Our Response to Racism and the Murders at the Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC
Because our sisters and brothers in Christ in Charleston are grieving the deaths of Sharonda Coleman‐Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Daniel Simmons, Sr., Cynthia Hurd, Myra Thompson, DePayne Middleton and Clementa Pinkney, who were murdered by an ELCA member who wanted to kill African Americans and start a race war; and
Because we know that despite our faith and understanding of God's calling to us to love one another, God's message does not always penetrate our souls or guide every action we choose; and
Because this incident shocked our conscience and triggered us to examine our complacency with systemic racism including persistent white racism; and
Because we understand that when we are silent we are complicit in these evils and systemic effects;
We, the members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia, acknowledge racism in individual bigotry, unconscious bias, and societal and church systems; and
We confess the evil, violence, oppression and marginalization perpetrated due to racism—in particular, by white Christians toward African Americans and other persons of color; and
We recognize racism still occurs in overt violence like the murders in Charleston and in veiled ways that impact education, employment, housing, health and upward mobility; and
We commit to becoming a community that, as a regular part of the practice of our faith, confronts our own biases, bigotry and racism and builds relationships with our brothers and sisters of color through ongoing prayer, repentance, contemplation, education and action.
We also commit to stand together with people of color in solidarity to challenge the symptoms, actions and effects of racism.
Adopted by the Good Shepherd Lutheran Congregation Council
August 10, 2015