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Reading Circle: Dear Church


Dear Church, A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S., Lenny Duncan

Join us for reading, self-reflection, conversation, exploring anti-racist issues in the context of our faith and commitment to anti-racist action as we work together on ourselves and our congregation.

For who: Those connected to the community of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Thousand Oaks, CA

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.

Where: Zoom Meeting

Details found here: https://bit.ly/HTLCDearChurch


Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2561784047470697/

When: Four Thursday nights, 6:30 – 7:45 pm
July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13

Conversations hosted by:
Desta Goehner, member of Holy Trinity and married to Pastor Erik
Hazel Salazar-Davidson, member of Holy Trinity and ELCA Campus Pastor at Cal Lutheran

Sign up: Please sign up ahead of time so we can prepare based on RSVP #’s. To sign up:

1.Send an email to DestaGoehner@gmail.com with your RSVP

2.Buy the book. The paperback version costs $17. Please consider buying the book directly from an indie bookseller on Lenny Duncan’s website or from a black owned bookstore like Loyalty Bookstore or EsoWon Bookstore.

If you need assistance purchasing the book, please let Desta know in your RSVP.

Reading plan:

Week 1: Read the Introduction and Part 1:

Dismantling White Supremacy (Chapters 1-5)


Week 2: Read Part II:

Grace is an Ever-Widening Circle (Chapters 6-8)


Week 3: Read Part III:

The Church Can Lead The Way (Chapters 9-11)


Week 4: What now?

Reflection on the past three weeks and conversation around our anti-racist actions as individuals and as a congregation

Questions? DestaGoehner@Gmail.com






August 13


6:30 pm - 7:30 pm



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