplished in Christ. Rather, they seek to manifest their unity so that &quot;the world may believe&quot; (John 17&#58;21 NRSV) and God's just peace may be experienced more fully by all people and creation.</p><p>More information about the dialogue, including a list of participants, is available at <a href="https&#58;//www.disciplescuim.org/elca-disciples-bilateral-dialogue/">https&#58;//www.disciplescuim.org/elca-disciples-bilateral-dialogue/</a>.&#160;</p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>03/18/2021Statement for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discriminationhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8092https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8092<div class="ExternalClassCC4D40679534451FA25CE19B1BFBE740"><p>​CHICAGO&#160;— The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church have issued a statement in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.</p><p>The statement follows&#58;<br></p><p>From&#160;<em>Churches Beyond Borders&#58;&#160;Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada,&#160;Anglican Church of Canada,&#160;The Episcopal&#160;Church&#160;and the&#160;Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</em>&#160;</p><p>In Advent 2020, <em>Churches Beyond Borders</em> expressed a commitment to dismantling racism, combating white supremacy and actively seeking opportunities to engage more deeply on these important issues. In this season of Lent, we continue our journey as we join together in observing the <em>International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. </em>This is an annual day of recommitment in remembrance of the day police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid &quot;pass laws&quot; in 1960. (<a href="http&#58;//www.un.org/en/observances/end-racism-day">www.un.org/en/observances/end-racism-day</a>) Recognizing that the March 21<em> International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination</em> is a calling to be lived out every day, we offer this reflection as encouragement to continue the journey with renewed determination.&#160;&#160; &#160;&#160;</p><p><em>I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them</em><br>(Exodus 3&#58;7-8a, NRSV) </p><p>How do we lament the sin of racism? </p><p>Racism and xenophobia have a painful, violent, deadly history that traverses all borders. The institutional church shares in the complicity of the legacies of the Doctrine of Discovery colonization, forced removal and genocide of Indigenous people, the enslavement of African and Indigenous Peoples and injustices &#160;perpetrated against all people of color. The sin of racism is structural, institutional, interpersonal and internalized. It lives in communities inside and outside the church; it continues to inflict harm on a daily basis and generate new history. How do we repent of all of this?&#160; </p><p>At the burning bush, Moses hears God say, &quot;I have heard the cries of my people.&quot; We who follow the God of Freedom must also hear the cries of God's people, of each other, and especially those among us who live under the constant threat and violence of racism and white supremacy. For those of us who have the privilege of closing ourselves off, we need to open ourselves to feel the painful truths of the sins of racism and white supremacy in our hearts and bodies and minds and souls. We must create spaces and structures that welcome and include the voices of those most directly impacted by the sins of racism. This message is being shared during the season of Lent, a period of self-examination, reflection, and making amends. We need to lament, repent and be transformed. &#160;</p><p>Moses is told to take off his sandals. We need to lament in worship&#58; to remove our shoes, to stand in humility, to feel the ashes on our foreheads, to be honest in the presence of God about our sins and shortcomings. Holy Ground is a gift that supports lamentation, repentance, transformation and discernment. </p><p>Moses is sent to work for the freedom of people. Oppression is not inevitable or insurmountable. Things can change. Challenging racism and white supremacy calls each of us to deep and honest consideration of perceptions, biases, behaviours and systemic patterns. We echo the United Nations call to take the strongest possible stand against racism, discrimination and intolerance of every kind, to spread the word to fight racism and to take stock of the state of human rights and hate speech today and reflect on how each of us can stand up for rights. In lamentation and repentance, we hear God's call to act for the dismantling of racism. </p><p>Moses admits his own fears and reluctance. God directs Moses to connect with his siblings. God provides Miriam and Aaron to make up for Moses' weaknesses and to enhance his strengths. The journey is long and the work is hard, crossing many difficult borders in our lives, communities, and our churches. We give thanks for the gift of community on this journey and in this work.</p><p>We invite you to join us in prayer&#58; <br>God of Holy Ground, move us to lament and repent. Open our hearts, bodies, minds and souls to the cries of your people. Transform us by your presence. Drive us into action for the dismantling of racism in relationships, communities and societies. Bless us with companions who support us, challenge us and help us keeping going. We pray for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In the name of Jesus. Amen. </p><p>&#160;<br>We commend to you these resources for further reflection and discernment&#58;</p><p>Suggested action from the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights to #FightRacism <br><a href="https&#58;//www.standup4humanrights.org/en/fightracism.html">Fight Racism | Stand up for human rights | UN Human Rights (standup4humanrights.org)</a> </p><p>Explanation of the Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent<br><a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Slavery_Apology_Explanation.pdf?_ga=2.160292863.337082937.1614267858-176581130.1609883917">https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Slavery_Apology_Explanation.pdf?