WHO WE ARE
In accordance with Motion 1.4 – Confronting and Dismantling Racism during the 2018 Eastern Synod Assembly the Racial Justice Advisory Committee was established to address issues of racism, racial justice and discrimination within its member congregations.
We are a committee of 14 members from across the Eastern Synod, both lay people and clergy, who come from different backgrounds and contexts. We acknowledge that we each have different experiences of privilege and that in different settings, some of us experience more privilege and some experience less. Every person is created in the image of God, and as such is valuable and beloved. We believe in God’s vision for community, where all voices are heard and we recognize that we, in the Eastern Synod, have not yet lived into God’s vision. Together, we aim to:
- To encourage the Eastern Synod to live into God’s kingdom values where all are heard and valued – within congregations, ministry areas, committees and all of our Synod structures
- To provide spaces in the Eastern Synod where racialized and marginalized persons’ voices are heard
- To encourage all of our members to a better understanding of racial injustice and white privilege, especially those who come from a place of privilege
- To empower the Eastern Synod and its congregations to work toward racial justice within the church and in the world
- To be a resource for the Synod on issues of racial justice
- To be salt, sandpaper, and yeast
We are working towards being a more open and welcoming presence within the Eastern Synod for those who are or feel marginalized because of their race, colour or ethnicity.
WHAT WE DO
- Bring issues of racial justice before congregations on a regular basis and to equip clergy and laity with resources for worship and learning
- Provide the Working Toward Racial Justice workshop resource
- Provide reminders and worship resources for use for Black History Month and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21)
- To provide quarterly sermons based on certain texts that engage racial justice
- Foster safer spaces by building relationships
- Model this within our own committee
- Provide a resource (workshop resource) that will allow ministry areas and congregations to gather and talk about race
- Provide a point of contact for support/advocacy/listening circle
- Name and address institutional, cultural, and interpersonal dynamics of privilege that sustain discrimination
- Review and hold accountable the Synod & its policies regarding diversity with respect to Synod Council, Deans, Ministry Directors, etc.
- Look at the current makeup of Synod structures – Synod Executive, Synod Council, Deans, Ministry Directors, etc and hold up the mirror