Resolution to Establish June 17th as Emanuel 9 Feast Day of Repentance

Report of the Reference and Counsel Committee

Reference: 2019 Pre-Assembly Report, Section IX, Report of the Reference and Counsel Committee
Ms. Emma K. Wagner and Mr. James J.F. Jennings, co-chairs of the Reference and Counsel Committee, made
the motion to adopt Motion A on behalf of the committee.

Motion A: Resolution to Establish June 17th as Emanuel 9 Feast Day of Repentance
Submitted by: The Rev. Kwame Pitts [Metropolitan Chicago Synod, 5A]

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 17, 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 eight 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 ColemanSingleton, 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. To encourage 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.

Recommendation of the Reference and Counsel Committee
We recommend adopting the Resolution to Establish June 17th as Emanuel 9 Feast Day of Repentance.A voting member made the following motion to amend the main motion.
Moved;
Seconded;
Carried; To amend the language of the motion YES-851; NO-35

  1. Venerating Commemorating 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 ColemanSingleton, 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 commemoration 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 Office of the Presiding Bishop to help develop future worship prayers
    and litanies around repentance from racism; and
  5. To encourage 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.

ASSEMBLY YES-887; NO-8
ACTION
CA19.04.17 To adopt Motion A as amended.

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Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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