Did you know that there are 255 ELCA congregations who report over 49,000 people of African Descent as active participants across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands? A network of persons who self-identify as Black, African Caribbean, African American, African National and others of African ancestry from numerous countries now living in the United States are united as the African Descent Lutheran Association.

The African Descent community within the ELCA is wonderfully diverse in culture and context. Standing in a long and biblically historical line of people of faith and of African descent are Christians, some new to the faith and others who for generations have been baptized Christians in Lutheran congregations, who each bring a unique chapter that adds to the larger story that represents the ELCA.

In our own Delaware-Maryland Synod, we have an active ADLA Chapter with the goal of “Full Partnership, Full Participation”.  They gather monthly to connect, advocate, learn and partner so all African Descent Lutherans in our synod are supported to live as disciples of Christ. Click here to learn more about our local ADLA leadership and events.

For ADLA engaging, involving and investing in the gifts, interests and capacity of people of African descent in every aspect of the life of this church is the focus. As part of the Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries Team, they seek to strengthen the hands of the ELCA for building — with integrity — a multicultural church. As people of African descent, it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that provides the faith and freedom to unite with our sisters and brothers to boldly participate in God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in the name of Jesus Christ throughout the world. ADLA also strives to live out God’s call in and through visionary pastoral leadership, worship, witness, discipleship, stewardship, family ministries, social justice, and unity and diversity.

The Strategic Plan “Many Voices, Tell the Story, Create the Vision:  Build our Future” guides the ADLA’s work which includes:

  • developing important connections
  • advocating for congregations
  • promoting implementation of the National African Descent Strategy
  • providing fellowship, learning and sharing opportunities
  • providing a forum for theological reflection for clergy and lay members through collaboration with other African Descent organizations and networks.

“Lift Every Voice” is the theme of the Biennial Assembly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that is scheduled for August 2-4, 2019.

Click here to access ELCA African Descent resources and visit the African Descent Lutheran Association Facebook page to learn more about our ELCA African Descent community and how to join this active, vital network and association.