Report and recommendations from the Task Force Addressing Racism, White Supremacy and Issues of Racial Injustice Approved

July 2, 2023

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:

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”