On Monday, July 27, 2020, LCMS Northern Illinois District and Synod officials met with several African American clergy at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago to discuss spiritual care for African American congregations and individuals. President Allan R. Buss initiated the meeting to listen to the needs of the African American community and ensure that, within our LCMS circles, they are heard, upheld, and valued as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Among the topics discussed were neighborhood outreach, encouragement for African American youth to consider church work, and representation of the African American Lutheran voice in leadership.
“We wanted to particularly focus on [the question], how do we strengthen the pastoral ministries and the ministries of the congregations? They’re on the front line, sharing Jesus,” said President Buss. “We dreamed a little bit, too. It wasn’t just about where we’re at, but it was dreaming about where we would like to go. And we hope to have future meetings.”
We pray this is the first of many continuing conversations. May they be held in the spirit of St. Paul’s words to the Ephesians: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
Other attending officials included Rev. Dr. Jamison Hardy, Bishop and President of the LCMS English District, and Rev. Dr. John C. Wohlrabe Jr., LCMS Regional Vice President.