Early in this week, I received, along with all the other clergy members of the ELCA, a request from our Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton, to make this Sunday a day of repentance and mourning after the tragic shooting of nine men and women at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston some ten days ago. You heard Dan read her statement on the events already. And though we appreciated the message and worship resources she sent, Dan and I decided together NOT to follow her request, mostly because it seemed like too little, too late. We talked and prayed about it last week, and the resources would have been welcome then. A friend of mine pointed out that it wouldn’t hurt us to talk about race two weeks in a row, and I tend to agree with him. But we don’t need repentance and mourning anymore. No amount of mourning will bring these nine people back. What we need now is action. We, a mostly white community of faith, have the obligation now of doing something to change the racism rampant in our world, so that the senseless death of God’s children due to hate can stop. Unfortunately, Dan and I haven’t figured out what kind of action we should take. And so, trusting in the Holy Spirit dwelling in all of us, I invite you to come to one of us and share your ideas, so we can hear what God is calling us to do together.

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