This is not a moment—this is a movement.
June 18, 2020
Launching the Racial Justice Network
A Network of Jesus Followers Learning to Be Anti-Racist
The Why: In his recent meditation for the synod's Emanuel 9 Commemoration on June 17, Bishop Smith reminds us of our call to reconciliation and the necessary—and painful—steps needed. He admonishes us, "It's lifelong work. It might be forever work—short of the reign of God—but we engage in it for the sake of our beloved, precious, image-of-God black & brown sisters and brothers, and for the sake of the reconciling Christ."
The deaths of our black and brown siblings like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks have left many wondering, “How do I respond?”

For some of our siblings of color, they are wondering, “How are you just noticing? We have been telling you.”

In our response we need to make clear: this is not just a moment but a movement . As a part of that movement among North Carolina Lutherans, we are launching the Racial Justice Network of the NC Synod—a network of Jesus followers learning to be anti-racist. 

What: A network of Jesus followers that will gather together on a digital platform—and in person when we are able—to learn, lean in to discomfort, confront and confess the ways we are complicit in racism, and name action steps small and large. 

Who: Jesus followers who want to invest in anti-racism work through learning & leaning in. Jesus followers who want to connect with others doing this work. Jesus followers ready to engage in, listen, learn, confess, and advocate for systemic change.

What joining means: This network will bring together thought leaders, curated content, and biblical conversation about race, justice, and more. Additionally, you will have the ability to learn slowly and with reflection. Lastly, you will be able to connect with other Lutherans from across this synod engaged in this work.

Is there a cost? There is a $25 participant fee to join the network. This $25 will be matched by the synodical budget. 50% of the funds collected will be reinvested back into our communities of color and their significant witness. Additionally, every thought leader who shares their content with us will be appropriately compensated and honored for their work.

Our leadership: The Racial Justice Network is under the umbrella of the synod's African Descent Strategy Team and will guided by its wisdom.  The network will be tended to by an Executive Leadership Team. Our bishop's staff liaison is Pastor Danielle K. DeNise.

Sign-ups for the network will open on June 30th after our Town Hall Conversation. Our first course in the network will begin July 13, 2020.
A Kick-Off Event:
Town Hall Conversation, June 30, 7:30 p.m.
The network will launch with a town hall conversation hosted by Bishop Tim Smith and featuring conversation with Pastor Kenneth Wheeler, Pastor Brenda Smith, and more incredible black Lutheran leaders.
Pastor Kenneth Wheeler is a retired pastor who served in four called ministries, 16 congregations as intentional interim, and as an assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Greater Milwaukee Synod. Pastor Brenda Smith serves as ELCA Program Director for Life of Faith and Book of Faith.

Join the Town Hall Conversation from our Facebook page, from the synod's YouTube page , or by using the button below to connect using Zoom.
Questions for our Town Hall Conversation will be gathered before the event. Submit your question.
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Ted Goins, executive team member of the Racial Justice Network, longtime member of the African-Descent Strategy Team, and CEO of Lutheran Services Carolinas, share how his faith and engagement with racial justice work call him to action as he leads.

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