A Word of Gratitude


Over the past week and a half, I’ve experienced an outpouring of support unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I have received hundreds of messages from people collectively lamenting and grieving after the tragedy in Charleston and of people affirming me and showing support of my last blog post. I can only think about the words in the Apostle Paul’s letter to Philemon in the New Testament of the Christian Bible:

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all of God’s holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, dear sisters and brothers, have refreshed my heart…

I have been with family and friends this past week and it has been a timely break. i did not plan to write such a pot-stirring blog post and then head out of town, but that’s what happened and I am so grateful. Things were put into perspective and I was reminded that the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable and that there is no need to fear. I felt the love of those who matter most in the world to me and was able to be renewed and refreshed. I also had plenty of time to reflect on the numerous messages I received and it became clear that there are so many people who care about the racism and inequity in this country and around the world; so many people who feel helpless and hopeless; so many people who are seeking ways to be the change they seek in the world. And I realized, that not one of us is alone…

I am so grateful for each of you and have read every message. I wondered how to respond to everyone and decided to craft an email that I shared with my followers and to each person who emailed me, messaged me or left a comment on this blog.

Thank you so much for your message. I feel the movement of the Holy Spirit in the hundreds of messages I’ve received from you and others regarding my blog post. You have made me glad in that I realize that I am not alone, that there are many who care and want to make a difference when it comes to those things that divide humankind.

The past year has proven to be very interesting as we consider the state of race relations in the U.S. and around the world.  I believe that we are at a tipping point, one that has the potential to not only change the conversation but truly create a movement of justice seekers who advocate for equity and equality for all people. Together we can change the course of history. Your message reminds me that this is possible.
Many people have asked me for recommendations for reading or resources that address race and race relations. I uplift this resource list by Austin Channing, which includes many books I would recommend.
I have also engaged the organization Race Forward and their online magazine, Colorlines.
For white allies, I recommend the White Privilege Conference and Showing Up for Racial Justice.
For those who are members of my denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), please make sure you are familiar with our social statement on Race, Ethnicity and Culture and that you connect with these resources:
Using my platform as the Program Director for Young Adult Ministry of the ELCA, I will continue to engage young adults in conversations around faith, race and justice. Check out the #coloringfaith hashtag on social media and transcripts of previous conversations (June 19, 2015December 11, 2014).
Thank you again and I pray that your life, your family, your community and all you encounter are blessed by your compassion and desire to make this world a better place.
May the God of love be with you all.

2 thoughts on “A Word of Gratitude

  1. lieseshew says:

    Thank you for speaking and seeking the truth, for holding the need for justice high, for faith that keeps you going, overcomes adversity, and inspires many people. God bless you and your ministry. We need you, your voice, your action, in the ELCA.

  2. […] Rozella White shared, “A Word of Gratitude.” […]

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