From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Assembly Reaffirms Work Against Racism

Date Sat, 16 Aug 2003 18:54:42 -0500


August 16, 2003

ELCA Assembly Reaffirms Work Against Racism

     MILWAUKEE (ELCA) -- The 2003 Churchwide Assembly of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Aug. 16 reaffirmed
the church's efforts to work against racism.
     The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of
the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 11-17 at the Midwest Airlines
Center.  There are about 2,100 people participating, including
1,031 ELCA voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is
"Making Christ Known: For the Healing of the World."
     By a vote of 916 to 53, the assembly adopted a
recommendation from the memorials committee to reaffirm the
values and goals in the ELCA's 1993 social statement "Freed in
Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture."	That statement, in the
words of the memorials committee, calls on the ELCA to "confront
racism, give public leadership and witness of racial-justice
issues, and persevere in our mission and ministry in a
multicultural society."
     The assembly also voted to "encourage members,
congregations, synods, and agencies and institutions to join the
churchwide organization in its commitment as described in
'Faithful Yet Changing: The Plan for Mission in the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America,'" the ELCA's new strategic plan.  The
strategic plan, which has been approved by the ELCA Church
Council and is scheduled for presentation to the assembly Aug.
17, commits the church to:
     + "confront the scandalous realities of racial, ethnic,
cultural, religious, age, gender, familial, sexual, physical,
personal, and class barriers that often manifest themselves in
exclusion, poverty, hunger, and violence,"and to
     + "pursue ardently the ELCA's commitment to becoming more
diverse, multicultural, and multigenerational in an ever-changing
and increasingly pluralistic context, with special focus on full
inclusion in this church of youth, young adults, and people of
color and people whose primary language is other than English."
     By a vote of 447 to 524, the assembly turned down an
amendment that would have added a sixth "strategic direction" to
the five already in the strategic plan: "to assist this church to
become an antiracist, multicultural church."
     Janet Thompson, member of the ELCA Church Council and chair
of its planning and evaluation committee, urged voting members to
decline the amendment.	She said that the Church Council decided
that including antiracism efforts in the strategic plan's
commitments means that those efforts will permeate all five of
the strategic directions.
-- -- --
Information about the ELCA Churchwide Assembly can be found at on the Web.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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