Resolution for a Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity Within the ELCA

#decolonizeLutheranism supports the Resolution for a Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity Within the ELCA, being presented to the ELCA Churchwide Council. Here is the text of the resolution:

Resolution for a Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity within the ELCA

WHEREAS the ELCA Church Council voted [CC15.11.55]: To recognize and affirm the extensive efforts of the presiding bishop to call the entire church to confront racism and to add our voice to that call; and To invite the presiding bishop to include the current efforts in a broader, comprehensive strategy toward becoming a racially and ethnically diverse church committed to dismantling racism; and

WHEREAS the Women of the ELCA has developed a wealth of resources and curriculum for racial justice from a Biblical and historical perspective and the Ethnic Specific Ministry Associations along with the Ethnic Specific, Multicultural and Racial Justice team have developed strategies for engaging and involving people of color in every aspect of the life of our church; and

WHEREAS our church is blessed with a breadth and depth of people of color and people with a first language other than English whose voices need to be amplified in order to guide this church in moving forward towards becoming a more inclusive and diverse church; and

WHEREAS even with these resources and supports, synods and congregations have had difficulty achieving this church’s commitment to diversity as reflected in the Continuing Resolutions under section 5.01 of the Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED the Churchwide Assembly direct the ELCA Church Council to form a Task Force for the purpose of developing a comprehensive set of strategies to equip congregations and synods to work towards becoming a more authentically diverse church. The work of the Task Force shall include but is not limited to:

  • consulting with WELCA, the Ethnic Specific Ministry Associations,  the Multicultural and Racial Justice Team, the Conference of Bishops and ecumenical partners;
  • collecting existing resources such as those available from WELCA and the Ethnic Specific Ministry Associations and beyond the ELCA;
  • identify needs for additional resources;
  • supporting synods in identifying their specific opportunities for growth;
  • assess the effectiveness of diversity strategies across the three expressions church in order to identify strategies that have yielded authentic diversity; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Task Force be composed of 1 person from each of the 9 regions and 1 Bishop who will serve as co-chair. The composition of the Task Force shall conform with the representational principles in section 5.01.f of the ELCA Constitution except that persons of Color and/or persons whose Primary Language is other than English shall comprise 100% of the Task Force and the Task Force will be ethnically diverse. The members of the Task Force shall be appointed by the Church Council in consultation with the ELCA Director of Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Church Council designate funds to support the work of the Task Force as soon as funds become available, no later than November April 2017. The work of the Task Force shall begin no later than August 2017 and conclude at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Task Force submit a report and recommendations to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly that includes;

  • a summary of the information gathered by the Task Force and
  • a proposal of recommendations for metrics and supports to provide mutual accountability for our commitment to diversity across the three expressions of the church and a proposal for funding these efforts.

 

#decolonizers presenting the resolution at the Churchwide Offices, signed by #decolonize16 attendees.
#decolonizers presenting the resolution at the Churchwide Offices, signed by #decolonize16 attendees.