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Congregational Life: Social Justice: Covid-19 Compassion

online and in-person connections for service and justice work

Home

Where You'll Find What

Here you'll find resources to bolster your congregation's community engagement and justice ministries.

Each Social Justice page offers opportunities for Individual, Household, Congregational and broader Community Engagement. There are obvious overlaps there, so feel free to improvise and interpret as you like. Resources are grouped into themes of:

  • Climate/Environmental Sustainability
  • Covid 19 Compassion
  • Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness
  • Systemic Racism & White Supremacy Culture
  • Voting
  • Conflict, Division & Reconciliation
  • Gun Violence & Control
  • Policing
  • Immigration

We'll continue to add curated lists within this group as interest dictates, so if you'd like an idea fleshed out, let us know!

Ableism & Disability Rights

Community Engagement

The Heart of the Beast Theater presents Care Work Workshops

Offered on zoom, each workshop includes discussions of Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's book Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice along with participatory art activities, all centered around disability justice, joyful accessibility, and community.

Read about the book here.

Learn more about the workshops here.

October 5, 12, 19, 26 & November 2; 7:00 - 8:30 PM CDT

Books

Abortion & Reproductive Rights

Books

A Complicated Choice: Making Space for Grief and Healing in the Pro-Choice Movement

Groups, Websites, & Organizations

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice - Salud | Dignidad | Justicia

We amplify the grassroots power and thought leadership of Latinas/xs across the country to fuel a larger reproductive justice movement.

Apply for our Activist Institute: How to Get Police Out of Schools

Join thousands of youth activists and adult allies as we build a better and more equitable world.

Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles

Arts, Protest, & Justice

About...

In A Time For Reckoning: North American Christianity and Indigenous Cultural GenocideMike Morrell offers a call to awareness, humility, repentance, and action; includes resource lists for reading/study; supporting, enjoying and learning from Indigenous artists; and specific actions for individuals, households, and congregations.

Visual Arts

Richard Rohr lifts up numerous contemplative artists reflecting on arts, contemplation, and justice work, in Finding god in the Arts, which ran August 15-20, 2021.

Books

Fight Like Jesus     Odetta          Look Inside Three Lines in a Circle

Census & Voting

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders encourage congregational engagement in ending voter suppression and encouraging people to vote. Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Individual Engagement
  • Household Engagement
  • Congregational Engagement
  • Community Engagement

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

At brainpickings.org: Maria Popova cites: Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower (public library) and Parable of the Talents (public library).

Rev. Dr. Michael Piazza writes in his 09.14.20 Liberating Word, "If those words from Ms. Butler don't motivate you to pray and get involved in the election, I'm not sure what will."

Vote.org and whenweallvote.org, offer non-partisan resources about voter registration and the how-tos of voting.

Voters of color will find Color of Change's resources on votingwhileblack.comwevotewecount.org has resources for multiple communities. 

LGBTQ Voters can find resources at The Task Force's Queer the Vote and the Human Rights Campaign's Voting Center.

Specifically from our faith communities:

This publicly available toolkit is designed for faith, religious, and spirit-rooted communities that are mobilizing to protect the vote in the 2020 general election. 

Please share widely using bit.ly/faithfulelection, and submit additional resources here.

Vigils & Litanies

   Worship Resources for a National Election pdf & Word

   Election Day community engagement & worship planning resources

   from A Sanctified Art; free and downloadable

Rev. Elsa Cook offers Pandemic Prayers for Proper 27, including prayers, confession and response music (from The Many).

Individual Engagement

Westminster Town Hall Forum: 

JOSÉ ANTONIO VARGAS

Democracy in the Eyes of an Undocumented Citizen

Westminster Town Hall Forum: 

LATOSHA BROWN

Ensuring Black Voters Matter

Pollen Midwest, The Sahan Journal, and Pillsbury United Communities, published a voter guide—made by the community, for the community—that can help folx become fully informed on this year’s candidates for Minneapolis mayor and City Council.

Get out the vote!
Relational organizing meet-ups: Wednesdays; 3-4pm and Thursdays; 6:30-7:30pmeach week until Election Day.
This Google Doc lays out four steps for how to talk with people you know about voting and what's at stake.

Peter Wallace's blog post Anger in the Service of Justice: Following Jesus’ Example offers helpful biblical context and grounding.

MPR News & the League of Women Voters of Minnesota provide a voter guide.

Questions leading up to Election Day? #AskMPRNews.

All Minnesota voters are eligible to vote by mail.   

Household Engagement

#ELCAVotes

Tools for talking with American citizens eligible to vote who are living with a disability.

And/or see: The Autism Self Advocacy Network's (ASAN) online toolkit, which walks a person through the process of registering, getting a mail-in ballot, and more.

Download the toolkit's chapter, “All About Voting” (PDF) and/or the Easy Read toolkit called Your Vote Counts: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Voting in the U.S.

ASAN and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law created a plain-language guide to voting rights for people with mental disabilities, including people under guardianship.

Mobilize America offers a one-stop-shop to help you get out the vote!

Stacey Abrams & the History of Voter Suppression in America

The Movement for a Future without Policing & Prisons

Kaepernick Publishing & LEVEL publish 30 stories that point to a future that puts the needs of the community first

The Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has resources online that walk a person through the process of registering, getting a mail-in ballot, and more. All About Voting and Your Vote Counts: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Voting in the U.S. may be the most helpful.

ASAN and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law created a plain-language guide to voting rights for people with mental disabilities, including people under guardianship.

Children, Tweens, & Teens

citizenship - small.jpg     Chapter Books about Citizenship

Congregational Engagement

In Pastoral Is Political: "Pastor, Stay in Your Lane!", Sharon Temple wonders what would happen if clergy doubled-down on the theology of baptism and if we first focus on who we are voting as, before we consider who to vote for.

      Brian McLaren

The Five Electorates in 2020; and Clergy - Please Don't Be Silent! (but be non-silent wisely and legally!): essential reading in preparation for the coming election season. And take advantage of Three Short Sermons on Politics, Democracy and Voting.


Get Out the Vote text-banks with MNIPL Zoom for a training: 

     

UCC and ecumenical faith leaders speak out about voting

Rev. Sheri Prestemon's article: Where Faith and Politics Meet

 ELCAvotes helps individuals and congregations work toward ensuring voting rights for all.

Smiling person holding a VOTE button   The Church and Election Day

Doug Powe and Ann Michel of the Lewis Center staff say there is much a church can do to encourage people to vote, ensure that voting occurs in a safe and secure manner, and encourage hope and civility in this polarized time.

Dakotas-Minnesota Area Bishop Bruce R. Ough is among more than 50 U.S.-based bishops who signed a statement on Faith and Democracy, calling on the people of The United Methodist Church to support voter registration and encourage people to vote in the November 3 elections.

Presbyterian Mission

offers opportunities to engage in the work of getting out the vote.

Living Lutheran’s October issue lead feature answers the question ”How should Lutherans be involved in politics?” Other denominations may find wisdom, as well. Read the full article here and download the study guide

Community Engagement

Westminster Town Hall Forum: 

JOSÉ ANTONIO VARGAS

Democracy in the Eyes of an Undocumented Citizen

Westminster Town Hall Forum: 

LATOSHA BROWN

Ensuring Black Voters Matter

 TurnOut Sunday

Turn Out Sunday / Lawyers and Collars toolkitWatch two inspiring videos (and share with your congregation!) and learn how you can support voter turnout, safeguard polling areas and ensure that every vote is counted.

Check your voter registration status

Encourage others

adopt a state to support

educate yourself and others on the electoral college

Host a 'Voting Your Values' event with your community

Complete the MNIPL interest form.


Chalk the Vote! 

Read this google doc for ideas.

Let MNIPL know.

Books

          Faith on Trial               Let My People Vote     Our Time Is Now          

Climate & Sustainability

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders encourage congregational engagement in the work of environmental sustainability. Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Individual Engagement
  • Household Engagement
  • Congregational Engagement
  • Community Engagement

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Individual Engagement

Climate Change Activists Either Prod Exxon Mobil or Dump It - The New York  Times

THIRD ACT — EXPERIENCED PEOPLE WORKING FOR A FAIR AND STABLE PLANET.

