We need to return to gracious God


As a retired Rostered Leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), I wanted to share some of my concerns regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

The ELCA’s social message on community violence urges us to become more involved in countering the reality and fear of violence in our communities and our neighbors’ communities, pursuing justice and seeking peace no matter how long the journey or complex the challenge.

The ELCA’s Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth A. Eaton, wrote in her Pastoral Letter to church leaders shortly after the Rittenhouse verdict: “When a child is allowed to become a vigilante in our society without recourse, we are forced to confront the idols of our society: guns, violence and white supremacy. To be sure, this is not about one person, but indeed about all of us, together.”

She continues: “[This] acquittal is an injustice. It points to the disorder in which we all live. As we seek to restore justice, so also will we restore God to God’s rightful place at the center of our life together.”

I believe all of us – whether in Kenosha, Wisconsin or here in Wilmington – need to return to the God who is gracious and merciful, the God who is slow to anger, and the God who is abounding in steadfast love. We will then, by God’s grace, begin to fulfill God’s will for creation and humanity.

Rev. John Hitzeroth

Wilmington