Our Membership in the Emmaus Collective
In November 2018, our Advent Council wholeheartedly voted to affirm the Pastors’ direction in leading Advent into membership with the Emmaus Collective. During Lent we gathered on Sunday mornings for an Adult Faith Formation Series about racism and the Church, culminating in an introduction of this new partnership. Learn more below about the Emmaus Collective, next steps for Advent, and resources about racism and the Church.
What is the Emmaus Collective?
Its a map of our online directory of churches that are on the way to, or working on, dismantling white supremacy in their church culture. We are not saying they are done or totally safe, we are saying these are churches who are naming and claiming they that are doing the work.
We offer Christian communities a starting point, and accountability to creating and sustaining anti-racist spaces. Dismantling white supremacy and the constructs of "whiteness" is a life-long journey so we offer accompaniment on that road.
1. To join the collective, a congregation or Synod’s (or other governing body) entire staff and leadership team must attend anti-racism training. For a congregation, the additional requirement of whatever percentage of members required constitutionally for a congregational vote or an annual meeting must attend anti-racism training.
2. Once they are part of the collective they must do one racial justice, anti-racism action, or direct action in the surrounding community annually. Example: working with The Poor People’s Campaign.
3. Every 3-5 years the congregation or Synod must do anti-racism training again.
4. It costs 1/10 of 1% of the annual budget annually to be a member of the collective.
5. The Collective will provide cohorts for leaders guiding congregations through the process
6. The Collective will provide a constructive homiletical language to dismantle white supremacy with coaching and curriculum by the end of 2019.
Next Steps for Advent
Pray: Pray for justice for all God’s people and especially for those who face daily the realities of systemic racism in our communities. Pray for all people who fear for the safety of their children based solely on the color of their skin and dangerous power structures of our world. Pray for Advent, that we might be a community working to dismantle white supremacy, not only in the world but also in our congregation.
Education: We just finished a series on Race and the Church during our Sunday Faith Formation. Below are some of the resources shared in that process. It is important to open our hearts and hear the stories of others, especially when those stories do not look like our own. But that is only the beginning. We must look beyond individual bias when discussing racism. Racism is not only bias. It is bias plus power. So to work for justice means dismantling power structures that support bigotry and oppression. In the fall, we will be working with an organization offering bilingual anti-racism training in our community.
Serve: We are forming an Emmaus Team to implement strategies for our congregation to live into our identity as a church that is striving to be an anti-racism church. Prayerfully consider if you are called to serve on this team. Or if there is another person that you would like to lift up to serve on the team.
Advocate: In the coming months, there will be a number of opportunities to advocate, taking direction action for racial justice. The structures of racism play out in the immigration system, the criminal justice system, our economic and educational systems, the list can continue. When opportunities arise to advocate for racial justice, challenge yourself to participate. Together, we can do more.
(These resources are merely the tip of the iceberg.)
Does the ELCA Care About Black Churches? Part I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtD41cytL9Q
Does the ELCA Care About Black Churches? Part II https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51eVgofg2IY&t=26s
Young, Gifted, and Black in the ELCA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQq4dj9RDfM
The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Eric Dyson
Between the World and Me: A Letter to My Son, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America, Catherine Meeks
Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde
Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, Marc Lamont Hill
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander
Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice, Ched Meyers & Matthew Colwell
10 Ways to Fight Hate (Southern Poverty Law Center)
ELCA Cross Cultural Ministry
ELCA Ethnic Specific Strategies and Associations
Becoming Beloved Community, Episcopal Church
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Peggy McIntosh
Resources for Parents/Kids
Embrace Race: Raising a Brave Generation | https://www.embracerace.org/blog
Kids and Race | https://www.kidsandrace.org/
Raising Race Conscious Kids | http://www.raceconscious.org/blog/
A Litany For Those Who Aren't Ready For Healing
Let us not rush to the language of healing, before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound.
Let us not rush to offer a band-aid, when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction.
Let us not offer false equivalencies, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment.
Let us not speak of reconciliation without speaking of reparations and restoration, or how we can repair the breach and how we can restore the loss.
Let us not rush past the loss of this mother's child, this father's child ... someone's beloved son.
Let us not value property over people; let us not protect material objects while human lives hang in the balance.
Let us not value a false peace over a righteous justice.
Let us not be afraid to sit with the ugliness, the messiness, and the pain that is life in community together.
Let us not offer clichés to the grieving, those whose hearts are being torn asunder.
Let us mourn black and brown men and women, those killed extrajudicially every 28 hours.
Let us lament the loss of a teenager, dead at the hands of a police officer who described him as a demon.
Let us weep at a criminal justice system, which is neither blind nor just.
Let us call for the mourning men and the wailing women, those willing to rend their garments of privilege and ease, and sit in the ashes of this nation’s original sin.
Let us be silent when we don't know what to say.
Let us be humble and listen to the pain, rage and grief pouring from the lips of our neighbors and friends.
Let us decrease, so that our brothers and sisters who live on the underside of history may increase.
Let us pray with our eyes open and our feet firmly planted on the ground.
Let us listen to the shattering glass and let us smell the purifying fires, for it is the language of the unheard.
God, in your mercy …
Show me my own complicity in injustice.
Convict me for my indifference.
Forgive me when I have remained silent.
Equip me with a zeal for righteousness.
ALL: Never let me grow accustomed or acclimated to unrighteousness.
© 2014 Yolanda Pierce (resources from Confession, Repentance and Commitment to Anti-Racism Sunday ELCA 2015)