The ELCA has issued a statement on the May 14 shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., in which a white supremacist gunman killed 10 people. “Our hearts grieve for those who have been killed and our souls cry out against more lives lost to the hatred birthed by racism,” the statement read, in part. “As we mourn those lives lost as a result of the racially motivated killings in Buffalo, we ask God to ease the continued suffering and trauma of our Black siblings throughout the nation and in our church. We are one body in Christ, so when one part suffers, we all suffer.”

“We of the ELCA acknowledge our complicity in the ongoing cycle of violence that grows out of white supremacy,” the statement continued. “In 2019 the ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted the social policy resolution ‘Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric.’ Through this action we committed to pushing back and speaking out against racist ideas that divide God’s children and perpetuate white supremacy in our church and society.”

In the statement, the ELCA’s European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice called upon all ELCA members, especially white congregations and leaders, to “join their communities and other congregations in prayer, study and actions utilizing many churchwide and ecumenical resources.” The association will host a drop-in Zoom call on Tuesday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Read the full statement.

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