We’re over 60—the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. We have skills, we have resources, we have time—and many of us have kids and grandkids. We also have a history. In our early years we saw remarkable shifts in politics and society; now, in our latter years, we want to see those changes made real and lasting.

Pledge to vote for climate justice.

Join the MNIPL Drop-In Community Hour, Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, to get support for whatever you or your congregation are up to.

This! Is What We Did is driven by the following Mission Statement:

To help grow a movement strong enough to break the power of the fossil fuel industry and stimulate the effective, drastic action needed to spur climate justice and give future generations a chance for a decent life through 

  1. a powerful educational experience
  2. a welcoming community
  3. easy-access on-ramps to effective action

In particular, we see people 50 years and older as an untapped resource to fight climate change.

Find out how individuals and communities can live into their responsibilities as Treaty Peoples to support the years-long efforts of Water Protectors to Stop Line 3.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. Find out more and apply.

Household Engagement

Climate Justice Through Divestment

“We are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

Yes! Magazine; By Ray Levy Uyeda

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MNIPL's Just Solar: Residential page helps Twin Cities Area households discern best steps toward residential solar; Help 4 Low-Income Households Go Solar with secure donations; and find exciting options for solar in Southern Minnesota here.

The MN Center for Environmental Advocacy offers numerous opportunities to engage - both long-range (like their Youth Climate Intervenors) and extremely current Action Alerts. See here for more options.

Animal Books collection.jpg     animal chapter books.jpg     Picture Books to Heal the Earth     Chapter books that inspire kids to heal the earth.     Picture Books for Nature Lovers

     

     

     

          

Farmer-Eater Exchange: avoid food waste;

Community Supported Agriculture directory: openings for this season.

Stop the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline! Request a yard sign.

The Office of Social Justice and Faith Formation Ministries offer this resource to address God's call to care for creation. Ten Ways to Care for Creation includes ideas such as starting an intergenerational gardening project, holding a storytelling series, and much more!

Download this free resource or order printed copies for a small fee at FaithAliveResources.org.

Congregational Engagement

WATER WHERE WE LIVE CURRICULUM

includes:

  • FREE eco theology curriculum

  • FUN enviroSTEM activities

  • FAITHFUL spiritual practices

  • FRUITFUL water justice discussions

This curriculum was created by Growing Green Hearts/Heidi Ferris, in conjunction with the Capitol Region Watershed District, area congregations, Luther Seminary, and The Ministry Lab.

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In the Exchanges training, Redefining Essentialness Apart from Capitalism: Intersections of Economy, Ecology, and Religion, economics, ecology, and religion are put in conversation with one another to identify sources of deep solidarity among humans and nature.

Join the MNIPL Drop-In Community Hour, Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, to get support for whatever you or your congregation are up to.

This! Is What We Did is driven by the following Mission Statement:

To help grow a movement strong enough to break the power of the fossil fuel industry and stimulate the effective, drastic action needed to spur climate justice and give future generations a chance for a decent life through 

  1. a powerful educational experience
  2. a welcoming community
  3. easy-access on-ramps to effective action

In particular, we see people 50 years and older as an untapped resource to fight climate change.

Study & Worship for Progressive Churches: Creation (Donald Schmidt - Author) makes the vision of whole congregation sharing not only possible, but easy. This all-in-one study and worship resource includes everything a congregation needs to enable children, youth, parents, and grandparents to share together in a five-week study of the biblical stories of creation.  

Lutherans Restoring Creation

Lutherans Restoring Creation offer this Congregational Covenant and Organizing Kit

Adapt it to any denominational affiliation by substituting comparable denominational statements or calls to action in appropriate places. Tools for organizing across committee and governance structures are universal.

MNIPL has posted video highlights from their Rise by the River event of ceremony, song, hope, and prayer in opposition to the destructive Enbridge Line 3. Hear and feel the words, energy, and spirit shared by Rev. Jim Bear JacobsBishop Craig LoyaNina BerglundSharon Day, and dr. raj. Their Facebook page has more videos and photos.

Metro Blooms partners with communities to create resilient landscapes and foster clean watersheds, embracing the values of equity and inclusion to solve environmental challenges. Individuals or congregations can participate by volunteering for community projects and/or learning workshops.

Share their What We Do video as an intro to your congregation: 

"What We Do" featuring NUNNABOVE and the Hypoxic Punks

Presbyterian Mission

offers diverse and changing opportunities to engage in the work of climate care and natural disaster relief locally, nationally and globally.

Connect-the-Drops: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership Cohorts

High School, middle school, or intergenerational. Go to GrowingGreenHearts.com for more information

AND Water Stories for Churches Video Resources

Community Engagement

A Guide to Climate Reparations

Reparations, debt cancellation, and climate justice are all regular features in climate solutions—but what do they mean in practice?

Yes! Magazine; By Anita Bhadani

Find out how individuals and communities can live into their responsibilities as Treaty Peoples to support the years-long efforts of Water Protectors to Stop Line 3.

Reconciling relationships with natureIn a video released by United Methodist Global Ministries, Rev. Tyler Sit, an EarthKeeper who serves New City Church in Minneapolis, shares the importance of connecting with the Earth and how leading a program that provides nature-based therapy in support of people of color is impacting his community.  Watch video

View a trailer, join a multi-group event, or create a virtual screening

Water Where We Live: Rain Gardens for ChurchesMonthly water events for churches are posted here.

AND SEE: Water Stories for Churches

A St. Paul Water Story: Lake McCarrons & Galilee Lutheran Church 

  • Explore interconnectedness with scientist Amy Myrbo

Water Stories from Luther Seminary Students (part 1) Africa & Indonesia

  • Esther Sianipar; Indonesia 
  • Janice Gonoe; Liberia

Water Stories: Luther Seminary Students (part 2) Africa & Indonesia

  • Wholistic water connections, climate change, and water work as vocation in Africa and Indonesia

Water Stories: Rain Gardens for Churches with Macalester Plymouth United Church 

  • Boost water quality with rain gardens

'Water Is Life' is a UM News photo-essay chronicling global struggles for clean water and the church’s efforts to provide clean water to rural Africa. View package

Visit the Wakan Tipi Center, part of the Lower Phalen Creek Project.

  • Share the introductory video.
  • Discuss environmental racism
  • Learn about this land's sacred and cultural significance for the Dakota people
  • Engage in the restoration of prairie, language and traditions
  • Enjoy a staff-guided hike

Develop your own excursion or work with Heidi@growinggreenhearts.com.

Earth Day

Earth Day’s 2022 Theme

EARTH DAY 2022

The Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet.

What Will You Do? See the website to find information on Earth Day events, activities, and what individuals and organizations can do to make a difference. Register your event and join the global Invest in Our Planet movement.

A prayer, posted August 9, 2021 by Maren, to share any time:

Prayers for the Heating Earth

This Earth Day 2021 Toolkit was created to help you inspire, educate, and engage your faith or spiritual community in working for climate justice this Earth Day and beyond! Our theme is: Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections Between Our Faith, Our Food, and the Climate, and it invites you to ...

  • Reflect on your spiritual connection to the land

  • Examine how current food systems contribute to injustice and climate change and ways to advocate for systems that are better for people and the planet.

  • Take practical actions that promote justice

Conflict, Division, & Reconciliation

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders facilitated healing conversations about and in the midst of conflict, division and reconciliation: within and without the congregation. Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Small Group Discussions
  • Empowering Leaders
  • Engaging the Broader Community

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Small Group Discussions

                    Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva          Fight Like Jesus          Forgiven but Not Forgotten          How to Have an Enemy          In Defense of Kindness: Why It Matters, How It Changes Our Lives, and How It Can Save the World     In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World     Just Us     Leading with Love          Listening to the Movement     Picture of Love Is the Resistance     A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community      Neighbor Love through Fearful Days: Finding Purpose and Meaning in a Time of Crisis     The Peacemaker's Path: Multifaith Reflections to Deepen Your Spirituality          Saving Grace by Kirsten Powers     The Space Between Us          We Will Not Cancel Us     Welcoming the Unwelcome               

Children's Books

          Stories to Inspire Imaginations               treasuries.jpg     Main_lend_a_hand_cover          Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox     Sarah Rising               

Empowering Leaders

Krista Tippett interviews Serene Jones in Grace in a Fractured World. The Oklahoma-born theologian of trauma speaks on our political & spiritual love crisis: “Everything is falling apart, and something new is emerging.”

