June 1, 2022
The report was not immediately released out of respect for the confidential nature of the work they undertook, and that of the individuals they interviewed. After further consultation with the Listening Team, I have decided that releasing the report is a necessary step so that we can move forward and focus now on additional ways to facilitate healing.
This additional transparency is critical for our life together, and it is a beginning of naming and acknowledging the pain that our siblings of color have suffered.
Let me state clearly – the ELCA is a church that will not tolerate racism in any way. We will hold ourselves as fully accountable as any other person or group, and we will condemn racism wherever it exists. We look to our allies in communities of color for help and accompaniment in this long journey, and we will need the prayers and partnership from all corners of the Church. I look forward to beginning that work in earnest with you.
There are systemic issues of broken trust at all levels within the ELCA that will require intentional work to repair and address. Not initially releasing the Listening Team’s report has contributed to that. I apologize for the delay, and I feel broken-hearted for the pain that has been caused.
I encourage all members of the church to carefully review the report [ENGLISH SPANISH] so that we may all continue the necessary dialogue to achieve a path forward together.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Read this statement in Spanish.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands.,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder