Racial Justice Advisory Committee Update

At Synod Assembly last summer, when you passed Motion 1.4, you created a Racial Justice Advisory Committee to lead our Synod in the work of racial justice awareness, learning, and advocacy. Since then, your committee has been hard at work. Recently, all rostered ministers received a copy of the Working Toward Racial Justice workshop resource that was promised to you at Assembly. This resource can help open up space for conversations about race within congregations and ministry areas. If you haven’t heard of an opportunity to participate in one of these workshops in your area, then talk to your pastor or Ministry Area Dean to get something started. As a way to remember to hold our sisters and brothers in the world in our hearts and prayers, pastors will also receive reminders and worship resources to include to mark the International day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21) and National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) this year and going forward. As a committee, we have been working on creating for ourselves a set of goals that will help us work toward a vision for God’s Kingdom lived out within our Synod and in our communities. Part of those goals is to create safer space for conversations about race, in our Synod, Ministry Areas and congregations. We would like to provide a point of contact for those who could use some support, advocacy, and/or a listening circle if you have had difficult experiences around race and privilege. It can be especially difficult to experience racism in the church and it is important for everyone to have a place where their story can be heard. If you are looking for support, contact either Katherine Gohm, Director for Public Policy and Service Ministries (kgohm@elcic.ca) or Joanna Miller, RJAC Chair (joanna.e.miller@gmail.com). This committee is dedicated to the work of racial justice. We believe that every person is created in the image of God and, as such, is both valuable and beloved. We believe in God’s vision for community, where all voices are heard. And, we recognize that we, in the Eastern Synod, have not yet lived fully into God’s vision. Please pray for our work as we seek to lead us into becoming a Synod that better exemplifies God’s Kingdom.