Guidelines (adopted in 1992) for use in times of conflict and disagreement.

Kyle Roberts, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at United Theological Seminary, authored, “Leading Through the Contention: Guidance from Open and Relational Theology in Navigating Conflict".

Engaging the Community

Rev. Dr. Cameron Trimble, reflecting on how our words/language create our realities, encourages us to Say What You Mean.

Learning How to See with Brian McLaren

In season two of our podcast Learning How to See, we are invited to confront the host of biases that prevent us from connecting more deeply with ourselves and one another. Listen and discover how seeing is social, political, and contemplative.

Kairos Blanket Exercise

The Kairos Blanket Exercise is developed to create reconciliation through education and understanding.

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a program of KAIROS CANADA. KAIROS Canada is an ecumenical movement for ecological justice and human rights around the globe.

Hollaback! logo

Hollaback and Asian Americans Advancing Justice teamed up to create free Bystander Intervention Trainings. See here for dates and details.

Rev. Dr. Michael Piazza urges us to name America's Dividing Line as what it is: racism. Only after naming the divide can we hope to heal it.

On Being with Krista Tippett

Bishop Michael Curry & Dr. Russell Moore

Spiritual Bridge People

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An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice offers numerous and varied ways to engage.

Brian McLaren's, The Five Electorates in 2020 is essential reading for understanding the "other"; see also Recognizing Our Biases.

MennoMedia’s ~ing Podcast Episodes 14 & 16 feature Mennonite pastor and author Melissa Florer-Bixler speaking about loving one’s enemies and author Shane Claiborne speaking on love amid violence, respectively.

Sister Joan Chittister issues A Call to Be One.

Webinars & Trainings

CONVERGENCE offers numerous leadership and community development webinars on-demand or in a cohort:

  • White Too Long: A Webinar with Robert Jones from the Anderson Forum for Progressive Theology

Confronting Misogyny

Books

Athena to Barbie: Bodies, Archetypes, and Women's Search for Self     Brave: Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Grief, Mercy, Folly, Joy, Sex, and Redemption     #ChurchToo: How Purity Culture Upholds Abuse and How to Find Healing     Book cover image: Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes     The Defiant Middle: How Women Claim Life's In-Betweens to Remake the World     Book cover image: Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive     First and Only: A Black Woman's Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life     Fulfilled: Let Go of Shame, Embrace Your Body, and Eat the Food You Love     HildegardSaintForOurTimes.jpg     Hood Feminism     If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming All God Means for You to Be     In My Grandmother's House: Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit          Leaving Silence     The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became  Gospel Truth: Barr, Beth Allison: 9781587434709: Amazon.com: Books     More Than a Womb     Mothers-Daughters-Body-Image-Hillary-McBride               9781587435386.jpg          Unbound               The Wisdom of Your Body          Women and Other Monsters               The Words of Her Mouth | Psalms for the Struggle (Spong)

Children's, Tweens & Teens Books

Image result for 111 Trees     Black Girls Unbossed: Young World Changers Leading the Way     Finding Beauty     A Girl's Bill of Rights     Mother God     Pinkie Promises     Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet     Walking for Water | Kids Can Press     We Listen to Our Bodies: A picture book about body awareness and consent.     You Don't Have to Be Everything

Blogs, Podcasts & Articles

Paul, a First Century Feminist

by Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Frantz

Matthew Fox writes extensively about the need to balance the Sacred Masculine with the Feminine Divine, often citing Hilldegard of Bingen, among other mystics, as references. See, for example, The Goddess as Gaia and Our Mother and Healthy Masculinity Welcoming the Return of the Divine Feminine.

Rev. Dr. Cameron Trimble, reflecting on how our words/language create our realities, encourages us to Say What You Mean.

Video & Webinars

HUNGER AT THE CROSSROADS: SEXUALITY, GENDER IDENTITY, AND HUNGER

Hosted by ELCA World Hunger, this webinar series explores the many ways hunger and poverty intersect with other issues, including climate change, food production, access to housing, racial justice, gender justice and more; including ways we can be part of God’s promise of a just world where all are fed.

CONVERGENCE offers numerous leadership and community development webinars on-demand or in a cohort:

Do Christianity and Buddhism Have Shamanic Roots?: A Teach-In with Isa Gucciardi and Matthew Fox

Spiritual and Theological Evolution with Sue Monk Kidd

Boundary Training for Clergy

Cosmic Wisdom and the Divine Feminine: Lost Insights for an Emerging World - 15 Day Teach-In with Rabbi Rami Shapiro and Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox spends a few days with Julian of Norwich Celebrating Divine Wisdom and the Feminine and Julian: Divine Wisdom, Christ and Divine Motherhood at Work. Scroll down for the video and a more thorough discourse.

Barbara A. Holmes' film series with The Work of the People: A Transcendent Leap (on our cosmic identities), Womanist Theology, Release the Fire (on Pentecost and the Spirit), Be the Mystery, Emerging Wholeness (on God's call to love our neighbor), A Contemplative Moment (on how contemplative prayer births prophetic proclamation and action).

Websites

AMEND Together is a primary prevention initiative dedicated to ending violence against women and girls by engaging men and boys to be a part of the solution.

AMENDing Through Faith is an eight-week series for men who are passionate about ending violence against women and actively seeking specific ways to make the world a better place. This series series is Christian faith-based but is adaptable to other faiths.

The PC(USA) Store has compiled a list of resources for Preaching & Teaching Women's Stories resources.

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An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice

Their Gender page is updated regularly with articles reflective of current events, issues, and practices.

Contemplative Activism

Local Resources

 

Gathering

The Minnesota Council of Churches Healing Minnesota Stories provide group Sacred Sites Tour to Explore Indigenous Experience in Minnesota. These tours are designed to "create understanding and healing between Native American and non-Native people, particularly those in various faith communities".

Tours are led by Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) and Bob Klanderud (Dakota). The tours offer an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence / meditation / reflection.

Upcoming Tour Dates

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United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities offers a list of Resources and Actions Amidst amidst the Chauvin Trialand the Death of Daunte Wright, including opportunities for Prayer/Meditation, Holding Memory, Changing Policies, Impacting Public Discourse, and Engaging Our Emotions.

Books

Oneing: The Cosmic Egg

Richard Rohr's biannual Oneing is available in hardcopy and as a downloadable pdf.

Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth     Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman     Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred     Crisis Contemplation: Healing the Wounded Village     Do Better     Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee     Faith, Class, and Labor     Feed the Wolf: Befriending Our Fears in the Way of Saint Francis     Fierce Love by Dr. Jacqui Lewis     How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy: Odell, Jenny:  9781612197494: Amazon.com: Books          On Love and Mercy     Picture of The Peace Project     Practicing     Image result for praying with our feet     Cover for Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul     The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton          Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers     This Here Flesh by Cole Arthur Riley     Today Everything Is Different: An Adventure in Prayer and Action

Main_lend_a_hand_cover     This beautiful picture book teaches kids to connect with themselves, with others, and with nature

Websites & Webinars

LIFT EVERY VOICE BOOK CLUB

Lift Every Voice: Contemplative Writers of Color Book Club offers monthly conversation on the Christian Mystical Tradition. Join Abbey of the Arts for a monthly conversation on how increasing our diversity of perspectives on contemplative practice can enrich our understanding and experience of the Christian mystical tradition.

This free series is a conversation between Christine Valters Paintner and author Claudia Love Mair. Read the book in advance and actively join this "journey of deepening, discovery, and transformation".

Learn more here.

Engaging Christianities and Socialisms — The Wendland-Cook Program in  Religion and Justice

Register for upcoming webinars here.

Watch previous webinars here.

