11 September 2020
Dear St. Luke’s,
More than one year ago, our congregation established an Antiracism Ministry and embarked on an intentional, long-term process to discern how we can transform into an antiracist congregation, intentionally dismantle systemic racism, and equitably grow the kingdom of God. Through meetings, coffee hour gatherings, and synodical events, we have identified our individual reasons and expectations for undertaking antiracism work, established and agreed to rules, defined stakeholders, discussed book chapters, articles, poetry, and television episodes from an antiracist perspective, and shared our experiences with other congregations and our lament regarding the impact of racism in our church and in our society. I am so grateful to those within our community who have participated and driven this critical work during the past year.
In August, Pastor Erin, Iván A Pérez, and I reflected on how the Antiracism Ministry can move forward together in a more powerful and deliberate way. To develop an antiracist identity as a congregation, it is necessary that we establish a lifelong commitment to read, listen, watch, and analyze the way that racism operates, and use that knowledge to guide actions that we take in our church and in our community. In the fall, the Antiracism Ministry will establish several working groups to
- review and propose revisions to our congregational welcome statement,
- research and acknowledge the history of the land on which our church and community reside,
- review and propose revisions to our congregational governing documents, and
- research and understand the complicity of Lutheranism and Lutherans in establishing and perpetuating racism.
In collaboration with the three of us, working groups will be asked to define their work, develop a plan to recruit additional working group members, and establish a timeframe in which specific work will be accomplished.
Accordingly, we plan to shift from bimonthly to monthly 1 ½ hour gatherings on Zoom or by phone in which we can continue to develop a common analysis of antiracism and discuss the progress of our working groups. We will gather on:
- September 20
- October 18
- November 15
- December 20
No prior attendance or experience in antiracism work is necessary. We invite all who are interested in analysis and contributing to a working group to join us whenever you are able to do so.