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Team Members:

  • Rev. Aimee Appell
    Peace Lutheran Church
    Washington, MO

  • Rev. Josh Brecht
    Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
    Manchester, MO

  • Jill Duis, SAM
    Good Shepherd Lutheran ChurchWashington, KS

  • Sheri Ellwood

  • Andover Lutheran Church
    Windom, KS

  • Michelle Horter
    Reformation Lutheran ChurchWichita, KS

  • Rev. Meagan McLaughlin
    Christ Lutheran Church
    Webster Groves, MO

  • Dave Mareske, Deacon
    Hollis Renewal Center
    Kansas City, KS

  • Rev. Melissa Woeppel
    Lutheran Church of the Living ChristFlorissant, MO

  • Sharon Yelton
    Atonement Lutheran ChurchOverland Park

  • Leroy Zimmerman
    Atonement Lutheran ChurchOverland Park, KS


  • To encourage and provide resources for conversations in our congregations and ministry settings that educate members regarding:  

    • the connection between faith and racial justice work

    • the history of racism, its systemic realities, and its continued harmful and destructive impact

  • To call and challenge our faith communities to be places of radical welcome and inclusion 

    • Why are we the whitest mainline denomination?

    • The need for both repentance and conversion

  •  To advocate for justice for those who encounter racial inequalities through means of government, education, economic injustice, police brutality, and the acts of active/silence racism.

Conversations on Race and Racism

Rev. Aimée Appell, Central States Synod D.E.M.
extends a personal invitation.

Rostered leaders and laity alike are invited to join the Central States Synod's Racial Justice Team for a 90-minute session of listening, brainstorming, scripture study and conversation. Our goal is to better enable the synod to provide you with the resources you need to have conversations with one another and your community as we discern what God is calling us to do as individuals, as congregations and as a synod.

Choose the date and time that works best for you and join us!

  • May 15, 1:00 p.m.

  • May 15, 4:00 p.m. 

  • May 17, 7:00 p.m.

  • May 19, 7:00 p.m.

  • May 22, 4:00 p.m.

Resources to help talk about racial justice: This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources on racial justice. Only our attempt to gather resources that might start a discussion. If you have items that have helped you and your faith community have good conversations about racial justice that you feel need to be on this list, please contact a member of the CSS Racial Justice Team, or send them to communications@css-elca.org.

Justice Matters, June 8, 2020 - Bishop Candea's Remarks

Synod Council Statement, June 2020

Declaration of the ELCA

Other Online Resources:

Printed Material (Introduction Level Material)


  • Kindred – Octavia Butler

  • Anything by Toni Morrison

  • The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

  • Children’s Books

  • Missing Daddy, Mariame Kaba

  • We Are Water Protectors, Carole Lindstrom

  • Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson

  • This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work, Tiffany Jewell

  • Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo

  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, Layla F. Saad


  • Waking Up White, Debby Irving

  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown

  • Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Dear White People: A Guide to Inter-Racial Harmony in “Post-Racial” America, Justin Simien


  • Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher in the Whitest Denomination in the US, Lenny Duncan

  • Who Lynched Willie Earle?: Preaching to Confront Racism, Will Willimon

  • America’s Original Sin, Jim Wallis

  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Eric Dyson

  • Luther’s Small Catechism with African Descent Reflections, Augsburg Fortress

Printed Material (Deeper Level)


  • Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • The Broken Earth series, N.K. Jesimin (Science Fiction)

  • Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison


  • White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo

  • Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • Me and White Supremacy, Layla Saad

  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

  • How to be an Anti-Racist, Ibram X Kendi


  • Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Reconciliation, Jennifer Harvey

  • Preaching about Racism: A Guide for Faith Leaders, Carolyn Helsel

  • Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman

  • Black Theology and Black Power, James Cone


  • The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabella Wilkerson

  • Caste, Isabella Wilkerson

  • Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X Kendi

  • White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, Robert P Jones