We Shall Overcome

Praying for Racial Justice

A few weeks ago pastors and church leaders of the ELCA gathered in Springfield, MA to hold our annual Synod Assembly.  As part of the opening worship we sang “We Shall Overcome”.  This is a protest song that became a key anthem of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.  In between verses of the song we read words from Biblical prophets as well as contemporary prophets to remind us that through our baptism we are called to fight the injustice found in our world. 

I would like to share some of these words in light of the tragic shooting in South Carolina this week.  A shooting that took nine lives including Rev. Clementa Pinckney the pastor of Emmanuel AME church, a seminary classmate and friend to many of my colleagues.

I ask that you say a prayer for the families of those who were killed, pray for the congregation of Emmanuel AME Church, pray for the Charleston community and our nation as we fight for racial justice in our communities around the country.  If you don’t know what to say in your prayer, use the following words as your prayer.

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Pentecost 2: Gods Love for All People

Sermon for the Second Sunday after Pentecost

During the season of Pentecost we learn about the things that Jesus did in his ministry and with his disciples and how the Holy Spirit moves in the life and ministry of Jesus.  As we learn about how the Holy Spirit moves in Jesus’ life and ministry we can see how the Holy Spirit moves in our own life and ministry.

Jesus has been busy — when the Gospel of Mark begins Jesus is constantly moving. 

Jesus calls his disciples which includes a tax collector, he casts out demons and he does this on the Sabbath.  Jesus reaches out to the leapers, the hurt, and the poor.  Which means when he talks about the kingdom of God he talks about it in a way that no one has ever heard before – the kingdom of God includes everyone……period. 

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