Minnesota Council of Churches Launches New Justice Initiative

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing last summer in Minneapolis, Lutheran congregations across the state have been engaging in an intentional discernment process to ascertain ways to become meaningfully engaged with racial justice ministries.

During this period, some congregations engaged in local protests, supported relief efforts in the aftermath of riots, and engaged in cross-cultural conversations. Additionally, parishes already engaged in these ministries reaffirmed their commitments to engage in community engagement.

Last fall, the Minnesota Council of Churches announced a statewide project to encourage these partnerships. The council—which represents 25 denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)—launched a 10-year “truth and reparations” plan designed to address the systemic racism in Minnesota while supporting “truth and reconciliation” commissions; diversity, equity and inclusion trainings in congregations; and reparations for communities of color.

Bishops Ann Svennungsen and Patricia Lull of the Minneapolis Area Synod and the Saint Paul Area Synod respectively, spearheaded the council’s move in this direction. Bishop Svennungsen said, “We will lead a process of truth-telling, education and accountability, and reparation.”

While the council’s efforts continue to get underway, they represented an unprecedented effort to address systemic racism. By combating racism, the Minnesota Council of Churches is seeking to promote peace, reconciliation, and equality for people to experience the gift of God’s graces.

Source: Living Lutheran