A Lutheran on racism

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

Invitation to 40 Days of Prayer

September 8, 2015

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

As you are aware, our ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton designated last weekend as a time to draw special attention to our stance of solidarity with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and with all who work to combat racial violence and systemic racism in our world.

I am deeply grateful to Bishop Eaton for calling us into a new engagement with the destructive power and pervasive presence of racism in all aspects of our lives and work.  At the same time, I am painfully aware that a weekend emphasis on heightened awareness of this demonic force is only the beginning of the work that must be done.

I am therefore making a special appeal to the leaders of our synod to begin, now, a renewed commitment to summon the courage, the dedication, the perseverance and the faithfulness that is required of us to make the struggle with racism not just an event, but the ongoing expression of lives transformed by the love and power of Jesus.

We begin, at the encouragement of our synod antiracism team, with a period of 40 days of prayer, using, as you see fit, the daily prayer included here:  

Loving God, continue to guide the synod's antracism team as they move forward in their ministry.

As we emerge from this 40 days of preparation, I will be regularly encouraging and challenging us all in the use of additional resources and disciplines so that the work may continue. 

I fully expect that there will be many places of resistance and skepticism in this endeavor.  I am asking you, as colleagues, not only for your prayers, but for your partnership as we strive to make the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ into a living witness in our confused and broken world.

In the name and by the power of this same Jesus Christ,

Wayne N. Miller


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