November 2018 E-Newsletter


Building Capacity for Synod Antiracism Teams

In mid September,  a member of EDLARJ joined synod antiracism teams in a training workshop put on by the Racial Justice Ministries of the ELCA. The purpose of the training was to build capacity for Synod antiracism teams.

Sixteen Synods were represented at the training. Some synods had very active antiracism teams; some synods had no team but were interested in forming one; most Synods had a team but were looking for ways to re-energize it. Questions were asked that helped Synods assess where on the spectrum they were located in regards to anti-racism work.
  • Has the Synod passed a resolution making anti-racism work a priority in the Synod?
  • Has the Synod provided any kind of anti-racism training?
  • Has it expressed an interest in doing so?
The training also provided information and suggestions for assessing organizational racism including a way in to assess where each synod team is on the spectrum of racial equity. Finally, the training provided tools for building and strengthening anti-racism teams.

How do Synods access the TWP Training?

Did you know every synod in the ELCA can purchase the Transforming White Privilege (TWP) workshop materials for only $250. This is a 50% discount and can be used through out your synod as many times as needed. 

TWP uses a wide array of workshop techniques to engage the participants in understanding more about white privilege and specifically addresses:

  • the social construction of race,
  • the stages of racial identity development,
  • the cycle of socialization
  •  the cultural messages we receive that create “isms” that shape how we interact with others.

For information or purchasing the training, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Racial Justice Ministries at the churchwide office in Chicago.

ELCA Advocacy Alert

Never Forget


Please feel free to reach out to the Editorial Team with stories, opinions, questions or visit our website at

Kathy Long This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.

EDLARJ Greets Church Council

The six ethnic associations of the ELCA were invited to send their presidents or other representative to bring greetings to the Church Council at its meeting April 7-10 at the Lutheran Center, Chicago.

Each association submitted a one page report for the packet for board members and were extended a couple of meetings to give greetings in person.

The EDLARJ president's report is here and the link to his greetings are here. The president is the Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer, pastor of St. Paul & Faith Lutheran Churches, Tampa, and Executive Director of the Florida Council of Churches.

martin greetingsAAPIgreetingsglorbalwomenleaderscholarslatino greetings


Welcome Refugees!

Syrian Refugee Banner

LIRS Alert to Call Governors

From ELCA Advocacy on Support for Syrian Refugees

Please find below a statement by our Presiding Bishop on Refugees and opposing efforts by governors against the refugee resettlement program. Also below, statements by ELCA Bishops in multiple states in support of refugees.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

Bishop Claire S. Burkat of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod

Bishop Patricia Lull of the Saint Paul Area Synod

Bishop Tracie L. Bartholomew of the New Jersey Synod

Bishop Jeff Barrow of the Greater Milwaukee Synod

Bishop Roger R. Gustafson of the Central States Synod (and Bishop Martin S. Field, Bishop, The Episcopal Church)

Bishop Michael Rinehart of the Gulf Coast Synod

Bishop Ray Tiemann of the Southwestern Texas Synod

Bishop Robert G. Schaefer of the Florida and the Bahamas Synod

Bishop Julian Gordy of the Southeastern Synod

***Bishop James Hazelwood of the New England Synod

Alaide Vilchis Ibarra

Assistant Director, Migration Policy and Advocacy | Subdirectora, Leyes Migratorias e Incidencia Política
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America | Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América
122 C Street NW, Suite 125, Washington, DC, 20001

Assembly Changes Name & Elects Officers


The 2015 EALA Board and Assembly took dramatic action in changing the name of the organization to reflect clearly its nature and mission. The new name is The European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice. The association is a partnership network that draws together Lutherans to focus their intentions and ministries in realizing a cross-cultural church in which all peoples experience inclusion, equity, and power - a church in which privilige no longer separates ethnicities.

The assembly also elected the Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer as President and Ms. Cathy Crimi as Vice-President. Pastor Mark Cergnalia contines as Secretary and Bev Dirkin as Treasurer.

The assembly also prioritized its primary goal as helping synods establish anti-racism/racial justice/full inclusion components in their organizational structure.

The association met alongside the Associaition of Hispanic Ministries, which also adopted a new name and strategic plan. Look for details of the assembly to be published soon. 


The group had a conversation with Dr Clayton Schmitt, Provost of LTSS. Dr Schmitt shared the schools response to the Charleston martyrs, its missional focus in preparing rostered leaders to engage all aspects of the parish in which they have their congregation call, and the ways in church institutions can address racism going forward.

The group also met with the Rev. Brenda Kneece, Executive Minister of the South Carolina Christian Action Council, who provided first hand accounts of the struggles against racism in the state, including the work of Hon. Rev. Clementa Pickney and the removal of the Confederate flag from the state house.

Below is the opening Eucharist with the Hispanic association. Rev. Rafael Malpica, ELCA Executive for Global Mission, presided and preached.