Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This letter accompanies the final installment of the work of the Northwest District’s Racism Task Force. The work of the Task Force is the response to Resolution 2-03b – To Condemn the Sin of Racism – from the 2018 Northwest District convention. The following resolved is a part of the convention action:
“that honest conversation about racism and its effects be encouraged in the District by creation of a District Task Force on Racism and its Effects to develop tools to help congregations see and respond to racism and its effects in their local setting,”
That has been the objective of the task force in all the materials they have provided to help us have such an honest conversation about racism. Though individuals can find value in reading through and studying the toolkit, it is built primarily for group discussion and prayer together. We would also encourage local leaders to adapt the materials as appropriate for their setting.
This issue has been a lightning rod for our society and culture for some time, reaching a point of violence some two years ago in the wake of George Floyd’s death. It has become a dividing line between family members and between God’s people in the church. Human beings have the tendency to intellectualize an issue that is difficult rather than looking honestly at their behavior. The “Speaking the Truth in Love About Racism” Task Force Toolkit seeks to confront us with the effects of racism on real people who have taken the risk of sharing their stories. I invite you to listen to those stories and take them to heart. As you do so, consider how our Lord Jesus would have us respond to those who have been hurt.
It’s in this spirit that these final two studies are brought to you. They are intended to be a starting point of a continuing and deeper conversation about how we can all better reflect the love of Christ to one another, no matter our race. It is a godly exercise to consider how we might truly be a blessing to one another. God bless you as you journey on this path.
Serving the Lord and His church,
Rev. Dr. Paul Linnemann
President of the Northwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Get the resources:
ALSO WORTH A LOOK: The Racism Task Force Toolkit was introduced by President Linnemann during his report at the 2022 NOW District Convention. Watch a video clip here.