In our Affirmation of Faith service, we’re asked if we will serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and strive for justice and peace in all the earth. Those prepared to take the next step in their faith journey respond: "I will, and I ask God to help and guide me." We have watched the death of George Floyd and know in our hearts that we need a new way forward. There are both immediate and long-term responses needed. We invite you to consider how you can make an impact. Check back here for updates to what we're working on and how you can be part of the effort.
Exploring Race and Living our Faith
“Very engaging and thought-provoking!... Eye opening… Challenging… Upsetting…
Learned much… A good way to get us talking… Helpful and convicting…
Strongly recommend… A quick read…”
These are words All Saints members used after reading and discussing the book Dialogues on Race. Two small groups met 7-8 times via Zoom this past summer to use this book and the accompanying videos to start conversations about race and Christianity. Written by diverse Christian thinkers of our time, seven short essays address racial issues from a variety of perspectives; they include a history of the concept of race and a look at how different groups of people interpret the Bible. Because All Saints members cannot congregate physically now, these small groups were great ways to cultivate our faith and check in on our wellbeing.
Here are some takeaways participants would like to share:
● The issue of racism in our country is way more important than I realized.
● I gained a new awareness of racial dynamics.
● “Race” is not a biological reality created by God, but rather a social construct invented by humans to assign value to categories of people based on their perceived superiority or inferiority.
● I had never thought about our typical worship being so “Eurocentric” before; it had never occurred to me.
● How hurtful it is to generalize about a certain group of people, and when you meet someone of that group, to say or imply that they are an exception to what you consider to be the norm.
● White privilege is often invisible to white people, while it is obvious to people of color who don’t experience those taken-for-granted advantages.
● The most engaging times for me were our group discussions…in a respectful, safe space, where everyone seemed willing to be vulnerable.
● People need to realize the advantages of taking on racism now! It is helpful to discuss amongst your peers to move forward.
Dialogues on Race propels us to action. Ways group members are responding to this study include:
➢ Seeking out opportunities to spend time with people of color and to build authentic, mutual relationships with them (not just being there to “help” them)
➢ Participating with others in the west metro area in the new Dismantling Racism Community Dialogue Series
➢ Reading and listening to stories from people of color in order to internalize more of their current and inherited pain, and to respond with love, care, and conviction, especially regarding public policy
➢ Supporting Urban Ventures by donating funds for serving meals and volunteering time for individual tutoring
➢ Continuing to educate ourselves about racial justice, white privilege, systemic racism, white supremacy, history from a non-white perspective, and more.
Would YOU like to learn more about the impacts of racism in our country, our communities, and even in the Christian church? Are you seeking ways to be faithful to the God who created and embraces diversity and who longs to see compassion and justice in our lives? Below are some action steps to consider:
➔ Read Dialogues on Race, published by Sparkhouse (2019) – 122 pages. (Some copies are available for borrowing – contact Anne Englert)
➔ Watch the 7 videos that go along with the book. Contact the church office for free access from home.
➔ Educate yourself by reading articles or books, listening to talks, watching videos, visiting websites. For a list of recommended resources, scroll down to Education and Solutions and click on links to look at videos, reports, recommended policy solutions and constructive actions.
➔ Get involved with the All Saints anti-racism group that is forming to implement follow-up actions inspired by the Dialogues on Race study. (Contact Beth Young)
➔ Take action in at least one small or big way this month to “strive for justice and peace” by helping to dismantle racism.
Watch for more information and action in upcoming issues of All Saints e-news and the monthly newsletter. Stay safe and be well.
– Anne Englert
We have the opportunity to learn more about racism and the larger systemic solutions that are needed. If you don’t know how to start, this link offers suggestions for layered approaches to becoming an ally in the fight for racial justice.
FIND A LIST OF RESOURCES ON RACIAL JUSTICE BELOW AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES HERE.
UNDERSTANDING SYSTEMIC RACISM
YouTube video describing the long-term effects of racism
RESOURCES ON RACISM AND POLICING IN MINNESOTA
The Jim Crow of the North by TPT - documentary on Twin Cities PBS
MPD150 extensive history of policing in Minneapolis
Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/
"We can live in world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions and ensuring accountability."
"MPD150 is a participatory, horizontally-organized effort by local organizers, researchers, artists and activists. It is not the project of any organization. We stand on the shoulders of the work that many organizations have been doing for years and welcome the support of everyone who agrees with our approach. We hope that the process we are developing will help organizers in other cities to establish practical abolitionist strategies."
Another way to make an impact is to donate financially to one of the following organizations.
Urban Ventures https://urbanventures.org/
Creating a fund to assist small business owners with insurance deductibles and/or expenses not covered insurance and to help local businesses reopen and thrive. Please click here to contribute.
We Love Lake Street https://www.welovelakestreet.com/
The Lake Street Council (501c3) will donate 100% of funds to help rebuild Lake Street, starting with direct support to small businesses nonprofits to help them rebuild their storefronts, reopen their businesses and serve our neighborhoods.