Our congregation in Bermuda quickly moved into action upon conclusion of the 2015 Metro D.C. Synod Assembly. Urged by the “Racism and the Events in Charleston” (link to pdf file) resolution adopted by the synod on June 20, 2015, Peace Lutheran Church discussed at its very next congregation council meeting the document’s themes. As a result of contemplation on evil and violence perpetrated due to racism, the congregation adopted the following reflections on June 25, 2015.
STATEMENT REGARDING RACISM*
WHEREAS, a young white man has killed 9 African-American people in a Prayer and Bible Study Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina on 17th June, 2015; and
WHEREAS, this young man was brought up in a Lutheran Church of the ELCA; and
WHEREAS, this murderer gave racism as his sole motive; and
WHEREAS, the murdered pastor of the AME Church has been trained at an ELCA Seminary; and
WHEREAS, our Lord Jesus Christ demands us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:33 a.o.); and
WHEREAS, the Apostle Paul declares that in the Body of Christ all differences of nature, culture, and heritage are overcome (Gal 3:28ff); and
WHEREAS, the Synod Assembly of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the ELCA in its session on 19th and 20th June, 2015 has passed a motion with a statement against racism and encourages its congregations’ church councils to pass similar statements, may it be
RESOLVED, that the Church Council of Peace Lutheran Church, Bermuda is shocked and outraged about the violent outburst of racism and the murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina resulting in the brutal murder of 9 people; and be it further
RESOLVED, that Peace Lutheran Church as part of the mystical Body of Christ is welcoming people of all races, colour, ethnic heritage, gender, age, or language; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Church Council of Peace Lutheran Church Bermuda holds the opinion that prejudice against people of a different race, ethnicity, colour, or faith are part of one’s old sinful nature and should be overcome through faith in Jesus Christ by our new spiritual nature; and be it further
RESOLVED, that Peace Lutheran Church continues to work on overcoming open racism as well as silent remnants of racism and prejudice against people conceived as different, through prayer, teaching, preaching and discussion as the situation may demand and allow; and be it further
RESOLVED, that Peace Lutheran Church encourages all its members to protect and defend people from racial slurs, aggression and persecution, wherever possible.
Contact the synod office for more information about our Racial Equity and Racism Team.
*As with synod resolutions and memorials, “whereas” clauses are presented for background and
“resolved” clauses for content on which Peace Lutheran’s Church Council voted.