Then you shall say to your children, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.”
In Deuteronomy, Moses instructs the people to tell the story of God’s deliverance – in particular, to tell the story to the next generation.
In that spirit, Trinity – the seminary where the Rev. Dr. Nelson W. Trout and the Rev. Dr. Rudolph Featherstone taught – is launching an oral history project, to collect and reflect on the stories of church leaders in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Last fall, for Trinity Days, several Black women graduates of Trinity took part in a recorded conversation sharing their experiences both at Trinity and in ministry. It was humbling for those of us who are leaders of the seminary to hear words of appreciation as well as honest recognition of the challenges these bold women faced – and still face – in the whitest Christian denomination in the United States. This oral history project is intended to build on the foundation laid by that conversation.
If you are Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color who studied at Trinity, regardless of your religious affiliation, we want to hear your story.
If you are a BIPOC leader in the ELCA, regardless of which seminary you attended, we want to hear your story.
If you don’t quite fit either of those categories but have a story to tell (perhaps as a BIPOC lay leader in the ELCA, perhaps as a spouse of a BIPOC Trinity alum, perhaps as someone who served on staff at an ELCA seminary, etc.), we want to hear your story.
You are invited to record and submit a response to one or more of the following prompts.
• Recall your time as a seminary student and reflect on a specific barrier or breakthrough you experienced as a person of color.
• Recall your time as a church leader and reflect on a specific barrier or breakthrough you experienced as a person of color.
• As a leader of color in the church, what words would you share with a young person of color discerning a call to ministry?
Ideally, video submissions will be no more than five minutes in length. Please sign up to participate in the oral history project before submitting your video.
Please sign up here to participate in the oral history project before submitting your video.
Questions should be addressed to TrinityDean@capital.edu or to the Rev. Tori McGraw-Rowe, Manager for Seminary Strategic Partnerships, at 614 236 6612.
If possible, please submit videos by March 15, 2021. The final deadline for submissions is May 31, 2021.
The hymns “We’ve Come This Far by Faith” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” both frame the life of the Christian community as journey. The journey has been rough, marked with blood and tears, and it is not over yet. Still, God has brought us this far, and God leads us, with hope, into the future. Please join your story to the song.
The Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans, Ph.D.