Land Acknowledgments

Go to Beyond Land Acknowledgment Series

A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment was compiled in conversation with a group of Minnesota Indigenous leaders.

Green road sign with cows in background. Sign reads Welcome To The Cheyene River Sioux Tribe Indian Reservation.

How To Write A Land Acknowledgement For Your Parish

CICSC logo

The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center offers this Toolkit.

Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles

\Barbara Holmes, Untitled 2 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States.

Richard Rohr spent a week Contemplating Creation - short, daily devotionals to help us see and develop awareness of our oneness with creation.

FOUR PRAYERS FOR JUSTICE

Four prayers for social justice, change, and working for the common good.

The Cosmic We podcast goes beyond race and racism to consider relatedness as the organizing principle of the universe, exploring our shared cosmic origins though a cultural lens that fuses science, mysticism, spirituality, and the creative arts. Together with prominent cosmologists, shamans, biblical scholars, poets and activists, CAC core teacher Barbara Holmes and co-host Donny Bryant unveil the “we” of us beyond color, continent, country, or kinship to conjure unseen futures in exploration of the mystery of Divine connection.

You can listen and subscribe to The Cosmic We with Barbara Holmes through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or any podcast player of your preference.

Richard Rohr lifts up numerous contemplative artists reflecting on arts, contemplation, and justice work, in Finding God in the Arts, which ran August 15-20, 2021.

Learning How to See with Brian McLaren

In season two of the podcast Learning How to See, we are invited to confront the host of biases that prevent us from connecting more deeply with ourselves and one another. Listen and discover how seeing is social, political, and contemplative.

Barbara Holmes reflects on Crisis Contemplation, in When Crisis Comes and Crisis Contemplation; trauma researcher Joy DeGruy adds Healing Generational Wounds - all worth a read for those concerned about the extent of body trauma experienced generationally by our siblings of color and diversity; and being absorbed by all of us in these times of upheaval.

enfleshed's Contemplating Now podcast is great all the time.

This interview with Cassidy Hall on her work on the intersection of contemplation and Social justice is particularly good.

Richard Rohr asks leaders to become - or make room for - Becoming Wise Fools.

His Earth Day reflection, One Life, One Breath, features Native American attorney and sacred activist, Sherri Mitchell.

Sharing Felicia Murrell's Silence in Trauma and Healing week.

The theme of "Oneness", (May 23-28, 2021), culminated in Action Based on Oneness, citing contemporary mystic and activist-inspirer, Howard Thurman.

Practices via Video

     

Barbara A. Holmes' film series with The Work of the People: A Transcendent Leap (on our cosmic identities), Womanist Theology, Release the Fire (on Pentecost and the Spirit), Be the Mystery, Emerging Wholeness (on God's call to love our neighbor), A Contemplative Moment (on how contemplative prayer births prophetic proclamation and action).

Covid-19 Compassion

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders encourage congregational engagement in the work of Covid-10 Compassion. Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Individual Engagement
  • Household Engagement
  • Congregational Engagement
  • Community Engagement

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Individual Engagement

For faith leaders wanting to help folx with accessibility issues navigate vaccination systems and/or get registered online for COVID-19 vaccines, The MN Council of Churches recommends MN Vaccine Hunters. To submit names of adults who are in need of, want, and are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, click here. This is a safe, secure, grassroots effort through which a limited number of individuals will have access to the information provided.

The Women of the MN Annual Conference UMC invite you to make masks.

  AND  

offer lists of pandemic service opportunities

Household Engagement

Sahan Journal's COVID-19 Vaccine Project includes an article from Ben Hovland - in English, Spanish, Somali, and Oromo - with information from medical providers who treat kids in Minnesota offering Everything kids and parents need to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Donate household items and clothes to Old School, by Steeple People

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Congregational Engagement

Bishop Bill Tesch of the ELCA's NW MN Synod offers guidance and Martin Luther's comments on faith during The Plague in this video.

The White House through the HHS published a toolkit for how organizations – including houses of worship – can work directly with vaccine providers to set up vaccination clinics in locations that people know.
For information on National Vaccine Month, click here.

Rev. Dr. Anna Hall (of Convergence) reflects on Church & Vaccine

Thriving Beyond COVID is a scripture-based small and large group study that will encourage, inspire, and challenge members and get them in a positive frame of mind for your post-COVID journey. Challenges can be managed with faith and a plan. This two-minute video is an introduction. A leader guide, small and large group participant guides, as well as videos are available for free download here.

The WI Council of Churches offers these important and thoughtful Returning to Church guidelines and suggestions; dated 05.13.21.

Faiths4Vaccines is connecting and supporting faith communities and leaders across the country who are leading by example, receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, advocating on behalf of its equitable distribution, and mobilizing to support vaccination administration.

See their Love thy neighbor. Get vaccinated. video here.

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Nuns & Nones provide an excellent article on emerging from Covid-19 and an interactive resource guide for creating ritual to help us move - individually and collectively - into the future "with little luggage, ready to imagine another world."

The World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue have released a joint document, “Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity: A Christian Call to Reflection and Action During COVID-19 and Beyond.” Its purpose is to encourage churches and Christian organizations to reflect on the importance of interreligious solidarity in a world wounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lewis Center for Church Leadership has a growing list of Covid-19-related resources on topics of Social Action, Stewardship, Technology, and Hospitality.

5 Addictions the Church Must Overcome to Grow in the Future

Carey Nieuwhof explains that churches must respond to a culture that has become even more digital, mobile, and home-centered during the COVID-19 crisis. He predicts growing churches will focus less on place-based ministry and packed rooms and will adjust budgets and attitudes to fit a new reality.

numerous ideas and links for creative responses to community needs

Understanding common felt needs may help in launching an online micro-community and showing compassion for neighbors.

Community Engagement

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance from FEMA: FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. Applications will be accepted starting April 12. Please share this resource with loved ones of those who passed away of COVID and had a funeral at your church.

Interfaith leaders offer pandemic prayer

The leaders of more than a dozen judicatories in Minnesota crafted a joint statement voicing concern about the increase in COVID-19 cases and urging Minnesotans to serve their communities, partner with neighbors and health care workers, and make changes that will save lives.

  RIP Medical Debt

Check out the 2020 Medical Debt Summit, recorded 10.06.20. See Matthew 25 in the PC(USA) for inspiration.

Sign and share this statement to Congress urging compassionate release of people in federal prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share a letter of support for – and solidarity with – your local health care providers and other frontline workers. Invite neighboring faith communities to join you. [Expand the Christian references accordingly, to include others.] Share a “signed” version on your website and/or a local media outlet.

Minneapolis Forward shares resources (to offer or receive) related to COVID-19 and the transformation of the city.

Books

     Coronaspection     Shelter in This Place

Education

Children's Books

Walking for Water | Kids Can Press

 

Tweens & Teens Books

Rolling Warrior

Local/Regional Connections

Foster Grandparent volunteers provide one-on-one mentoring a few hours a week to at-risk youth to help them boost self-esteem and overall success. Volunteers can positively impact the lives of children and youth, find a meaningful way to give back, and earn extra income.

In this COVID-19 environment, Foster Grandparents are finding ways to support teachers and students remotely through phone and video chat.

Learn about becoming a Foster Grandparents partner site here.

Learn about benefits, who qualifies, and how to volunteer here.

Bridgemakers is a holistic civic, social, and financial capacity building platform which amplifies the stories and mentors the leadership of black, brown and otherwise marginalized youth. We build bridges between young artists, activists and entrepreneurs with experienced leaders to engage intergenerational collaboration in breaking cycles of miseducation, poverty, violence and addiction. Together, we’re reimagining and revitalizing marginalized communities to flourish with passion purpose positive relationships and power.

Gun Violence & Control

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders encourage congregational engagement in the work of gun control and mitigating gun violence. Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Individual Resources
  • Household Resources
  • Congregational Resources
  • Community Resources

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Individual Resources

Peter Wallace's blog post Anger in the Service of Justice: Following Jesus’ Example offers helpful biblical context and grounding.

