Being Liked to Change the Narrative

Our commitment to racial justice and witness to an anti-racist, cross-cultural church is coming out of the box. Our name change shows that. On Facebook, we gained 20 withschmitt2new likes with the announcement of the new name and saw an increase of activity – at one point reaching over 600 people. I’d like to see us hit a goal of 500 likes by the year end. We’re at 351 today.

Why push Facebook likes? Because media influences the national narrative. As Robert Redford said in an interview about his new movie “Truth”, “It’s about the story.”

The truth that the European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice is telling is a classic coming of age story. For far too long European descent Lutherans have naively enjoyed their cultural privilege, missing how the Gospel powerfully frees our imaginations and fears to embrace the experiences of those who lack the privileges we enjoy. In my experience, once one discovers this gospel freedom, there’s no going back to naiveté. The baptismal call of rising to newness of life reinvigorates our passion and clarifies the faith to which we witness. The Spirit brings us into new community, into ongoing relationships with people who have seen our privilege long before we recognized it for ourselves.

In social media, we can share our stories of discovery widely. They all add up over time to help shape a new emergent narrative of being church: they who lift up those who have been bowed down and welcome that which was once feared.

According to Facebook, our likes come from major cities and rural areas around the U. S. and among numerous countries (our global mission!). I ask each one of us to actively recruit at least one new friend to like our Facebook page this month. We’d hit that 500 goal this month, and we would sow seeds that will “grow a hundredfold”.

Then next month, we can turn to Twitter!

It’s an honor to serve as president of the European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice. Please name the EDLARJ in your prayers and ask that its board, partners, mission receive power from on high to fulfill its part of God’s mission in this world.

Grace and peace,
Russell

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Pastor, New Parish Tampa
Executive Director,
Florida Council of Churches