February is celebrated across the nation as Black/African-American History Month. It is a time we can engage our youth groups, faith formation participants, small groups, worship and music planning teams, and mission partners around the vibrant and rich Black culture and history. During Black History Month we remember that to love our neighbor and seek justice for them in a way that can genuinely restore the missing pieces or broken places in our Christian community, we must first gain understanding and build healthy relationships. I pray that this February is a season of rich learning and deeper diving into the many contributions of African Descent Lutherans to our Christian family. A few ideas that may help “jumpstart” your journey are below!
Resources on African and African Descent History and the Church:
- Luther’s Small Catechism with African Descent Reflections | Augsburg Fortress
- Fortress Introduction to Black Church History | Augsburg Fortress
- African Theology on the Way: Current Conversations | Augsburg Fortress
- Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation | Augsburg Fortress
- The Bible and African Americans: A Brief History | Augsburg Fortress
ELCA Faith Formation and Conversational Resources On Black History and Racial Justice:
- One Body Many Members – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (elca.org)
- Talking Together as Christians Cross-Culturally: A Field Guide, Revised Edition (elca.org)
- Talking Together as Christians About Tough Social Issues; A Guide (elca.org)
- How to Have Helpful Conversations About Race in the Church (womenoftheelca.org)
- A Historical Timeline of Race Relations (womenoftheelca.org)
I hope you have found something that inspires you to dig deeper and to share with a friend! Truly, we are blessed by the diverse gifts of God’s many people. In February, we are especially grateful for the resilient and hopeful faith of people of African Descent.
Assistant to the Bishop Pastor Carla Christopher Wilson coordinates ministries of social justice including racial, LGBTQIA+, immigration, hunger, and poverty; and serves as staff liaison to the following committees: Criminal Justice System Ministry, Global Mission, Toward Racial Justice, World Hunger and Synod Worship. She is also Associate Pastor of Faith Formation and Outreach at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster.
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