Our Shared History

Redemption Song | Talks at the Desk | Episode 2 - Season 2 (2023)

Living Lutheran article: An ancient ELCA church in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Living Lutheran study guide: An ancient ELCA church in the U.S. Virgin Islands


Courageous leaders actively seek opportunities to learn and even challenge their beliefs, including the truths revealed through history and stories, not unlike through our scriptures.

We remotely journeyed with Rev. Nic(olette) Peñaranda to the U.S. Virgin Islands to visit some of the oldest Lutheran churches in the Western hemisphere. From Talks at the Desk: "This episode explores the history and impact of colonialism both past and present. We meet wise and courageous people of faith who remind us about sacred struggles of the past and the presence of God and ancestors today in the work that remains to be done."

Rev. Brenda Smith joined us to share about, and invite us into, Conversations: Race Relations | The Journey to Right Relationship A Christian Response. Let's put our words into practice.

In solidarity and collaboration: "Engaging, involving, and investing in the gifts, interests, and capacity of people of African descent in every aspect of the life of this church is the focus of African Descent Ministry in the ELCA."

Here is a helpful resource: Recording of a webinar hosted by ELCA Racial Justice, Women of the ELCA, and the European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice, Now Is the Time: A Study Guide for ELCA Declaration to People of African Descent. Webinar speakers include the study’s author, Dr. Joyce Caldwell, Ph.D., Leading for Racial Equity, LLC; Judith Roberts, senior director for diversity, equity, and inclusion, ELCA; the Rev. Nicolette Marie Peñaranda, program director, African Descent Ministries, ELCA; Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director, Women of the ELCA; and Shari Seifert, president, European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice.

We invite you to bring a spirit of curiosity to these gatherings and to all aspects of your life. What are you noticing? Where is Spirit moving? How are you being invited to participate?