_ga=2.160292863.337082937.1614267858-176581130.1609883917</a> </p><p>&quot;Doctrine of Discovery&#58; Stolen lands, Strong Hearts&quot; is a film about a devastating decision, made over 500 years ago, which continues to profoundly impact Indigenous and Settler people worldwide. <a href="https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/primate/tfc/drj/doctrineofdiscovery/">https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/primate/tfc/drj/doctrineofdiscovery/</a> </p><p>Call to Racial Reconciliation&#58; &quot;Litany of Repentance&quot; and &quot;Commissioning for the Ministry of Justice and Reconciliation&quot; from the &quot;10th Anniversary Celebration of Full Communion&quot; between the Episcopal Church and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church<br><a href="https&#58;//drive.google.com/file/d/1bTb_fguBnZJO2xLiPjwpLmSLWYeihNnA/view">https&#58;//drive.google.com/file/d/1bTb_fguBnZJO2xLiPjwpLmSLWYeihNnA/view</a> </p><p>Sacred Teachings Podcast&#58; Indigenous Elders all across Turtle Island share teachings, languages, traditions and stories of the Ancestors. <br><a href="https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/im/podcasts/">https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/im/podcasts/</a> </p><p>The Ecumenical Conversation on the International Decade for People of African Descent<br>Recordings of November 26, 2020 online event and companion study guide.&#160; <a href="https&#58;//www.interculturalleadership.ca/news/study-guide-recognition-justice-and-development-peoples-of-african-descent-and-canadian-churches">https&#58;//www.interculturalleadership.ca/news/study-guide-recognition-justice-and-development-peoples-of-african-descent-and-canadian-churches</a> </p><p>&quot;With Love Before Us, We Are Walking&quot; recoding of Gospel Jam 7 (February 13, 2021) with Archbishop Mark MacDonald and special guest Bishop Michael Curry<br><a href="https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/im/gospeljam/">https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/im/gospeljam/</a> <br><br><a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/racialjusticepledge?gclid=Cj0KCQiAhP2BBhDdARIsAJEzXlHWDxNFDhWLySkeElJGT9OCZMk0oTwAk1d_BC-6LfnegMdMyaeCBcYaAjoGEALw_wcB">ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</a></p><p>Episcopal Church Report for the House of Bishops from its Theology Committee&#58; White Supremacy, the Beloved Community, and Learning to Listen (Fall&#160; 2020)<br><a href="https&#58;//www.episcopalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/11/bbc_hob_theo_cmte_report_on_white_supremacy.pdf">https&#58;//www.episcopalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/11/bbc_hob_theo_cmte_report_on_white_supremacy.pdf</a> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</p><p>Anglican Church of Canada House of Bishop's Statement on Confronting Racism<br><a href="https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/news/our-own-house-is-not-in-order-bishops-issue-statement-on-confronting-racism/30026802/">https&#58;//www.anglican.ca/news/our-own-house-is-not-in-order-bishops-issue-statement-on-confronting-racism/30026802/</a> </p><p>Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Pastoral Letter regarding the ongoing sin of Racism. <br><a href="https&#58;//www.elcic.ca/news.cfm?article=570">https&#58;//www.elcic.ca/news.cfm?article=570</a> </p><p>&#160;<br>In Christ – Shalom,&#160; </p><p>National Bishop Susan C. Johnson<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada</p><p>Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls<br>Anglican Church of Canada</p><p>Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry<br>The Episcopal Church</p><p>Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</p><p>&#160;<br>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.</p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> <br></p><p><br></p></div>03/17/2021Lutherans participate in U.N. Commission on the Status of Womenhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8094https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8094<div class="ExternalClass6CF081A6EFE040F8956CF5D23E7A6ADA"><p>​CHICAGO&#160;— Delegates from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) will participate in the 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), meeting online March 15-26 under the theme &quot;Women in Public Life&#58; Equal Participation in Decision-Making.&quot;</p><p>Uniting more than 70 members from 33 countries, the delegation will bring a Lutheran vision and voice to the commission, condemning gender-based violence and injustice and affirming the importance of women — especially women in leadership — within the church and society.</p><p>Events led by the Lutheran groups' organization will include &quot;Women of Power&#58; Leading Together for a Better Future,&quot; &quot;How to Challenge and Change a Social Norm&#58; Sexual and Gender-based Violence, Masculinities, and Leadership,&quot; and the intergenerational &quot;'Girls on Fire!' Link Up to End Gender-based Violence.&quot; </p><p>Religion has and can still be misused to create or reinforce gender violence and suppression. Lutheran faith involvement and presence at CSW65 convey Lutheran support and commitment to ending gender-based violence and discrimination around the world, especially within decision-making bodies. Through baptism, we are called to inclusion, to fight the subordination of women that ignores their human dignity. Lutherans involved in the CSW will work toward women's full participation and representation in decision-making processes through meeting with international government officials, collaborating on gender justice and faithful advocacy, and making joint statements on experience and learning.</p><p>For more information contact&#58; Christine Mangale, program director at the Lutheran Office for World Community, <a href="mailto&#58;Christine.Mangale@elca.org">Christine.Mangale@elca.org</a>.</p><p>---</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.<br> <br></p><p><br></p></div>03/16/2021