ELCA reaffirms commitment to combat racism and white supremacy

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reaffirms its commitment to combating racism and white supremacy following the recent murders of Black Americans. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon (Sean) Reed, and George Floyd were our neighbors. Ahmaud Arbery was chased down, shot, and killed by a retired police officer and his son while jogging in Brunswick, Ga. (Feb. 23, 2020). Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was shot eight times by Louisville Metro Police Department officers who entered her apartment while serving a “no-knock warrant” (March 13, 2020). Dreasjon (Sean) Reed, a 21-year-old from Indianapolis died after being shot at least eight times by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer (May 6, 2020). George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis while begging for his life, a block away from Calvary Lutheran, an ELCA congregation (May 25, 2020). As the Conference of Bishops, we condemn the white supremacy that has led to the deaths of so many unarmed Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color in our country. We grieve with, pray for and stand in solidarity with the families and friends of all whose loved ones have been and continue to be victims of injustices run amok, racist violence and the insidious venom of white supremacy.

The ELCA’s social policy resolution, “Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric,” adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, states: “As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions.” As church, together we must work to condemn white supremacy in all forms and recommit ourselves to confront and exorcize the sins of injustice, racism and white supremacy in church and society and within ourselves as individuals and households.

On May 21, the ELCA Southeastern Synod hosted a webinar: “Becoming the Body of Christ – Condemning White Supremacy” in response to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. This is one of many strategic opportunities happening across this church to address white supremacy and racist rhetoric. On June 17, we will gather again as church to commemorate the Mother Emanuel 9 and to repent of racism and white supremacy. An online ELCA prayer service, including leaders from across the church and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton as preacher, is being planned for June 17, 2020, marking the fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9. We encourage congregations to reaffirm their commitment to repenting of the sins of racism and dismantling white supremacy that continue to plague this church by marking this day of penitence with study and prayer leading to action.  https://www.elca.org/emanuelnine

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

Presiding Bishop

Deacon Sue Rothmeyer



The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew

Bishop, New Jersey Synod

Chair, Conference of Bishops


The Rev. Thomas M. Aitken

Bishop, Northeastern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. Abraham D. Allende

Bishop, Northeastern Ohio Synod


The Rev. Jon V. Anderson

Bishop, Southwestern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. James A. Arends

Bishop, La Crosse Area Synod


The Rev. Daniel G. Beaudoin

Bishop, Northwestern Ohio Synod


The Rev. Susan J. Briner

Bishop, Southwestern Texas Synod


The Rev. Shelley M. Bryan Wee

Bishop, Northwest Washington Synod


The Rev. Michael L. Burk

Bishop, Southeastern Iowa Synod


The Rev. Susan Candea

Bishop, Central States Synod


The Rev. H. Jeffrey Clements

Bishop, Northern Illinois Synod


The Rev. Barbara J. Collins

Bishop, Upper Susquehanna Synod


The Rev. Yehiel Curry

Bishop, Metropolitan Chicago Synod


The Rev. Patricia A. Davenport

Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. Suzanne D. Dillahunt

Bishop, Southern Ohio Synod


The Rev. James S. Dunlop

Bishop, Lower Susquehanna Synod


The Rev. Paul T. Egensteiner

Bishop, Metropolitan New York Synod


The Rev. Paul D. Erickson

Bishop, Greater Milwaukee Synod


The Rev. R. Guy Erwin

Bishop, Southwest California Synod


The Rev. Katherine A. Finegan

Bishop, Northern Great Lakes Synod


The Rev. William O. Gafkjen

Bishop, Indiana-Kentucky Synod


The Rev. Michael K. Girlinghouse

Bishop, Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod


The Rev. William J. Gohl

Bishop, Delaware-Maryland Synod


The Rev. James W. Gonia

Bishop, Rocky Mountain Synod


The Rev. Erik K. Gronberg

Bishop, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod


The Rev. Constanze Hagmaier

Bishop, South Dakota Synod


The Rev. Lorna H. Halaas

Bishop, Western Iowa Synod


The Rev. Regina M. Hassanally

Bishop, Southeastern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. James E. Hazelwood

Bishop, New England Synod


The Rev. Mark W. Holmerud

Bishop, Sierra Pacific Synod


The Rev. Robert F. Humphrey

Bishop, Virginia Synod


The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer

Bishop, Grand Canyon Synod


The Rev. Richard E. Jaech

Bishop, Southwestern Washington Synod


The Rev. Laurie A. Jungling

Bishop, Montana Synod


The Rev. Donald P. Kreiss

Bishop, Southeast Michigan Synod


The Rev. Wilma S. Kucharek

Bishop, Slovak Zion Synod


The Rev. Kristen E. Kuempel

Bishop Northwest Intermountain Synod


The Rev. Kurt F. Kusserow

Bishop, Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. Laurie A. Larson Caesar

Bishop, Oregon Synod


The Rev. Michael L. Lozano

Bishop, Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. Patricia J. Lull

Bishop, Saint Paul Area Synod


The Rev. Brian D. Maas

Bishop, Nebraska Synod


The Rev. John S. Macholz

Bishop, Upstate New York Synod


The Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt

Bishop, East-Central Synod of Wisconsin


The Rev. Idalia Negron-Caamano

Bishop, Caribbean Synod


The Rev. Leila M. Ortiz

Bishop, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod


The Rev. Michael L. Rhyne

Bishop, Allegheny Synod


The Rev. Michael W. Rinehart

Bishop, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod


The Rev. Peter Rogness

Interim Bishop, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin


The Rev. S. John Roth

Bishop, Central/Southern Illinois Synod


The Rev. Craig A. Satterlee

Bishop, North/West Lower Michigan Synod


The Rev. Laurie Skow-Anderson

Bishop, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin


The Rev. Timothy M. Smith

Bishop, North Carolina Synod


The Rev. Kevin L. Strickland

Bishop, Southeastern Synod


The Rev. Pedro M. Suarez

Bishop, Florida-Bahamas Synod


The Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen

Bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod


The Rev. Andrew A. Taylor

Bishop, Pacifica Synod


The Rev. William T. Tesch

Bishop, Northwestern Minnesota Synod


The Rev. Steven L. Ullestad

Bishop, Northeastern Iowa Synod


The Rev. Shelley R. Wickstrom

Bishop, Alaska Synod


The Rev. Lawrence R. Wohlrabe

Interim Bishop, Eastern North Dakota Synod


The Rev. Herman R. Yoos

Bishop, South Carolina Synod


The Rev. Samuel R. Zeiser

Bishop, Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod


The Rev. David Zellmer

Interim Bishop, Western North Dakota Synod