Tuesday August 9th was a full day at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly. #CWA2022 Action included a memorial I shared about earlier to provide for a Commission for a New Lutheran Church. We also cast a first ballot for vice president of the ELCA. But it also included worship, fellowship, and very important times of honesty and truth telling.
Your voting members from NT-NL Synod, ELCA have gathered (less our brother Luis Reyes who was unable to join us). So grateful for these individuals giving a full week of their busy lives to be present at this time. I also was so pleased to connect with two voting members from the The Southwestern Texas Synod who are members of my home congregation Gethsemane, Austin.
A time of deep emotional and spiritual depth came with a non-legislative session to provide a time of apology and repentance on behalf of the church to the people of Santa Maria Peregrina from the Sierra Pacific Synod. The details of why an apology was needed has been outlined in my blog on our website ntnl.org. We were deeply humbled by the bravery and witness of four members of this congregation who came to be with us for this time. Their courage and the willingness of our presiding bishop to step forward and apologize was a first step in beginning the work of learning, healing, and reparations to this community.
It is my fervent prayer and commitment that this moment would be a catalyst for ensuring we as church are working to be anti-racist in our actions and our organization. In NT-NL our Conferencia Latina NT-NL ELCA helps us to ensure diverse voices and perspectives are included in our synod council and leadership tables. I was honored to be invited to a reception hosted by the ELCA Latine Association after these events. My invitation of course came not because of me but because of NT-NL’s commitment to this work personified in our own NT-NL member Lupita Escamilla who serves as secretary of that association. May we continue this road of authentic community and inclusion of all voices in leadership.