In a July 7 video message responding to the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minn., Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, urged members to “be present in our communities.”

“We are killing ourselves, and until we in the white community feel that the death of a person of color is our death too, it’s not going to change,” said Eaton.

The text of Eaton’s message is available at

Today, July 8, at 11:30 a.m. (CDT) the ELCA will stream a service of prayer and lament from the offices of the churchwide organization over the loss of lives due to gun violence and racism. Watch live and join us in prayer at A recording of the worship service will be available for those unable to view it live.


Candice Hill Buchbinder
Hill Buchbinder is the ELCA public relations manager.

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