In April 1986 the officers and staff of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, at the request of the President of the Synod, met with a number of African American pastors in the Synod to discuss issues related to black ministry and to share matters of mutual interest. Following this meeting, the Executive Director of the Commission on Black Ministry expressed appreciation for this opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions and, at the same time, forwarded a request from black leaders in the Synod that a document on racism be prepared. The Commission on Theology and Church Relations responded positively to this request and immediately placed this study on its agenda.
Calling on all of its members “To Combat All Racism,” the Synod at its 1992 convention in Pittsburgh urged “the rapid completion of the CTCR study” and asked the members of the Synod “to make maximum use of this study upon its completion and to pray the Lord of the church to bless this study and cause it to effect appropriate changes in attitudes and actions.”1 The Commission on Theology and Church Relations joins in the prayer that this document on Racism and the Church will be a blessing to the Synod, assisting us all not only in understanding the problem of racism, but also, with God’s help, in dealing with it in our own personal and corporate life. For those who wish to explore in more detail what the Scriptures teach regarding racism and its consequences, a Bible study has been included with this report (pp. 45-56).