Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, has issued a pastoral letter on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. “Eighty years ago, on a beautiful Sunday morning, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was tragically transformed from an island paradise into a bloody battlefield,” the letter read, in part.

“After the Japanese bombed the U.S. Navy, war was declared and tragedy ensued,” the letter continued. “During times like these, the Lutheran church has always trusted our chaplains to bring a ministry of Word and Sacrament—to remind people that, no matter how difficult the circumstances, there is always a way toward peace. Amid tragedy, destruction and death, those who follow Jesus are still called to hope.

“As we continue to live with the impact of COVID-19, did any of us think that this pandemic would be so protracted? We had no way to know about Delta or Omicron variants. We have seen rises in anxiety, incivility, anti-Asian violence and the harmful theology of Christian nationalists and other extremist groups, the same kind of sentiment that led us to intern Asian Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. We must do better than that. As we are reminded by the light from our Advent wreathes, we are called to illuminate and enlighten.”

Read the full letter.

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