The Metropolitan New York Synod is blessed with a rich diversity of people and cultures. This was affirmed by the 2012 Synod Assembly as a part of our Strategic Plan:
As on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13), the Holy Spirit still empowers God’s diverse people to be together and to understand each other, and share in proclaiming God’s deeds of power with a united voice in a diverse world. To help us so to preach the Gospel, the Metropolitan New York Synod will nurture racial, ethnic and cultural awareness and sensitivity in the hearts, minds, souls and behavior of all of God’s people in our synod and synodical programs, policies and procedures.
As a part of the 2015 Synod Assembly, we resolved to continue our commitment to address racism in our church and society and provide anti-racism training to our leaders, clergy, and candidates. A task force was appointed and synod staff immediately began to coordinate efforts. Five trainings were offered in 2016 throughout the year, which brought in a total of 246 participants. Of those participants, 80 congregations were represented. 27% of our synodically rostered deacons and 28% of our pastors attended trainings. 80% of our Strategy Area Committee members, 70% of our Conference of Deans, 96% of our Synod Council, and 100% of our Synod Staff were all trained in the past year.
Pr. Michael Russell, an ELCA pastor and trainer with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training commented, "As a confessional and reformational church, the Metropolitan New York Synod has engaged a substantial amount of time, financial and human resources to dismantling systematic racism and how it hinders our ability to be the church and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ." We are thankful to Pr. Russell and Pr. Lori Adams who were our trainers for three of these events.
Thank you to everyone who has participated! We anticipate more opportunities for discussions and trainings.
Starting conversations around racial justice
Many of us yearn for help in figuring out how God and our faith relate to the issues we encounter in our lives and society. Some may be reluctant to talk about questions, especially if they may open up real differences among them.