The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has a number of ethnic associations. There is one for African Americans, for Asians and Pacific Islanders, for Latino Ministries, and even an Arab and Middle Eastern heritage group. The associations were created when the ELCA came into being in 1988. They meet every couple years and seek to support the church and address important things.

The newest one, created in 2006 but meeting for only the first time this late October, is the European American Lutheran Association (EALA). This has been a long neglected ethnic group in the twenty-two-year history of the ELCA, a denomination which otherwise “cherishes the diversity of cultural and linguistic groups.” But one can chalk the delay up to the fact that most Lutherans already are of European heritage, so they don’t really need special ethnic recognition to do the sorts of things European American Lutherans do when off in their ethnic enclave. But fair is fair and after long struggle they too now at last have their own association.

But not for long, we predict. The association’s president, Kathy B. Long, Redmond, Washington, says the group’s purpose “is to dismantle racism, white privilege and white power by recognizing and confessing our individual and corporate sin, and addressing institutional racism in the church.”

There you go. A couple concentrated weeks doing that, I figure, and the jig just may be up.

Articles by Russell E. Saltzman

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