On January 15 at Westchester Lutheran Church in Los Angeles, members of the Southwest California Synod and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles came together for an extraordinary event. ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton presided and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael B. Curry preached at a joint multicultural worship service celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, SWCA Synod Bishop Guy Erwin and Los Angeles Episcopal Suffragan Bishop Diane Bruce were also in attendance, along with clergy and rostered ministers from both faiths.
Bishop Curry exhorted the congregation to “look to the rock” of Isaiah while acknowledging the community’s post-election fears and uplifting the message of unity and hope. Embodying the theme of “Living the Dream of God Now,” musicians from Pueblo de Dios, Angelica Lutheran, and the interdenominational MLK Choir performed, and the Senior Taiko Group drummed the standing-room-only crowd in and out. The service, which was conducted in English, Spanish, and Mandarin, concluded with the congregation singing the gospel and protest hymn of the civil rights movement, “We Shall Overcome.”
Following the service, the participating bishops and Los Angeles police leaders joined together for a panel discussion about how faith communities and law enforcement can work together to bring peace and justice to our neighborhoods and cities.
Thank you to the participants, planning committee, and committee co-chairs Carolyn Foster and Canon Frank Alton for making this unforgettable event possible!