During the summer of 2020, join the WPLC pastoral staff as we read about and discuss the prevalence of racism in our denomination. The summer reading includes an article entitled “Unpacking White Privilege” and a book entitled “Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S.” Along the way, we will engage in three discussion sessions to process, digest, and respond with action.
Sunday Discussion RSVP
While it’s highly recommended that you read the article and the book, we will have special breakout groups designed to engage the information without having read it. After you RSVP, we’ll contact you a few days prior to see if you’ve had time to read to determine which breakout group is the best fit.
- Sunday, July 19 – following worship at 11 a.m. during Virtual Fellowship.
- Sunday, August 16 – following worship at 11 a.m. during Virtual Fellowship.
Church-WIDE Reading Schedule
- Sunday, June 28
- Unpacking White Privilege: The Important Work of Making the Church Less Harmful (Living Lutheran; January 2020)
- Introduction to “Dear Church” (pages 1 to 12)
- Sunday, July 19
- Part 1 of “Dear Church” (pages 13 to 74)
- Sunday, August 16
- Parts 2 and 3 of “Dear Church” (pages 75 to 152)
DIGGING Deeper INTO “DeaR Church”
Join WPLC Book Club as they discuss the book weekly via Zoom. The group will follow a similar reading schedule, and meets on most Tuesdays (beginning July 7) at 7:30 p.m. Click here to enroll in communications about this group. For more information, email Caroline (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Victoria (email@example.com).
Acquiring “Dear Church”
Below are some of our suggestions on how to get your hands on a copy. If you cannot cover the cost, we have scholarships available to fully cover the cost of this book. Indicate
- Augsburg Fortress (publishing house of the ELCA) – $16.99
- Amazon Smile (support WPLC with part of your purchase) – $12.89
- Audible (audio recording) – $12.99
- Kindle – $9.99
- Barnes&Noble – $14.99
- Chicago Public Library – no cost
- Christianbook.com – $12.49
- EbookUS Store – *E-book* $5.50
- *Backordered as of 7/9* Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery (Chicago’s only black woman-owned bookstore) – $15.63
- *Sold out as of 7/9* Powell’s Books
- *Backordered as of 7/9* City Lit
- *Backordered as of 7/9* Women and Children First
- *Backordered as of 7/9* Unabridged Bookstore
- *Backordered as of 7/9* RoscoeBooks
- *Backordered as of 7/9* Volumes (independent, family-owned, Wicker Park-based bookstore) – $16.99
About “Dear Church”
From the publisher:
Lenny Duncan is the unlikeliest of pastors. Formerly incarcerated, he is now a black preacher in the whitest denomination in the United States: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Shifting demographics and shrinking congregations make all the headlines, but Duncan sees something else at work–drawing a direct line between the church’s lack of diversity and the church’s lack of vitality. The problems the ELCA faces are theological, not sociological. But so are the answers.
Part manifesto, part confession, and all love letter, Dear Church offers a bold new vision for the future of Duncan’s denomination and the broader mainline Christian community of faith. Dear Church rejects the narrative of church decline and calls everyone–leaders and laity alike–to the front lines of the church’s renewal through racial equality and justice.
It is time for the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice. Duncan gives a blueprint for the way forward and urges us to follow in the revolutionary path of Jesus.