This book calls Protestant churches, and the ELCA in particular, to a church-wide conversation about racism. It is a response to the 2019 book Dear Church by Lenny Duncan, a former Lutheran pastor who is Black and who, among other reparations, calls for changing the church's worship in order to address segregated Sundays.
Changes in worship affect theological foundations. Informed consideration is essential.
Because entering into life-changing conversations requires vulnerability and commitment, this book includes several narratives: my life as a White woman and pastor, the history of the Black church as defined by Black theologians, the development of the liturgical renewal movement, and my experiences as a professor navigating worship conflicts as my seminary struggled with financial constraints and a changing student body.
The seminary conflicts offered me a window into how better to address racism inspired by the example of post-WWII German truth-telling and how some US Southern states have come to grips with the history of the Jim Crow South (described in Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germans).
This book outlines a way forward for churches in responding to racism by encouraging healthy engagement with contentious relationships as a necessity for healing.