Camp Luther ... Vespers Knoll cross
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Racial Justice Team
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(Galatians 3:28)

Statement of Purpose
Recognizing that all humanity is reflective of the image of God, we,  on the Racial Justice Team for the WV-W MD Synod, strive to bring awareness and reconciliation through education and advocacy.

Under construction

At the open invitation of The Rev. Sherri Schafer (D.E.M.), a gathering of interested clergy and laity began meeting via Zoom to study racism and increase awareness. You can learn more about the Racial Justice Team by contacting Schafer.

Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture

Churchwide Assembly 1993 adopted the social statement, Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture. This document still serves as the principal social statement related directly to matters of racism. You can reach a download page here.

Mother EmanuelEmanuel Nine, June 17

Resources related to the racism and, specifically, the Commemoration of the Emmanuel Nine can be accessed at


Churchwide Assembly 2019, by CA19.04.15, established June 17 as the Commemoration of the Emanuel 9, designating it as a day of repentance a day of repentance in the ELCA associated with their martyrdom in the Mother Emanuel Massacre of 17 June 2015.

The resolution also ordered the production of resources to support the commemoration. These can be accessed at At the page you will find...

  • a description of the day,
  • worship resources,
  • info on ecumenical relations with the AME, and
  • a long list of additional resources.

The ELCA Executive for Worship has indicated that the ELCA Churchwide Office is not planning a streamed prayer service this year, as it did in 2020, but refreshed resources for local observance are available at the ELCA's Emmanuel Nine page.

Also for use, A Litany of Repentance for Racism, written by Pr. Jerry Kliner for an anniversary of the massacre, may be downloaded in MS-Word (making it easier to format it for your own use).

                  Racism Letter

Letters on Racism

WV-WMD Pastors' Letter on Racism

Thirty-seven pastors of the WV-WMD Synod, joined by two pastors from other judicatories, subscribed to a letter published 4 June 2021, addressing racism and stating,

We write to affirm our commitments as the baptized people of God in this place we call home that racism has no place in our congregations or communities in which we live.

For the full text of the letter, click here.

Official statements of the WV-WMD Synod are issued by either the Synod Assembly or the Synod Council. Letters by the bishop, traditionally called "pastorals," and letters issued by others in the synod, unless specifically authorized by the Synod Assembly or the Synod Council, are communications of the signatories.

COB Letter on Racism and White Supremacy

ELCA News Service released 29 May 2021, under the byline, "ELCA reaffirms commitment to combat racism and white supremacy," a letter from the Conference of Bishops. The full text can be downloaded here.

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West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, ℅ St. Paul Lutheran Church, 309 Baldwin Street, Morgantown, WV 26505
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