ELCA members support ecumenical partners in confronting racism

Affirming this church’s commitment to walk alongside its ecumenical partners, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) join with members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and other partners in support of “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America,” airing Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. EST.

The concert will kick off a national initiative for the Fund for Progress on Race in America, established in response to the June 17 shooting in which nine people were killed at the historic Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Funds raised will help develop programs around the country to address race, justice and reconciliation.

“With the leadership of our presiding bishop, our church has renewed its commitment to confront racism in church and society and to accompany our ecumenical partners, especially the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Black Methodist Coalition,” said Kathryn M. Lohre, executive for ELCA ecumenical and inter-religious relations. “This is an opportunity for us to reach out to our sisters and brothers in Christ, to organize watch parties and to engage in dialogue about racial justice and action toward racial reconciliation together.”

The broadcast will also feature special conversations on race in America that were recorded in Baltimore; Ferguson, Mo.; and Charleston.

“Any opportunity to bring people together to have conversations about race that lead to action is of major importance,” said Judith Roberts, program director for ELCA Racial Justice Ministries. “The arts can serve as another platform to engage and bring together people to work for change. The goal of the concert is to support leaders with funds to support initiatives for racial justice within their own community. I hope ELCA members host viewing events or join with others to watch the concert.”