By now, most of us have received the news that on March 16, 2021, a horrific act of racism was inflicted on our Asian siblings in the Atlanta area when a suspect shot and killed 8 people in three different locations. This crime is just another example of increased attacks targeting Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during the COVID 19 pandemic.
This week I sent a letter to the pastors and deacons serving congregations in the South Carolina Synod- ELCA inviting them to set aside Sunday, March 21, 2021 or another date of their choosing to use resources for lament and prayer on behalf of our Asian-American brothers and sisters. We condemn the sin of racism in all its forms and invite congregations of the South Carolina Synod – ELCA to join with our Asian and Pacific Islander siblings to lament the pain that these attacks have caused, and to pray for the victims of violence.
God has called us to become the beloved community that God created where all are valued and honored. We then are called through the waters of our baptism to strive for justice and peace in all the world, for all.
O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your own image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we may see your face in the faces of our Asian siblings and people around the world; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen (Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship Occasional Services for the Assembly, pg 398)
ELCA’s Statement on anti-Asian Racism: https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8089
Additional Worship Resources for Day of Lament Against anti-Asian Racism: https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Worship_Resources_for_Day_of_Lament_Against_Anti-Asian_Racism.pdf
Bishop Ginny Aebischer