Household Resources

Alternate textEpisode 16: "Forging"

explores the guns-into-garden tools movement with Mike Martin and Shane Claiborne discussing the RAWTools organization.

Congregational Resources

ENGAGE is a Saint Paul Area Synod (ELCA) public witness committee on gun violence prevention.

Our mission is to MEDITATE on, EDUCATE about, and ADVOCATE for gun violence prevention in the non-violent Spirit of Jesus.

Community Resources

Bridgemakers is a holistic civic, social, and financial capacity building platform which amplifies the stories and mentors the leadership of black, brown and otherwise marginalized youth. We build bridges between young artists, activists and entrepreneurs with experienced leaders to engage intergenerational collaboration in breaking cycles of miseducation, poverty, violence and addiction. Together, we’re reimagining and revitalizing marginalized communities to flourish with passion, purpose, positive relationships, and power.

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An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice offers numerous and varied ways to engage.

Volunteer with Protect Minnesota to participate in virtual activities to tell legislators that we need Universal Background Checks and Extreme Risk Protection Orders now!

Books - Adults

          Common Ground     Defund Fear     Fight Like Jesus     God and Guns     How to Have an Enemy               The Tradition     Upside Down Living     Picture of When Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough     

Books - Children & Youth

Cover of Something Happened in Our Park

Healthcare

Congregational Engagement

Eradicate medical debt at pennies on the dollar. Together, RIP Medical Debt and numerous faith communities have abolished billions in medical debt - but it's only the beginning. They want your help!

Immigrants & Refugees

Blogs, Podcasts & Webinars

The Sahan Journal's Hibah Ansari shares How You Can Help Afghan Refugees in Minnesota Right Now

Minnesota has pledged to accept dozens of Afghans fleeing their country after the Taliban takeover. Many of them helped the U.S. Armed Forces and would face danger and death back home. Resettlement agencies say these new arrivals will need ongoing help with everything from housing to job training as they rebuild their lives in Minnesota

Rosalind C. Hughes' Over the Water: read it.

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Shoulder to Shoulder offers "Faith Over Fear" virtual training periodically throughout the year. Gain valuable skills to better counter anti-Muslim discrimination in your community and learn how to build stronger local multireligious networks. Learn more and register here.

Hollaback! logo

Hollaback and Asian Americans Advancing Justice teamed up to create free Bystander Intervention Trainings. See here for dates and details.

545 of Our Children by Dr. Eric Barreto

Rev. Amanda Simons from Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church shared her Literature Epiphanies, including a list of resources congruent with her book study of American Dirt.

Denominational Resources

Photo essay: 'I was a stranger...': In September, a UM News team accompanied faith leaders from The United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church of Mexico on visits to migrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. See how the church is ministering to those in need through this powerful series of images.  Access photo essay

StoriesfromAfghanistan

This hour and a half training builds on the new toolkit Welcoming and Advocating for Afghan SIVs and Other Afghan Refugees, tailored for UCC congregations that want to engage effectively in support for Afghan SIVs and other Afghan refugees being resettled to the United States.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota offers numerous supports for Immigrant and Refugee peoples, including prayers in solidarity and opportunities for congregations to walk with a refugee family in their Circle of Welcome program.

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AMMPARO was envisioned to accompany children today and in the future who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons. Explore their Resources on the Web and their congregational strategy tools.

Additional Resources

You might share this beautiful video from the Franciscan Action Network on your website.

Sojourners

faith in action for social justice

El Camino - The Way

Engage immigrant justice. Find transformative sermons.

Sign up to receive recommended sermons, tips for preaching about immigration, and tools for churches seeking justice with immigrant communities. Includes sermons from two MN Annual Conference UMC preachers: Nate Melcher and Jean Carlos Diaz.

Reporting on Minnesota's new Americans — Sahan Journal

Sahan Journal is the only independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit digital newsroom fully dedicated to providing authentic news reporting for and about immigrants and communities of color in Minnesota, chronicling the struggles, successes and transformations of Minnesota’s immigrants and communities of color, whose stories are often overlooked by traditional news organizations.

Richard Blanco's How to Love a Country and other poems and writings on the many Homes we carry within us.

From MN Council of Churches:

Service Opportunities

HELP AFGHAN REFUGEES

The MN Council of Churches (MCC) continues to resettle individuals and families evacuated from Afghanistan. Most are coming to Minnesota ineligible for the same financial and program support as refugees.

Learn how to help here.

EMERGE Community Development | LinkedIn

EMERGE has deep roots in North Minneapolis and Cedar-Riverside, and specialized experience in providing innovative support for people overcoming barriers to employment such as overcoming a criminal background, new Americans facing language barriers, single parents struggling with poverty cycles, and participants who seek to earn higher wages.

Volunteer Virtually with Refugee ServicesOnline. Refugee Services of the Minnesota Council of Churches needs online volunteers. Help refugees with the skills needed to navigate life in Minnesota and with English conversation practice.

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An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice offers numerous and varied ways to engage.

Books & Downloads

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)     Boomerang / Bumerán     Cornered by the Dark     Faithful in Small Things     Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11          Journeys of Asian Diaspora: Mapping Originations and Destinations          Once I Was You     Our Angry Eden: Faith and Hope on a Hotter, Harsher Planet     Parenting with an Accent     White Borders

The Our Angry Eden Discussion Guide is perfect for church groups, book clubs, and individual study.

     

Bright Star               Drawn Together     Para Todos - For All     Watercress     Look Inside Where Is Home, Daddy Bear?     Wishes

Cuba in My Pocket

Indigenous Peoples

Welcome

Here, find avenues for personal, congregational, or broader community engagement.

Find books for personal or group study and awareness in our lib guides:

 

Community Engagement

Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women | NIWRC     

#MMIWG2S – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn, Girls, and Two Spirit

4 out of 5 of our Native women are affected by violence today.

Native Womens Wilderness

MURDERED & MISSING  INDIGENOUS WOMEN

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REMEMBERING THE CHILDREN

Wakȟáŋyeža Wičhákiksuyapi

RAPID CITY INDIAN SCHOOL 1898-1933

The government took our children – to force them to forget who they were

This memorial is for them – so they know we never forgot who they are

This memorial is for us – so we never forget what they did

Learning from Indigenous Leaders

Gathering

The Minnesota Council of Churches Healing Minnesota Stories provide group Sacred Sites Tour to Explore Indigenous Experience in Minnesota. These tours are designed to "create understanding and healing between Native American and non-Native people, particularly those in various faith communities".

Tours are led by Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) and Bob Klanderud (Dakota). The tours offer an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence / meditation / reflection.

Upcoming Tour Dates

Kairos Blanket Exercise 

KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a 2 to 3-hour interactive and experiential teaching workshop developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and educators that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada and the Northern US.

KAIROS Teaching & Sharing Circle Banner     

Visit the Wakan Tipi Center, part of the Lower Phalen Creek Project.

  • Share the introductory video.
  • Discuss environmental racism
  • Learn about this land's sacred and cultural significance for the Dakota people
  • Engage in the restoration of prairie, language and traditions
  • Enjoy a staff-guided hike

Blogs, Podcasts & Articles

 Kelly Sherman-Conroy, Mato Wašté Winyan (Good Bear Woman), offers these words on her blog: "What are you doing to share our stories. Right the wrongs. What are you doing to not just speak up, but act?"

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CANYON LAKE UMC WALKS WITH NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILIES

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

In A Time For Reckoning: North American Christianity and Indigenous Cultural GenocideMike Morrell offers a call to awareness, humility, repentance, and action; includes resource lists for reading/study; supporting, enjoying and learning from Indigenous artists; and specific actions for individuals, households, and congregations.

John Curl curated this list of Resources for Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Israel & Palestine

HOME

The Israel/Palestine conflict has been raging since Israel's nationalization in 1948. It is a complex and far-ranging issue, with enormous international implications.

Discussions can be emotional, spiritual, political, and intellectual. Here are resources to touch on all the salient points to increase awareness and understanding.

Other Resource Lists

15 Books to Read to Better Understand the Modern History of Israel-Palestine

For resources on the modern history of Israel / Palestine, see this list of readings compiled by associate editor of Alma, Emily Burack.

Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles

In Real Christian Talk about Israel and the Palestinians, Dr. Greg Carey asserts that, "Despite the media’s efforts to promote over-simplified narratives, it’s possible for us to hold multiple truths in tension with one another. Let us not grow weary in our insistence upon justice for the Palestinians."

Judicatory Responses to Recent Conflict

"We call for an immediate ceasefire:" Palestine, Israel, and the Complicity of U.S. Christianity.

After several weeks of increased tension in Israel/Palestine, coinciding with the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Israeli government and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on 5/21/22. United released a statement in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis and acknowledging the particular complicity of American Christianities in the conflict. Read United's statement here.

LGBTQIA+

Books

Boomerang / Bumerán          #ChurchToo: How Purity Culture Upholds Abuse and How to Find Healing     The Defiant Middle: How Women Claim Life's In-Betweens to Remake the World     Fulfilled: Let Go of Shame, Embrace Your Body, and Eat the Food You Love     Hola Papi     Hood Feminism     If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming All God Means for You to Be     In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World          Love Makes Room: And Other Things I Learned When My Daughter Came Out:  Frenes, Staci: 9781506468631: Amazon.com: Books          

Curricula

Find a plethora of resources for Bible studybook discussion, and diversity training in Rev. Jia Starr Brown's 2020 Journey to Freedom series. Find the entire video line-up in our Journey to Freedom Vimeo Showcase. Learn more here.

Websites

The PC(USA) Store has compiled a list of Books for LGBTQIA+ Inclusion.

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An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice

Their LGBTQIA+ and Gender pages are updated regularly with articles reflective of current events, issues, and practices.

The Good Fruit Project

Good Fruit Project offers a Guide outlining the faith- and research-based evidence of the bad fruit of conversion therapy and resource lists.

Children's Books

Walking for Water | Kids Can Press

Videos & Podcasts

HUNGER AT THE CROSSROADS: SEXUALITY, GENDER IDENTITY, AND HUNGER

Hosted by ELCA World Hunger, this webinar series explores the many ways hunger and poverty intersect with other issues, including climate change, food production, access to housing, racial justice, gender justice and more; including ways we can be part of God’s promise of a just world where all are fed.

The Ministry Lab is excited to share access to Rev. Jia Starr Brown's transformative series, Journey to Freedom: Embracing God's Cultural Mosaic of People. Along with diversity trainings, Bible studies, and book groups, the 2020 them, Intersectionality, was brought to life by six guest preachers reflecting on John 4:4-26 (The Woman at the Well) and poetry and music from Minnesota-based artists.

Neighborhood Revitalization

Books

Faith, Class, and Labor     Faith-Based Organizing: A Congregational Planning Resource for Addressing Poverty     Jesus on Main Street     Remove the Pews | Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces (Schaper)     When We Stand     

Children's Books

God's Coming to Visit!     Hot Day on Abbott Avenue     I Help     Jayden’s Impossible Garden: timeless story about community and connection     Maybe I Can Love My Neighbor Too               Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox          Cover of Something Happened in Our Park     Cover of They’re So Flamboyant

Community Action

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Reclaiming the Labor Movement

April 6, 2021

Can religion actually radicalize the labor movement as we know it and help to build economic and political power for all working people? We believe the labor movement is crucial to any democratic struggle for greater economic and political justice, and because religious democracy is as rare as economic democracy, deepening the relationship between religion and labor is key to the success of both.

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50 Ways to Take Church to the Community

Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service.

Cole Stevens - Co-Founder, Vice President - Bridgemakers | LinkedIn

Bridgemakers is a holistic civic, social, and financial capacity building platform which amplifies the stories and mentors the leadership of black, brown and otherwise marginalized youth. We build bridges between young artists, activists and entrepreneurs with experienced leaders to engage intergenerational collaboration in breaking cycles of miseducation, poverty, violence and addiction. Together, we’re reimagining and revitalizing marginalized communities to flourish with passion purpose positive relationships and power.

Lights On! | An Innovative Program of MicroGrants

Lights On! An innovative program that replaces tickets with repair vouchers.

Learn how everyone benefits!

Daily Work | Holistic Employment Services | LinkedIn

Daily Work’s mission is to provide employment services and mentoring so job seekers can thrive, resulting in a community where everyone can work, grow, and contribute.

Northside Achievement Zone

The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) exists to permanently close the achievement gap and end generational poverty in North Minneapolis. Together with their partner organizations, they walk side by side with low-income families as they put their children on a path to college.

EMERGE Community Development | LinkedIn

EMERGE has deep roots in North Minneapolis and Cedar-Riverside, and specialized experience in providing innovative support for people overcoming barriers to employment such as overcoming a criminal background, new Americans facing language barriers, single parents struggling with poverty cycles, and participants who seek to earn higher wages.

Webinars & Training

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Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles

Sunbeam over a neighborhood church

Reimagining Church Buildings

By  

How can your church building be an asset rather than a liability? Dave Harder says we must interrogate the dominant narrative that says church is what happens in the building for a few hours on a Sunday and let a new narrative emerge — one that focuses on God’s hopes and dreams for the neighborhood.

Graphic representing an old church transforming into a vibrant congregation

Flipping the Script on Church Owned Property

How can local churches reimagine property stewardship so that a building can fund a church, rather than a church needing to fund a building? Tom Sine and Dwight Friesen offer examples of churches that have discovered innovative ways to leverage their property to fund their church and ministry.

The Kaleo Center offers this excellent resource on Sevenfold Social Transformation: excellent reading for vision, mission, and identity discernment; outreach and organizing discussions; and community engagement decisions.

Policing, Public Safety, & Prisons

Engagement/Curriculum

Commissioner John Harrington and Interfaith Action invite interfaith leaders statewide to join in conversations about forging a better system of public safety and policing in Minnesota. Clergy and congregations are asked to outline how they think public safety officers should respond in various scenarios. Then engage with sacred texts addressing similar scenarios. Then, respond again. Responses will be gathered by an expert team into a report of Minnesota's faith communities' input on how public safety should be shaped.

Visit the website to learn more and register your congregation to participate.

Books

Defund Fear     Gideon's Promise     How the Word Is Passed     Picture of I Take My Coffee Black                    "Prisons Make Us Safer"     Psalms from Prison (Chavis)          Sarah Rising          Tangled Up in Blue by Rosa Brooks     Ten Lives, Ten Demands     United States of Grace: A Memoir of Homelessness, Addiction, Incarceration, and Hope     We Do This 'Til We Free Us

See the Equal Justice Initiative interviews and the movie based on Just Mercy.

Video

Before You Call the Cops' BLM video goes viral...again - YouTube

Tyler Merritt's Before You Call the Cops is powerful watching. Get to know him!

Dr. Gary Green of United Theological Seminary moderated this important conversation in the Plymouth Congregational Church series: Disrupting White Supremacy: Reimagining Public Safety: Confronting the Problem of Policing, featuring Jaylani Hussein ( CAIR-MN), Rev. Nekima Levy-Armstrong, JD (lawyer and activist), and Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis (lead minister of Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis).

Throughline

NPR's throughline presents American Police

African American Policy Forum short film: The Unequal Opportunity Race

Award winning film by Ava DuVernay; focuses on the history of racism in America and the rise of the prison industrial complex

This documentary follows the police of Oakland, California, as they reform and face the challenges of corruption, commitment and cataclysmic change.

An award-winning, timely profile of WeCopwatch, an organization that seeks to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence by filming the police as a non-violent form of protest.

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising.

Websites & Curriculum

BUILDING THE BELOVED COMMUNITY PUBLIC SAFETY PROJECT

Commissioner John Harrington and Interfaith Action invite interfaith leaders statewide to join in conversations about forging a better system of public safety and policing in Minnesota.

Visit the website to learn more and register your congregation to participate.

Lights On! | An Innovative Program of MicroGrants

Lights On! An innovative program that replaces tickets with repair vouchers.

Learn how everyone benefits!

Policing The Progressive City

Michelle S. Phelps' extensive research on policing in Minneapolis is informative and potentially transformative.

