Engage and Respond

EngageRespond_Final

As the Evangelical Covenant Church, we grieve the death of George Floyd. We lament that the pandemic of systemic racism has not only been allowed to grow in our nation but has also established a foothold in too many churches, fomented by some and ignored by others. Read the full statement here.

Below are some ways to engage and respond to the killing of George Floyd, civil unrest, and anti-black racism in our nation.


Solidarity is Calling

A time of repentance, lament, and response to the call of solidarity in an extensive online event including a range of Covenant voices: Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom, Dominique Gilliard, Evelyn Johnson, Soong-Chan Rah, Paul Robinson, T.J. Smith, David Swanson, John Wenrich, and more.

The Six-fold Test for Multiethnic Ministry

A six-fold multi-dimensional test has therefore been adopted by the Covenant Executive Board, with the additional support of the Council of Administrators, the Council of Superintendents and ethnic leaders in the ECC. This test is not meant to be sequential, but rather with action moving forward on multiple fronts.

  1. Population: Is the Covenant reaching increasing numbers of people among increasing numbers of populations?
  2. Participation: Are we finding ways to engage life together through denominational, conference, and local events, service and fellowship?
  3. Power: Are the positions and structures of influence (boards, committees, and positions at both the conference and denominational level) influenced by the perspective and gifts of diverse populations?
  4. Pace-setting: With additional perspectives, burdens, and gifts in our midst, what new ministry opportunities is the ECC now better positioned to strengthen and initiate?
  5. Purposeful Narrative: How do the stories of new backgrounds become incorporated into our overarching history? How do all of these streams flow together into one story moving forward
  6. Practicing Solidarity: In what ways are we standing with and advocating for the MultiethnicMosaic? How are we sharing in the suffering of others on both an individual and communal level?

The Kingdom Mosaic: Life Together Series

This is the first iteration of what will become a series of Bible studies focused on justice, racial righteousness, and the mosaic nature of the kingdom of God. The purpose of this series is to ground our pursuit of life together in the word of God as we grow from a denomination with multiethnic ministries into a multiethnic denomination.


Two historic pieces to remember in this time

  1. Dr. King on the cause of the 1967 Detroit Riots
  2. Black Wall Street

Read

  1. The Color of Compromise (small group curriculum)
  2. Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores (free video-based small group curriculum for this book)
  3. Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases
  4. The Cross and the Lynching Tree (pastoral reflection guide written by ECC leaders)
  5. I Bring the Voices of My People
  6. The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race
  7. Stamped from the Beginning
  8. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
  9. Between the World and Me
  10. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Watch

  1. Just Mercy (film discussion guide)
  2. When They See Us (Netflix)
  3. True Justice
  4. Slavery by Another Name
  5. I Am Not Your Negro
  6. 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets
  7. Interview with James Cone
  8. Sermon from Otis Moss III
  9. Lecture by Willie Jennings
  10. Devotional from Efrem Smith

Listen

Racial Righteousness & Lament Playlist


Lamentations and Prayer


Poems

  1. The Kids Who Die
  2. Who but The Lord?
  3. Refugee in America
  4. I, Too
  5. Harlem
  6. Let America Be America Again
  7. Caged Bird
  8. We Wear the Mask
  9. Ballad Of Birmingham
  10. Afterimages

Respond

  1. Host a watch party to view one of the films (above) and discuss it in community
  2. Launch a book club to read one of the books (above) in community
  3. Consider donating to the Sankofa Scholarship fund.
  4. If your city has been impacted, join a community project to clean up and repair your city.
  5. Have your children’s ministry go through the Justice Journey for Kids curriculum
  6. Have your youth ministry go through this curriculum that helps students envision and pursue racial righteousness.
  7. Have your congregation plan to host an Invitation to Racial Righteousness. This 2-day train lays the
    biblical and theological foundation for congregations to realize why racial righteousness and reconciliation are core components—not optional add ons—to following Christ.
  8. Theology, History, & Sociology of Whiteness - Reading List

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Statement on Solidarity

We affirm that racial inequality continues to exist in our society today. The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) takes seriously our call to practice solidarity with all who are vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed as our biblical witness calls us to do, while paying special attention to the anti-black racism that has created recent increased trauma and injustice in our nation.

We pledge to support the dismantling of systemic oppression and racism in our communities through listening, prayer, and action. We will practice intentional listening, engagement in corporate and personal prayer to name and repent of the sin of racism, and corporate action through our discipleship pathways across the country and worldwide.

We must continue this work. It is our foremost desire to link arms with our brothers and sisters in order to reflect how precious each person is in God’s sight, and we trust Jesus Christ to guide us as we seek to humbly listen and respond.

John Wenrich, President of the Evangelical Covenant Church
Paul Robinson, Executive Minister of Love Mercy Do Justice
Dominique Gilliard, Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation
Covenant Offices Leadership Team
Council of Administrators
Council of Superintendents
ECC Ministerium
Mosaic Commission
Mary Chung March, Chair of the Mosaic Commission and President of the Covenant Asian Pastors Association
Juana Nesta, President of the Associación Latina de la Iglesia del Pacto Evangélico
T.J. Smith, President of the Indigenous Ministers Association
Bryan Murphy, President of the African American Ministers Association
Jenell Pluim, Chair of the Covenant Executive Board
David Holder, Vice-Chair of the Covenant Executive Board
Julie Persson, Secretary of the Covenant Executive Board
Liz Mosbo VerHage, President of the Ministerium
Peter Hedstrom, President of National Covenant Properties
Mary Surridge, President of North Park University
Dave Kersten, Dean of North Park Theological Seminary and Vice President of Church Relations for North Park University
Ann Wiesbrock, President of Covenant Trust Company
Roger Oxendale, President of Covenant Ministries of Benevolence
Terri Cunliffe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Covenant Living Communities and Services
Mission Friends from throughout the globe