From the ELCA Website:
Memorials and resolutions enable this church to address broad policy issues or issues important to God’s mission in the world. Memorials address broad policy issues; resolutions have a narrower focus, requesting consideration or action by individual offices or units, or the Church Council. (A resolution can be the preferred method when an issue requires a timely response.) The churchwide organization and synods of the ELCA use a process to bring forth memorials and resolutions. Memorials and resolutions are one way this church addresses broad policy issues or important issues for God’s mission in the world.ELCA, Office of the Secretary
Resolutions have to come to the assembly from either a synod assembly or from the floor from a voting member. The ELCA put out a flowchart to help folks understand the process. This resolution will be coming from the floor of the assembly by a voting member.
Resolution: To establish June 17th as Emanuel 9 feast day of repentance
WHEREAS the Lord teaches us “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”(Luke 5:31-32); and
WHEREAS, the Emanuel 9 (Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel L. Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson) on June 17th 2015, while in prayer and bible study at the historic African-American church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist adult who was raised and formed in the ELCA; and
WHEREAS, that self-professed white supremacist espoused racist rhetoric and epithets before and after committing these murders; and
WHEREAS, two of his victims, Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons Sr., and Rev. Clementa Pickney, were graduates of the Lutheran Theology Southern Seminary, one of 8 ELCA seminaries.; and
WHEREAS, the deep sin of white supremacy and racism continues to be a plague and hindrance in the life of the ELCA as a church called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America reaffirm its commitment to repentance from racism by:
1. Venerating June 17th as a feast day of repentance in the ELCA for the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9; and
2. Having the names of the Emanuel 9 (Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson) added to future ELCA publications to venerate their martyrdom and lead us to repentance because of the white supremacy and racism in our church; and
3. Calling for this feast day be grounded in prayer as the Emanuel 9 were murdered while in prayer at the end of the bible study; and
4. Directing the Division on Worship to help develop future worship prayers and litanies around repentance from racism; and
5. Giving both prayer and financial support the memorial to be built in remembrance of the Emanuel 9 (https://www.emanuelnine.org/); and
6. Be in deeper conversations with the AME church on ways of reconciliation and repentance on the matters of white supremacy and racism.
Authored 18 June 2019 by: Rev. Michael Vinson, Rev. Kenneth Wheeler, Rev. Kwame Pitts, Rev. Angela Khabeb, Rev. Anglea Shannon, Ms. Suzannah Porter, Francisco Herrera, M.Div., Yvette NewberryWhite
The following individuals are named as authors of the resolution:
- Rev. Michael Vinson
- Rev. Kenneth Wheeler
- Rev. Kwame Pitts
- Rev. Angela Khabeb
- Rev. Angela Shannon
- Mr. Francisco Herrera, M.Div
- Ms. Yvette NewberryWhite
- Ms. Suzannah Porter
This petition asks the Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to pass the resolution and make June 17th Emanuel Nine Feast Day of Repentance. As such, it will be added to the Evangelical Lutheran Worship publication. The particular characteristics of this day, as noted in the resolution, will be grounding the day in prayer, and repentance from racism.
Absolutely not! There are lots of people who are visitors to our churches, come from other denominations, or are in an ecumenical partnership with us who are also affected by this resolution. Your voice matters too.
There are two fields on the petition form for “Congregation” and “Synod,” in order to help us keep track of how many people are signing from each synod. If you do not know your synod, make sure you enter your zip code so we can manually find it later.
We will be presenting the results of this petition to Churchwide Assembly voters (particularly those who represent your synod) and other ELCA leadership in a position to move the resolution forward. They will receive a PDF with the text of the petition and a list of all signers names and comments.
That’s ok! There’s many of us still looking for a faith home. Just click the box that says “I don’t have a congregation right now.”
That’s ok! Especially if you do not currently have a congregation, it would be hard to know your synod. Some states only have 1 synod in their state and others might have many more. Our synods vary in size. You have two options:
- You can check the box that says “I do not know my synod”
- You can look up your synod on the ELCA site. It’s not that intuitive so here is a tutorial:
If you sign the petition, your name, synod, and any comments you submitted will be presented to those voting at Churchwide Assembly – especially those who represent your synod, as well as other ELCA leadership who are in a position to move the resolution forward. They will receive only:
- Your Name
- Your Synod (If provided)
- Your Congregation (If provided)
- Your Comments (If provided)
Only the organizers of the resolution have access to any other information you provide.
We do not sell your information to anyone.
Fully fill in the “Comments” section of the petition signature form. This will be delivered along with your signature. Here’s an example:
No. The petition text needs to remain exactly as it is. (The text has to be in a certain form in order to be approved for consideration.) If you would like to comment on your testimony regarding the subject matter, please remember to put your commentary in the “comments” section.