“Young, Gifted and Black in the ELCA” is the follow up piece from the creators of “Do Black Churches Matter in the ELCA?”
It is a film about the whitest church in America, the ELCA, and the black leaders the Spirit has called to serve it. What is it like to be a leader of color in white mainline protestant denominations? What is the prophetic witness that these leaders bring to Lutheranism and Protestantism in general? God is saying a new thing, but an ancient thing at the same time, over the ELCA. These leaders are preparing to spit in their hands and rub mud on the eyes of the church, so the scales of white supremacy fall from the ELCA’s eyes. God is begging this church to reach out and touch the hem of God’s cloak.
Why the hell would any sane black person serve the ELCA?
Woman of color can wait for years for a call. A former felon would be a fool to have to retell his story over and over to prove his worth in this context. Serving black and queer leader would be like asking to be dragged to Golgotha in some of our congregations. But these three leaders we are highlighting are all those things and infinitely more.
These incredible handcrafted children of a loving God are here in our seminary system despite all that stands against them. The white supremacy dripping through every part of the ordination process. Subjecting themselves to a thousand barbs. Suffering the slings and arrows of not only discipleship, but discipleship in a church that has traditionally erased black bodies.
So, we propose to tell their stories. Our first film we covered all the expenses out of pocket. Many folks asked how they could help cultivate this work, so we decided to offer an opportunity to do just that. We are asking for your support for our time, talents, and travel. The biggest expense is going to California to film one of the stories we want to center. We have the equipment and the know-how. But we wanted to create a quality film.
All three of our subjects are at the tail end of their discernment and preparation for ministry so capturing them at this time we think is key. We want to film them either right before call or at the tail end of their internship at their sites. Before they are launched into this church and this mission. We want to capture that moment in their preparation to serve the people of God. All three we believe are relevant and revolutionary. We also have specifically picked the ratio of this film subjects as 2/3rds Black women and their experience in the ELCA.
We have some exciting incentives and we hope you will support us.
Risks and challenges
The risks are really personal and professional. There was pushback last film. But this a straight forward deal and we are asking for a shoestring budget. We want to tell stories that matter and to do that we need the people of God to show up.
We can't offer much for this level except if you want a social media shout out. We are trying to put this thing together on a shoe string budget for the sake of the church. Like the last movie we will offer it for free for any congregational or ELCA institutional use for free. On this level you support the work but thats all you get. The opportunity to support.
We will send an advance copy of the movie to show at your congregation or institution, at least 60 days before the public release, so you can offer a screening night and will include curriculum created by the co-director Lenny Duncan to facilitate discussion after the screening.
We will send an advance copy of the movie to show at your congregation or institution. You will receive curriculum created by co-director Lenny Duncan. One of the two co-creators and co-directors Jason Chesnut or Lenny Duncan will host a panel discussion at a location of your choice as long as travel expenses are covered. They will also preach at a worship service.