From a Bishop's Desk

A series of opinion articles and essays from bishop's of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and ecumenical partners.


A Message for Black History Month | Week 1

Feb 01, 2023

The Peace of Christ Be with You.

Consider these two “headlines” side by side:

Blessed Are the Peacemakers
From the Gospel reading from Matthew for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

The College Board Strips Down Its A.P. Curriculum for African American Studies
New York Times, February 1, 2023

To give a little more clarity on the Times headline, “After heavy criticism, […] the College Board purged the names of many Black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory, the queer experience and Black feminism. It ushered out some politically fraught topics, like Black Lives Matter, from the curriculum

On this beginning day of Black History Month, we are called to honestly acknowledge not only that we haven’t achieved the equality of the kin-dom God intends (Far from it!) but that, as has happened so often before, there are forces resisting and fighting that kin-dom and attempting to reverse whatever gains have already been made.

In contrast, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Peacemaking is not ignoring differences and conflict but facing them with faith and a determination to walk in the steps of one another and challenge those things which would wipe out our identity as children of God. And one of the biggest tolls of peacemakers is education. I hope you will immerse yourself in the resources here for Black History Month and be educated so that we may all be better peacemakers.

Yours in the struggle for Shalom,
Bishop Paul Egensteiner