Delegates voted unanimously in their Saturday afternoon session to adopt the report and recommendations of the Task Force Addressing Racism, White Supremacy and Racial Injustice.
Throughout the 2023 ELCIC Special Convention, the task force had four sessions to address delegates – an opportunity to introduce the task force and their work, time for question and answers, table conversation, and a final session where the task force recommendations formed the motion for consideration by convention delegates.
In a session on Friday afternoon, task force members Rev. Aneeta Saroop and Dr. Joy (Mary) Philip shared the story of Rizpah.
“How many of us know the story of Rizpah?” asked Rev. Saroop. “Who is Rizpah?”
Walking delegates through the story of Rizpah, Dr. Philip noted, “we have been blessed by Rizpah – she teaches us that injustice requires a response. Racial discrimination demands a response from each and every one of us.”
Dr. Philip urged delegates to “walk the talk. Live out what we say. It’s not enough to say we are an anti-racist church. We need to be an anti-racist church,” she said, calling on delegates to consider Rizpah’s witness about doing the hard work and doing something radical.
Among the recommendations, the task force calls for the ELCIC to implement ongoing anti-racism training across all expressions of the church, as well as the creation of synod racial justice committees, a National Church Theological Study on Anti-Racism, White Supremacy and Issues of Racial Injustice, frequent public statements from National and Synod Bishops condemning Systemic Racism and calling for ongoing reformation in the church, as well as a review of the Nomination, Election and Hiring processes for the ELCIC.
The full report and recommendations from the Task Force can be found here: https://elcic.box.com/s/vhuuz3rvw1ufomyy3aboutbwxja3q3or