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Racial Justice Team

Racial Justice Team updated 03/29/2023

The ELCA Task Force for Studies on Civic Life and Faith has released "A Study Curriculum on Civic Life and Faith."  that includes six sessions and asks how we, as Lutheran Christians, are called to civic engagement, including in the arenas of government and political life? 

 We would like to invite members of the Living Waters’ congregation to participate, offer suggestions for additional topics and perhaps even lead some of these sessions!  Each session comes with prayers, hymn suggestions, Scriptures, a teaching video, group discussion questions, suggested resources, and case studies taken from everyday life. There is a response form after each session for participants to communicate with the task force itself on the material covered. 

The sessions are: 

Session 1: How Is God's Invitation to Discipleship Lived Out in a Democracy?  (Held on March 26, 2023)

Session 2: How Do Christians Address Controversial Civic Issues? (Held on April 2, 2023)

Session 3: What Are Lutheran Views on Civic Life? (To be held on April 30, 2023)

 Follow up on “Bearing False Witness and Fake News” led by Pastor JJ (To be held on April 30, 2023)

Additional sessions are still being organized, but will take place from May forward

Session 4: What Are the Objectives of Democracy in the United States?

Session 5: What's Faith-based Living Got to Do With Civic Life?

Session 6: How Do We Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord in Civic Life?

Participants' feedback is key in helping the task force think as they move into the next phase of drafting a social statement on these important issues. The study response period is open until Oct. 15. 

To download the study and learn more about the task force's work, go to If you have questions, please reach out to 


In 2022, the Anti-Racism Team changed its name to the Racial Justice Team.

In 2021, as part of the NJ Synod’s “Bishop’s Challenge,” Living Waters committed to learn more about how our faith can guide us in dismantling white privilege. Members of the LWLC Racial Justice team participated in the NJ Synod’s Racial Justice, Equity and Inclusion Summits in February and June, 2021 and met in spring and summer, 2021 to plan a series of “Education Hour” events related to the Jehu Jones Mission of the NJ Synod.

The topics that the Social Justice Team covered in 2021 are listed below:

  1. Introduction to the Bishop’s Challenge: The Jehu Jones Mission
  2. Who is Jehu Jones?
  3. Compromise of 1877
  4. Black Wall Street/Tulsa Massacre
  5. GI Bill/Education
  6. The Lutheran Church
  7. Repentance, Reconciliation, Restoration

In 2022, we also discussed:

ELCA's Declaration to People of African Descent. Those who were not able to participate in the Education Hour were encouraged to watch the video

Click here for the link to the Declaration to People of African Descent


The Racial Justice team invites every congregation member to participate in the webinar series, "IMAGINE MORE: Racial Justice Begins with Us," which aims to lay out an action plan towards repairing the harmful impacts of systemic racism as well as educating the public on how remedying racial injustice benefits all New Jersey residents.

The goals of the series are to challenge New Jersey to deliver “Justice for all” by:

  • Defining a clear path and plan for reparations
  • Outlining reparative structures to address structural racism
  • Spotlighting organizations on the ground who are doing the work
  • Identifying entry points for residents to take action in their lives and communities

IMAGINE MORE: Racial Justice Begins with Us brings together one of the largest and most diverse lineups of New Jersey organizations and voices from across the ideological spectrum to develop an action plan for racial justice and reparations. Participants include national thought leaders, philanthropic and community-based organizations, policy advocates, jurists, and local activists who have been directly impacted by injustice.

Through a series of 6 virtual events IMAGINE MORE will work to educate the public on reparations and how remedying racial injustice will create a more stable and prosperous future for all of New Jersey. At each event the speakers will offer strategies for advancing racial justice and repairing the harmful impacts of systemic racism. The events will connect residents with change-making organizations so that they can take action in their own communities. Following each event, participants will receive resources and information to guide them into action for racial justice and reparations.


  1. Eliminating the Racial Wealth Gap and Ending Poverty: February 24, 2022 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
  2. Disrupting the Criminal Justice System March 15, 2022: 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
  3. Achieving Safe and Healthy Homes for All April 26, 2022: 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
  4. Reaching Equity in Education May 17, 2022: 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
  5. Ensuring Health for All June 21, 2022: 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
  6. Building Political Power of the Most Impacted: July 19, 2022 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.

Led by the Fund for New Jersey, the series has already garnered the support from a number of diverse organizations dedicated to advocating for racial justice, including the Newark-based New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and the Newark Community Street TeamFor more information, and to register or watch any of the past webinars, visit:

If you are interested in learning more about the Living Waters Racial Justice team, please reach out to Winnie Fatton or Craig Weinrich through the church office.  All are invited to participate.


2021 (updated 03/06/2021)

JUSTICE: The NJ Synod's Racial Justice, Equity and Inclusion Summit took place on Saturday, February 27 via Zoom.  The next meeting is April 24th from 10-noon.  To stay connected, sign up for Jersey Jottings, a weekly e-newsletter that links to devotions and reflections, congregational mission stories, and upcoming events and activities.

Sign up by clicking here and filling out the form!   
OR  Text  JOTTINGS  to 22828

2021 (updated 01/08/2021)

January 16:  The Anti-Racism Team of the New Jersey Synod invites you to join the conversation that will continue, on Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion. Please mark your calendars for Saturday, January 16th, from 10:00 am - noon via Zoom.  To register, go to Racial Justice, Equity and Inclusion in NJ Synod

January 14:  Anti-Racism Team is meeting on Thursday, January 14 to continue our work on the book Dialogues on Race and discuss our goals moving forward.


November 7:  The New Jersey Synod’s Anti-Racism Team is inviting you to participate in A Conversation on Racial Justice, Equity & Inclusion on Saturday, November 7, 2020, from 10:00 am – noon. In this Virtual Summit via Zoom, leaders will have an opportunity to learn about synod anti-racism resources, to share ideas, to ask questions and to be inspired by each other. Register now!

September 29:  Anti-Racism Team Update:  Our team met last week and had special guest Pastor Kimberly Vaughn.  She is the assistant to the Bishop, she is coordinate Anti-racism work between congregations.  She spoke to us about the hard work we are undertaking and provided some resources to look at.  Our team is working on selecting or creating a curriculum to share with the congregation.  Our next meeting is October 13.  Email Craig if you would like an invite.  If you have any questions or would like to talk to one of us regarding thoughts and issues regarding race, please feel free to contact any one of us:  Pastor Bruce Davidson, Doug Gustavson, Chris Kosmac, Tyler Rice, Pastor Scott Schantzenbach, Craig Weinrich.

September 28:  Anti-Racism Team: will meet online at 6:45 pm on Monday, September 28. Anyone that wants to help develop strategies, classes, bible studies, book discussions, or something else to help us as a group and us as individuals learn about how systemic racism pervades our society, and how we as a church can address it, are invited to join us Monday evening. 

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