Blogs, Podcasts & Articles

Sahan Journal's Beck Z. Dernbach compiled this FAQ on Minneapolis Police reforms and 2021 ballot questions.

What happened when the city of Rochester, NY, defunded the police? See The Independent article here.

Civil Rights Coalition Letter on Federal Policing Priorities

Signed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries and The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church & Society

CURA Reporter Logo

The U of M's Center for Urban & Regional Affairs offers researched insight in Over-Policed and Under-Protected: Public Safety in North Minneapolis (11.17.20)

Call To Mind: Spotlight On Black Trauma And Policing (MPR) - with Angela Davis hosting Spotlight on Black Trauma and Policing, a live virtual community conversation including Resmaa Menakem and Justin Terrell.

In Front of Our Eyes & 74 Seconds: Podcasts from Minnesota Public Radio, available on all major podcasts apps.

Derek Chauvin has been found guilty, but there is much work still to be done including sentencing and additional trials of other officers. “In Front of Our Eyes” followed the trial providing weekly updates on this monumental case, and the consequences it holds for the city and country. 

 

  “74 Seconds” followed the story of another black man shot and killed by    police. In July 2016, the world watched a man die, live on their phones, after a traffic stop in suburban Minnesota. This is the story of that man, Philando Castile, and the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, who is about to go on trial in his death. It sits at the intersection of race, policing, justice and safety in America. A lot can happen in 74 seconds.

The Movement for a Future without Policing & Prisons

Kaepernick Publishing & LEVEL publish 30 stories that point to a future that puts the needs of the community first

Scroll through the blog for a four-part series on Policing and the Church.

Enough is Enough!

The Kaleo Center blog included a link to Uprising Minnesota, “A regularly updated site on how to support Black organizing in the Twin Cities”; Jae Hyun Shim’s excellent article about how we came to this moment in Minneapolis; and Mariame Kaba’s NY Times article, Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.

Politics & Social Structure

Adult Books

Christian Socialism     Christianity in Blue: How the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Theology Shape Progressive Identity     Defund Fear     Faith on Trial     Fight Like Jesus     The Great Reckoning     Humankind     In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World     Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11     Jesus on Main Street     A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community      Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age     Our Fair Share: How One Small Change Can Create a More Equitable American Economy          Ten Lives, Ten Demands     Unholy by Sarah Posner     We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People's Campaign     When We Stand

Tweens & Teens

     Chapter Books about Citizenship     Chapter books that illuminate hunger, poverty, and homelessness.

Children's Books

citizenship - small.jpg     Global Poverty Books.jpg     Sarah Rising     Sofia Valdez's Big Project Book for Awesome Activists

Partner Organizations

Commissioner John Harrington and Interfaith Action invite interfaith leaders statewide to join in conversations about forging a better system of public safety and policing in Minnesota. Clergy and congregations are asked to outline how they think public safety officers should respond in various scenarios. Then engage with sacred texts addressing similar scenarios. Then, respond again. Responses will be gathered by an expert team into a report of Minnesota's faith communities' input on how public safety should be shaped.

Visit the website to learn more and register your congregation to participate.

The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) is a statewide interfaith legislative advocacy coalition working to advance opportunities for economic and housing security and social and racial justice for all Minnesotans. The MN Council of Churches is the Protestant partner.

You can see their 2021 legislative agenda here. For more information, contact Joan Miltenberger at the JRLC - jmiltenberger@jrlc.org, 612-230-3232.

Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles

Pollen Midwest, The Sahan Journal, and Pillsbury United Communities, published a voter guide—made by the community, for the community—that can help folx become fully informed on this year’s candidates for Minneapolis mayor and City Council.

Richard Rohr includes numerous voices in his week-long reflections on Good and Bad Power.

Webinars & Training

Learning How to See with Brian McLaren

In season two of our podcast Learning How to See, we are invited to confront the host of biases that prevent us from connecting more deeply with ourselves and one another. Listen and discover how seeing is social, political, and contemplative.

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United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities offers a list of Resources and Actions Amidst amidst the Chauvin Trialand the Death of Daunte Wright, including opportunities for Prayer/Meditation, Holding Memory, Changing Policies, Impacting Public Discourse, and Engaging Our Emotions.

Poverty, Hunger & Homelessness

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders encourage congregational engagement in the work of eliminating poverty, hunger, homelessness, and transiency. Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Individual Engagement
  • Household Engagement
  • Congregational Engagement
  • Community Engagement

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Individual Engagement

Dispensing donations amongst Minneapolis tent communities. Sign up to join the effort!

 

is distributing food, water, medical care, and support for residents and protesters in South Minneapolis.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. Find out more and apply.

Household Engagement

Chapter books that illuminate hunger, poverty, and homelessness.

Doing Good Together supports families who want to Help the Homeless

By volunteering together, your family can address the issue of homelessness thoughtfully and make a meaningful difference.

  

St. Paul area churches and Hamline are collecting funds for Keystone Community Services and Interfaith Action of Greater St. PaulDonate here.

needs volunteers. Sign up for a time.

LSS of MN's Sponsor a Youth holiday gift program is for individuals, families or groups. Complete the sponsor form by Nov. 20.

Congregational Engagement

Living Rough, Living Sheltered

(PDF download)

A service of solidarity with rough sleepers with an emphasis on compassion, listening and acting for justice. 10 pages.

Helping the Hungry

Helping the Hungry: A Big-Hearted, Book-Based Curriculum

Enrich your food drive with three fun, meaningful lessons.

This innovative curriculum guides children through the complicated issue of hunger and empowers them to make a difference.

HUNGER AT THE CROSSROADS: SEXUALITY, GENDER IDENTITY, AND HUNGER

Hosted by ELCA World Hunger, this webinar series explores the many ways hunger and poverty intersect with other issues, including climate change, food production, access to housing, racial justice, gender justice and more; including ways we can be part of God’s promise of a just world where all are fed.

Advent Resources 2021

Explore and engage ways to end hunger during this Advent season by bringing ELCA World Hunger into your congregation and home, with resources including:

devotional calendar Study Guide Action Guide
Find daily inspiration from prayers, Scripture, hymns and information about ELCA Good Gifts in our Advent Calendar.
Deepen your engagement throughout this season of Advent with our weekly study guide, where you can find impactful, motivational stories and information about how your gifts to ELCA World Hunger are at work in the world.
Action Guide for Congregations: This guide features ideas and resources to help activate your congregation in the work to end hunger and poverty this Advent season.
Order / Download Order / Download Order / Download / View Interactive Guide

Eradicate medical debt at pennies on the dollar. Together, RIP Medical Debt and numerous faith communities have abolished billions in medical debt - but it's only the beginning. They want your help!

ELCA World Hunger encourage addressing local, regional and global hunger.

Seasonally appropriate materials guide congregations in specific actions and provide for worship and study.

     Settled

Creating Sacred Settlements for folks who do not want to live without a home. Engage financially and/or through hands-on projects.

Presbyterian Mission

offers diverse, seasonal and changing opportunities to engage in the work of ending poverty and hunger locally and globally.

Interfaith Action of Greater St Paul provide support and encouragement to folks living on the margins through:

Encourage MN legislators to pass the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program

Call your state representative and state senator to urge them to increase the amount of aid their leadership is pushing for.

Community Engagement

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World Food Day theme for 2021 is: Grow, Nourish, Sustain: Together. Our Actions Are Our Future

Download the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations 16-page Sustainable Development Goals brochure.

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Simpson Housing Services' Mission is to house, support, and advocate for people experiencing homelessness.

Individuals and congregational groups can support through volunteer services and finances.

Align MPLS

Align Minneapolis is an interfaith collaboration of 17 Minneapolis churches, synagogues, and mosques and people with lived experiences working together to address homelessness and poverty through learning, volunteer opportunities, community partnerships, community organizing, and development of effective strategies and programs.

Cole Stevens - Co-Founder, Vice President - Bridgemakers | LinkedIn

Bridgemakers is a holistic civic, social, and financial capacity building platform which amplifies the stories and mentors the leadership of black, brown and otherwise marginalized youth. We build bridges between young artists, activists and entrepreneurs with experienced leaders to engage intergenerational collaboration in breaking cycles of miseducation, poverty, violence and addiction. Together, we’re reimagining and revitalizing marginalized communities to flourish with passion purpose positive relationships and power.

