The Pacifica Synod’s Work toward Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
The May 2016 Pacifica Synod Assembly adopted a “Resolution to Confront Racism and White Privilege.” This work was initiated with the formation of the “Pacifica Synod Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group” (later renamed the “Anti-Racism Team”) to:
- “Identify and share high quality educational tools and events to raise awareness of racism, white privilege, and Christ-centered paths to liberation of oneself, church and society”;
- Guide “the Pacifica Synod of the ELCA to offer support for multicultural and multilingual ministry to engage and integrate congregations and leaders with nearby populations and to commit itself to provide accessible and affordable synod assembly and education events to less affluent leaders and congregations”;
- Support the Pacifica Synod to “bear persistent public witness in solidarity with oppressed people in this and other countries for the transformation of society toward the domination-free reign of God in Christ.”
Since then, we have held workshops at synod assembly and half-day seminars for church leaders to hear first-hand stories of our synod and regions and to grow awareness of racism and white privilege among the unique populations whom we serve. During 2020 and 2021, several of our conferences held online book studies of the book Dialogues on Race. In October 2021, a multi-day, anti-racism training event was held at Luther Glen for both rostered and lay leaders.
Currently, members of our team host a monthly hybrid event called the “People’s Roundtable on Anti-Racism” on the fourth Sunday of the month, from 2-4 p.m. PDT at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fullerton AND over Zoom. This discussion group is led by Jim Tyler and Sarah Tees. To receive the Zoom link to join, please email Sarah Tees at email@example.com.
Pacifica Synod Anti-Racism Team Members
Pastor Lara Martin, Co-Chair – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Darin Johnson, Co-Chair
Pastor John Barton
Pastor Kurt Christenson
Pastor Rick Fry – email@example.com
Bruce & Lin Hodkinson
Pastor Juli Patten
James Tyler – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Kathryn Zurcher
Terri Robertson – email@example.com
If you would like to become involved in multicultural ministry and anti-oppression work, please contact one of the co-chairs of the Anti-Racism Team, Pastor Lara Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anti-Racism Resources and Websites
(Books, Videos, Articles, Podcasts, etc.)
We will continue to add resources to the list below, so check back often. If you have resources to recommend or would like to share stories about how you or your congregation are currently working towards equity, diversity and inclusion, please contact James Tyler at email@example.com.
For a printable PDF of a beginner’s guide to anti-racism resources, click here.
ELCA “Talks at the Desk” – Video Series (YouTube)
ELCA Racial Justice Reports and Social Statements
Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent and Response – ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2019
ELCA Faith Formation Racial Awareness Resources
How Systemic Racism Adapts and Evolves – LA Progressive
Resources for Faithful Justice – InterVarsity Press
75 Things for White People to do to be Anti-Racist Allies during the COVID-19 quarantine – Karen Geiger
Talking About Race & Racism with Children – Christine V. Hides
How to Talk to Kids About Race – Judith Roberts – Living Lutheran
Birth of A White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today – Jacqueline Battalora
(This book serves as a good updated companion to the book by Allen (listed below) – James Tyler, Jr.)
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US – Rev. Lenny Duncan
Do the Work!: An Antiracist Activity Book – W. Kamau Bell and Kate Schatz
Faith-Rooted Organizing – Rev. Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel
Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century – Dorothy Roberts
Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
His Name is George Floyd – Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa
How to be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
The Invention of The White Race (Volumes 1 and 2) – Theodore W. Allen (Book Review)
Luther’s Small Catechism with African Descent Reflections – Augsburg Fortress
Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color – Khristi Lauren Adams
Racism Without Racists – Eduardo Bonavilla-Silva
Raise a Fist, Take a Knee: Race and the Illusion of Progress in Modern Sports – John Feinstein
So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
The Fire Is Upon Us – Nicholas Buccola
The Whiteness of Wealth – Dorothy A. Brown
Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man – Emmanuel Acho
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo
White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism – Paula Rothenberg
White Too Long – Robert P. Jones
Reading List – White Nation Reading List by James Tyler, Jr.
TV Program – CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism for Kids and Families
Podcast – Talking Race with Young Children
Podcast – Wait, is my Toddler Racist?
Curriculum – ELCA 2015 Youth Gathering – Together We Rise: Getting Ready Resource
Curriculum – George Floyd, Racism and Law Enforcement (English/Spanish) – Anti-Defamation League
Small Group Series – Dialogue on Race – Sparkhouse
Online Course – Spirituality and Racial Justice – Bishop Michael Curry
Green Book (2018)
Advocacy Toolkit – Joanna Watson, Resourcing Organizations with Opportunities for Transformation and Sharing (ROOTS)
Implicit Bias Assessment – Project Implicit
African Descent Lutheran Association – ELCA
National Council of Churches Anti-Racism Resources
Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California
Take the ELCA’s Anti-Racism Pledge Today!
In 2019, at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members adopted a resolution designating June 17 as a commemoration of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Congregations of the ELCA are encouraged to mark this day of penitence with study and prayer.
As church we are called to confess the sin of racism, condemn the ideology of white supremacy, and strive for racial justice and peace. Beyond statements and prayers, we are called to also act and respond to injustices. We invite you to visit the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge web page to learn more about the pledge and commit to one or more of the actions listed.