For Love of God and Neighbor

Background and summary

Pastor Kessinger’s May 28, 2020 email letter to the Redeemer community noted how the response to the May 25th death of George Floyd in Minnesota has raised the many issues of inequity experienced by people of color in this country. She offered the opportunity of a shared discussion of the ELCA’s social statement* entitled “Race, Ethnicity, and Culture” as a way to inform ourselves of the many issues involved and to identify ways in which we can be part of the solutions in areas where we have special interests.

During the remainder of 2020 about 25 people participated in ongoing Zoom discussion sessions. The group chose the name For Love of God and Neighbor: Anti-Racism Ministry Team. We recently changed the name to Racial Justice and Equity Ministry Team to better reflect the positive aspects of our work. Anyone who is interested in joining us can contact Pastor Kessinger to be added to this discussion group. The group continues its work via email and Zoom discussions.

Resources identified by participants have been added to this part of Redeemer’s website; others will be added.

Book groups are reading and discussing a range of books. Descriptions of some of the books are available here; more descriptions will be added as other books are read. A lending library can be found on a cart in Crossroads. Anyone interested in joining the book clubs can contact Pastor Kessinger to be added to a current group's discussion. 

Lewinsville Presbyterian Church asked Redeemer to co-sponsor a series of webinars on the theme "Pathways Out of Poverty in Northern Virginia" to address disparities for those people working and living in Northern Virginia. More information on those webinars can be found here.

* ELCA Social Statement: “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture”

Letter of commitment from the ELCA Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod Office

Goals for the ministry team and for Redeemer

  • Use ELCA Social Statements to ground our efforts
  • Share resources that will guide our path
  • Develop ways to engage broader conversations with members (groups) within Redeemer. 
  • Identify and work on unintended biases
  • Clearly define terminology we use
  • Post ways that we can be agents of change in our community, nation and world
  • Be aware of how the economy and environmental issues are factors in our conversation

Factors contributing to inequity

Actions to take