EMERGE Community Development | LinkedIn

EMERGE has deep roots in North Minneapolis and Cedar-Riverside, and specialized experience in providing innovative support for people overcoming barriers to employment such as overcoming a criminal background, new Americans facing language barriers, single parents struggling with poverty cycles, and participants who seek to earn higher wages.

Northside Achievement Zone

The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) exists to permanently close the achievement gap and end generational poverty in North Minneapolis. Together with their partner organizations, they walk side by side with low-income families as they put their children on a path to college.

 

The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) is a statewide interfaith legislative advocacy coalition working to advance opportunities for economic and housing security and social and racial justice for all Minnesotans. The MN Council of Churches is the Protestant partner.

You can see their 2021 legislative agenda here. For more information, contact Joan Miltenberger at the JRLC - jmiltenberger@jrlc.org, 612-230-3232.

Daily Work | Holistic Employment Services | LinkedIn

Daily Work’s mission is to provide employment services and mentoring so job seekers can thrive, resulting in a community where everyone can work, grow, and contribute.

Lights On! | An Innovative Program of MicroGrants

Lights On! An innovative program that replaces tickets with repair vouchers.

Learn how everyone benefits!

   

Make a loan, change a life.

With Kiva you can lend a small amount of money and make a big change in someone's life. It's fast and easy to get started.

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Blessed are the Poor: Engaging the Community Toward Social Transformation: a webinar series designed to help church leaders engage with the people in their communities and reflect on the different ways in which people experience poverty. These two-hour sessions occur once a month for five months: October 2020 through February 2021. Register

Children's, Tweens, & Teens Books

The PC(USA) Store has compiled a list of Books Addressing Issues of Poverty & Inequality

Global Poverty Books.jpg     Picutre Books that Illuminate Hunger in America     Chapter books that illuminate hunger, poverty, and homelessness.               Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox

Adult Books & Downloads

Picture of Everyone Must Eat     Evicted book cover     Faith-Based Organizing: A Congregational Planning Resource for Addressing Poverty     Picture of Faithful in Small Things     Indispensable Church - Lifeway          Jesus on Main Street     Our Fair Share: How One Small Change Can Create a More Equitable American Economy               Image result for praying with our feet          Shelter Theology: The Religious Lives of People without Homes     United States of Grace: A Memoir of Homelessness, Addiction, Incarceration, and Hope     We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People's Campaign

The PC(USA) Store has compiled a list of Books Addressing Issues of Poverty & Inequality

Systemic Racism & White Supremacy Culture

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help foster congregational engagement in the work of anti-racism and ending white supremacy culture. For study and conversation prompts, please see our Talking about Racism guides for Children and Parents; Tweens & Teens; and Young Adults & Adults.

Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Individual Engagement
  • Household Engagement
  • Congregational Engagement
  • Community Engagement

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Individual Engagement

NYC, NYPD to battle hate crimes against Asian American community | PIX11

Barnard Center for Research on Women shared a list of upcoming trainings, vigils and other resources in response to the Atlanta shootings of 8 people, including 6 Asian-descent women.

Defending Asian women, defending sex workers

Hollaback! logo

Hollaback and Asian Americans Advancing Justice teamed up to create free Bystander Intervention Trainings. See here for dates and details.

Support the Minneapolis uprisings

Uprising Minnesota provides concrete steps for action and engagement.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. Find out more and apply.

Household Engagement

In A Time For Reckoning: North American Christianity and Indigenous Cultural GenocideMike Morrell offers a call to awareness, humility, repentance, and action; includes resource lists for reading/study; supporting, enjoying and learning from Indigenous artists; and specific actions for individuals, households, and congregations.

Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Logo

Sweet Potato Comfort Pie’s mission is to advance racial justice and equity, heal damage caused by race-based trauma and elevate marginalized voices and experiences. We achieve our mission in three ways: by using the powerful Black cultural food tradition of making and delivering sweet potato pies; by facilitating story-circle dialogues with intentional listening and authentic sharing; and by building multicultural alliances/relationships that deepen commitment to racial justice work.

Get involved here.

Support the Minneapolis uprisings

Uprising Minnesota provides concrete steps for action and engagement.

Congregational Engagement

In A Time For Reckoning: North American Christianity and Indigenous Cultural GenocideMike Morrell offers a call to awareness, humility, repentance, and action; includes resource lists for reading/study; supporting, enjoying and learning from Indigenous artists; and specific actions for individuals, households, and congregations.

Antiracism Study Dialogue Circle at Common Ground Meditation Center

Antiracism Study Dialogue Circles (ASDIC) is an esteemed antiracism workshop provider operating from Montevideo, MN, across Minnesota and nationally. ASDIC has worked across different sectors, customizing its work to the particular focus and formats needed by organizations. ASDIC’s programs are noted for their depth of analysis, opportunity for dialogue and reflection, building of relationship and community, and lasting transformative change. ASDIC was founded in 2004 by Okogyeamon, a former monk, teacher, and now ordained UCC minister, and Margery Otto, an attorney.

JUSTmove

Joe Davis and David Scherer together are JUSTmove which offers anti-racism performances, retreats, courses, and consulting for individuals and congregations.

Please read Scherer's article: Why Shame Is Not Effective

See their To My Beloved Children video - appropriate for all ages.

The Ministry Lab is excited to share access to Rev. Jia Starr Brown's transformative series, Journey to Freedom: Embracing God's Cultural Mosaic of People. Along with diversity trainings, Bible studies, and book groups, the 2020 them, Intersectionality, was brought to life by six guest preachers reflecting on John 4:4-26 (The Woman at the Well) and poetry and music from Minnesota-based artists.

 

See Joe Davis' invitation to Deepen Humility and Compassion with the IDI; develop institutional intercultural awareness and competence; and/or join Round 2 of Davis' and Dave Scherer's Next Faithful Move.

ISAIAH is a multi-racial, state-wide, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities fighting for racial and economic justice in Minnesota.

Several blogs highlighting ways congregations can work for systemic change:

Showing Up for Racial Justice - SURJ

Offers online resources, speakers, trainings, and programming.

Interfaith Action of Greater St Paul provide support and encouragement to folks living on the margins through:

Community Engagement

The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) is a statewide interfaith legislative advocacy coalition working to advance opportunities for economic and housing security and social and racial justice for all Minnesotans. The MN Council of Churches is the Protestant partner.

You can see their 2021 legislative agenda here. For more information, contact Joan Miltenberger at the JRLC - jmiltenberger@jrlc.org, 612-230-3232.

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An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice offers numerous and varied ways to engage.

RECLAIM the Block networks neighborhood organizations for local solutions to safety, affordable housing, hunger/food deserts, and unjust policing.

Racial equity in the areas of education, family achievement, home-ownership and more.

Daily Meditations on Restorative Justice (September 6-11):

For personal practice or community discussions.

Executive Director Mark Sundby, referencing this twitter thread by Aisha Ahmad advises that now (09.29.20) is the time to lean in to conversation about race.

Reconciling relationships with natureIn a video released by United Methodist Global Ministries, Rev. Tyler Sit, an EarthKeeper who serves New City Church in Minneapolis, shares the importance of connecting with the Earth and how leading a program that provides nature-based therapy in support of people of color is impacting his community.  Watch video

The Revolutionary Love Project, founded by civil rights leader and prophetic voice Valarie Kaur, inspires and equips people to build beloved community where they are, teaching ten core practices of revolutionary love, backed by research and infused with ancestral wisdom. They center the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities in their educational tools, training courses, artwork, music, and stories. In an era of great transition, they believe that we can birth a world where we see no stranger. Each of us has a role. When we lead with love, we labor with joy.

War & Genocide

Websites

Retired UCC pastor, Rev. Charles Busch, founded Fields of Peace, and calls us all to make A Promise to Our Children.

Books

Fight Like Jesus     Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11          Look Inside Three Lines in a Circle