This past weekend 15 sojourners from ECLC attended a conference called “Journeying toward Justice: Privilege and Race in Our Church” at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis. We, along with over 400 others, named and confessed the white culture that permeates the Lutheran church and the white privilege that continues to exclude and alienate people of color. We were called to reimagine the Beloved Community, where all are invited to the table to experience the abundant grace of God. While at the conference we heard from Rozella Haydée White, a third-generation Lutheran and public theologian, who challenged white people to consider how, in this day and age, we can practically confront white privilege and the ways people of color are excluded. She suggested six actions or steps along the journey:
- Build an authentic relationship with a person of color this year.
- Intentionally put yourself in places where you are the minority.
- Commit to reading books written by non-white authors and watching films with non-white characters.
- Join an organization committed to fighting racial inequities.
- Take a public stance against racism on social media.
- Confront family members or friends who express racist sentiments.
You will hear more about this in the year to come, and yet there’s no time like the present to begin this journey toward healing and wholeness for all of God’s creation, especially for our brothers and sisters of color, both in society and in our church. The journey begins with a single step.
-Pastor Stephanie Coltvet Erdmann