Epiphany Season 2017
Dear EDLARJ Partners:
Crisis is the New Testament term for a time when one must choose between the light and the darkness, between hearing the welcome God extends to all and retreating into chauvinism as though ordained by God. Our crisis now is the choice between an open hand or a closed fist. The crisis confronts us at every turn: religious, social, economic, and political. To ignore or deny that this is a moment of crisis – to close our eyes – is in fact to accede to the darkness even if unwillingly.
In my own work, I have been fully engaged in three areas for some time: health equity, mass incarceration, and climate action. But since Christmas, I’ve also been called to pull together refugee support, train the surge of new activists from the Women’s March in anti-racism, and assist a new coalition for education equity. People of Color suffer in these areas so that the elite descendants from northern Europe can prosper unfairly. That is our heritage for better or worse.
Everywhere I turn there is opportunity to light candles in the darkness, to engage others in deliberation over this moment in history, and to fulfill the Gospel valuation of every person as worthy of the fruit of God’s creation.
It looks to me like I have full employment for the rest of my life. Hear me. I’m not talking about salary. I mean employment in the work of God.
How about you? Are you fully employed? Are you lighting candles and adding your voices among the vigils for justice and equity? Are you showing up for racial justice and doing your own work of de-constructing the internalized racism in which you were reared?
ELCA Multicutural Ministries held The Power of Connection Summitt at the Lutheran Center on May 20-22, 2016. EDLARJ was represented by Cathy Crimi (Vice President), Rev. Rosemarie Doucette, Harlan Johnson, Donna Matteis, Rev. Dr. Russell Meyer (President), and Aaron Schaedler.
Along with other persons of European descent, including Bishop Ann Svennungsen of the Minneapolis Area Synod and Molly Beck Dean, ELCA Youth Gathering Director, we processed questions gleaned from the Called Forward Together in Christ conversation study on the future of the ELCA. Here are shots of our discussion postings.
For education, inspiration, networking, and decision-making
Held with Asociación de Ministerios Hispanos de la ELCA
Late Thursday-Saturday Noon, September 10-12
Lutheridge Conference Center
2511 Hendersonville Rd., Arden, NC 28704
Lutheridge is about 2 miles from the Asheville Regional Airport and about one hour from the airport at Greenville, SC (A church bus may be available for a group arrival). Lutheridge is a short distance from I-40 or I-25 in the western part of North Carolina. Check out their website at www.lutheridge.com
Program plans with specific starting and ending conference times plus costs are still in process
American Indian and Alaska Native Lutheran Association
Oaks, Oklahoma on July 22-25, 2015.
African Descent Lutheran Association
& Association of Liberian Lutherans in the Americas
Baltimore, Maryland, July 30 – August 2
The most recent newsletter can be downloaded from the Newsletter folder - Resources | Newsletter, along with previous newsletters.
“Those of us who are considered white in our society have much work to do to counter-act our society that was created to benefit white people, and marginalize others. In a country where the top 100 wealthiest people have more resources than the bottom 150 million, and where the majority of people that are incarcerated are people of color, it is hard to make the argument that white privilege and racism are not realities. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves. Part of that education is the realization that these separations and divisions caused by white privilege are toxic to us, as well as those that are marginalized. We need to learn to live differently, loving all people, and finding the face of God in each person. We must embrace the example of Jesus of creating inclusive community, opposing the individualism of our society, and acknowledging that the resources of our world are given by God bountifully for all people to thrive. It is the responsibility of those of us who have been blessed with more than we need to ensure that others have what they need. This involves confronting the structures that distribute resources disproportionately. We need the partnership of other cultures to let us know when we are too blind to see that we are not accomplishing those goals. We also need to learn that by standing silently by, while others are oppressed, makes us complicit in the oppression.”
Written by EALA Board of Directors’ member Cathy Crimi, Nashville, ELCA Southeastern Synod, May 2015