Jehu Jones artwork by Mary Button
Packets with a quilt square and resources have been mailed out to each congregation.
Additional resources are below.
The Jehu Jones Mission
Faith responds to our National Moment...
During the summer of 2020, protests erupted around the world calling for racial justice.
Where does the church stand amid all the rancor? How does our faith in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ inspire us in our baptismal promise to “strive for justice and peace in all the earth?” (ELW, 237) In the 2021-22 New Jersey Synod Bishop’s Challenge, Bishop Tracie Bartholomew invites NJ Lutheran
congregations to educate ourselves on the issues, accept our responsibility to respond in faith, and work to
address racial inequity and injustice in our world.
The Jehu Jones Story:
The Rev. Jehu Jones was ordained in 1832 as the first Black Lutheran Pastor in the US. He purchased two plots in Philadelphia—at $375 each—for a building for his growing black congregation. Jones lost the mortgage after his Synod refused to rescue the project. Even after calling him to ministry and commending him for his service, the Synod refused to support him. Will you help your congregation to buy back a plot for Pastor Jones’ church, at $375 a plot?
In the Bishop’s Challenge Plan, we as a synod are being challenged to...
—have conversations about race, (specifically the African American experience) in our congregations and become more aware of our history;
—commit to following the Bishop’s Challenge schedule of synod-wide events over the next year;
—help raise $50,000 to support the lives of emerging leaders of African descent in our church today;
—consider confession and lamentation for the uncompensated loss that underpins the African American experience in the US;
—help to create a better future for all by being a part of Christ’s Beloved Community.
For a donation of $375 or more, each congregation will receive a quilt square, which represents a congregation’s commitment to growing in awareness and moving toward action in Christian love. Congregations will send in their quilt squares to be combined in a large quilt and presented to the Bishop at the 2022 Synod Assembly. The quilt will then hang in the Synod office. All funds raised will support educational opportunities for emerging leaders of African descent, including (but not limited to) internships, camp, and international travel and will be administered through the NJ Synod.
Click here for a few brief overviews of historic examples of uncompensated loss that were experienced by African Americans in various periods in our nation's history. These are but a sampling of many such examples that are now part of the historical record.
This resource provides more ideas for individual and group activities inspired by the Bishop’s Challenge. Visit the Events page for more.
This 6-week Bible study will guide your church study group through reflections on Holy Scripture, set against the backdrop of historical incidents of racism, with an eye toward hope and restoration. Good for Fall, 2021.
Download the poster to print it out and hang it in your church.
Print out this informational flyer and put it where people can pick it up and take it with them to read.
This resource will help you understand how to prepare your congregation’s quilt square for Synod Assembly, 2022.
This journal article provides an historical overview of the story of Jehu Jones, Jr., the first African American pastor in the Lutheran Church.
In this video, Dr. Stewart, a professor at the United Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, discusses the historical significance of the Rev. Jehu Jones, and how he found the actual location in Philadelphia of the church Pastor Jones built in 1834.
African Americans and Northern Lutherans during the Eighteenth Century
(Lutheran Quarterly article - may require sign in)
RESOURCES OF LAMENT
Assembly full presentation of the Bishop's Challenge
Power Point Presentation only
THE BISHOP'S CHALLENGE
Text CHALLENGE to 52886