Talking Points

By Harlan Johnson

The ELCA strives to be a multi-racial anti-racist church. Synods have established anti-racism or racial justice - multi-cultural teams with minimal success. Now the ELCA, at the urging of other ethnic associations, has established the EALA. We encourage you to join, and when asked about the EALA, to say:


Recognizing that the ELCA is overwhelmingly white, we are called to mobilize all whites to overcome the separation and power differential between whites and others. How will we do it?

1. We will hold ourselves accountable to the other ethnic associations in the ELCA.
2. We will awaken white Lutherans to the challenge of overcoming institutionalized racism beginning with our own church body in its many expressions.
3. We will call on all white Lutherans to participate in a year-long process called Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the Church (Guide is available from Augsburg Fortress.)
4. We will identify and provide resources to the church to equip white Lutherans in this task, One source currently available is Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible, a course based on a DVD and study guide from World Trust Educaional Services.
5. We will challenge all leaders in the ELCA to publicly take a stand and bring the church to a position of partnership with all against oppression and for racial justice.
6. We will do all we can to connect all who are working for racial justice to become a unified force, celebrating our unity and our partnership.

WHY?

  • To celebrate God’s amazing creation, forming us in human community without judgment or separation.
  • To enable connections that include respect, compassion, and understanding.
  • To influence individuals and structures to have the curiosity and the courage to view our conditioning, and to take action within and outside the ELCA.