Here are a few resources provided by the NT-NL Synod and the ELCA which congregations can use to discuss and understand racism, systemic racism and oppression, and issues of racial justice and equity in the U.S.
BRIDGES Book Club
Recent events involving the shooting of Dallas police officers and of young African-American men have raised the issue of racism to the top of our national conversation. In order to provide opportunities for us to learn, to talk, and to grow in our understanding of each other in a safe and constructive environment, the NT-NL’s Public Witness Team has established BRIDGES, a book club where these conversations may take place.
The first book for discussion was America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America (Jim Wallis), available for purchase from the publisher, from most bookstores, or at a discount from Half Price Books or on Amazon.com.
The current book for discussion is Letter from a Birmingham Jail (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).
If you wish to be on the email list for details regarding BRIDGES Book Club gatherings, please send your name, phone number, and email address to Jason O’Neill at email@example.com.
Initiative of the NT-NL Public Witness Team for Peace and Justice.
Individual videos in the playlist:
- Presiding Bishop Eaton addresses issues of racial justice (ELCA video) | transcript
- ELCA leader continues call for racial equity (ELCA video) | transcript & resources
- Confronting Racism webcast (ELCA video)
- Racial Equity Consultant Joyce James (Keynote Speaker at the 2014 NT-NL Mission Assembly)
- Garfield High School Principal José Huerta (Keynote Speaker at the 2014 NT-NL Mission Assembly)
- Restorative Justice in Public Education I: Principal José Huerta (2014 NT-NL Mission Assembly)
- Restorative Justice in Public Education II: Principal José Huerta (2014 NT-NL Mission Assembly)
- The New Jim Crow: Toward a New Consensus on Justice (2013 NT-NL Table Talk)
- Michelle Alexander at The New Jim Crow: Toward a New Consensus on Justice (2013 NT-NL Table Talk special evening event)
Sermons and Blog Posts:
- The Stirring in My Spirit (sermon video & text), Pastor Angela Shannon (King of Glory, Dallas)
- Three Storms (sermon text), seminary intern Drew Yoos (Calvary, Richland Hills)
- Sermon for June 21, 2015 (audio; select “06-21-15-Pastor-Kris.MP3”), Pr. Kris Totzke (St. Luke’s, Richardson)
- The Truth Shall Set You Free, Rozella White, ELCA Program Director for Young Adult Ministry
- I Confess: I am Dylann Roof NT-NL Bishop Kevin S. Kanouse
- Speaking Accountability, Justice, and Grace NOW Bishop Kevin S. Kanouse
- Racism: The “White Noise” of Black Life (Dan the Story Man) Pastor Angela Shannon (King of Glory, Dallas)
- How Will The Massacre at Emanuel AME Affect White Churches? 5 Ways to Respond (Sojourners) Ruth Hawley-Lowry
- Intentional Bridge-Building After Charleston TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod Bishop Mike Rinehart
Resources Collected by NT-NL Public Witness for Peace & Justice Team:
- The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (documentary on the lynching of a 14-year-old Black boy in Mississippi in the 1950s)
- Traces of the Trade (documentary on the largest slave-trading family in US history)
- Book list by Austin Channing to “aid your growth towards understanding race, justice, and faith: austinchanning.com/library/
- Charleston Syllabus (list of academic resources)
- Christians and Racial Justice (Sojourners Magazine)
- Resource list compiled by #ThisIsWORR (Week of Righteous Resistance)
Women of the ELCA Resources:
The Story of Peter and Cornelius: An Anti-Racism Bible Study on Unity This Bible study on Acts 10, the story of Peter and Cornelius, can also be used in your group to introduce people to Scripture that affirms diversity as being both of God and part of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The study consists of an introduction (to be read aloud by the leader at the beginning of the study), five brief sessions with questions for reflection on a passage of Scripture, and a closing prayer or litany. This study can be done at one time or broken out into shorter sessions. Download the PDF materials here.
Called to be Political: But I Don’t Want to Be Political! offers a fascinating glimpse into the teachings of Martin Luther on the role of Christians in politics and explores how those teachings still speak to us. A two-hour program. Download the PDF materials here.
Called to Deal with Difficult Issues: A Challenging Ministry presents a process for thinking theologically as we face difficult issues in our daily lives. Download the PDF materials here.
God Colors Outside the Lines: A Short Workshop on Diversity and God’s Church Diversity is one way God demonstrates genius at coloring outside the lines. Through scripture and simple, brief exercises, this short resource will help you demonstrate how diversity is a gift from God, as well as a trait of God, worthy of our exploration and embrace. Download the PDF materials here.
The Level Playing Field: We are called by our constitution to be an anti-racist organization. This program is part of our anti-racism education materials and uses an activity called The Level Playing Field to help people make the connection between racism and real life. It is ideally used with a cross-cultural group, either large or small. Download the PDF materials here.
Stand Up for Justice: A guide to advocating for a just society. This is a good first step in your journey toward tackling tough issues. Working for justice is not a quick and easy process but a long-term commitment involving both reflection and action. In this justice journey, your actions emerge after Bible study, prayer, reflection, listening, research, and careful planning. This resource can be used by individuals as well as by groups. Download the PDF materials here.
See an alphabetical listing of all resources provided by the Women of the ELCA here.
Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture Social statement adopted by the ELCA in 1993
Transcript of Bishop Eaton’s March 2015 video statement (including list of resources)
Confronting Racism webcast (including list of resources)
See more resources at elca.org/Resources/Racial-Justice.