Students and faculty attended a two-day Student Convocation on Race Relations Sept. 22-23, which was organized in place of the 2020 Theological Symposium, which was canceled because of the pandemic.
The convocation focused on racism as it affects Black communities in the United States, and addressed how racism affects Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Black church workers, lay leaders and congregations.
The convocation opened with a chapel service featuring Rev. Roosevelt Gray Jr., director of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Black Ministry, as preacher. Afterward, students and faculty enjoyed refreshments before attending the first session. Interim Seminary President Dr. Daniel Preus and Associate Provost Dr. Benjamin Haupt gave a brief welcome before Dr. John Nunes, president of Concordia College New York, Bronxville, gave the plenary. “We are not stuck in anger,” Nunes said. “We move on to courage and hope.”
The convocation focused on three goals: listening, discerning and acting. “Ministry has nothing to do with your color, but everything to do with what you do,” said Rev. Gerard Bolling, pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Louis.
In order to allow for social distancing, first-year students and faculty attended in person while wearing masks, and all other students attended the convocation virtually.