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Sankofa 2017: Journeying Back, Looking Forward

Nearly 50 years after Dr. King’s assassination, 30 Twin Cities pastors kept Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream alive through Sankofa: Journey to Harmony. Sankofa is a Ghanaian phrase that translates as “go back and get it.” Our Journey to Harmony encouraged participants to go back and face our country’s roots in order to move forward.
Following our inaugural Sankofa: Journey to Harmony, we are inspired, filled with hope and continuing to look forward. It has become all too clear that it is the Gospel that reconciles people. So as we look ahead, we continue to dream of God’s multi-tribal Kingdom revealed in Revelation 7.

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Journey to Harmony: Rev. Dr. Charles L. Gill, Pilgrim Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Charles Gill reflects on his experience on the Sankofa journey, and how this trip violated the sanctity of his safe space. He writes about the residue of pain, humiliation, and shame in the African American experience, that he found he cannot wash off. And how as the trip progressed, Rev. Gill found many of those emotions began to leak out from under the locked door of his soul. Read what Rev. Gill is doing and what he desires for next steps as a result of this trip. In February, 30 Twin Cities Pastors went on a Journey to Harmony, touring Civil Rights Sites in the South. A handful of these participants wrote up their reflections to share with the Body of Christ in Minnesota.

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Inaugural Rural and Small Town Conference Encourages 300 Midwest Ministry Leaders

On March 11, 2017 a leadership conference for rural and small town churches called Grow! was held at Cornerstone Church in Litchfield, MN. Over 300 pastors and ministry leaders from across the Midwest attended the inaugural conference designed to provide church leaders information on how to minister effectively, encourage them to see their unique role in God’s plan, and help them take the steps that can impact their world for all of eternity. Included is a Q & A with some Grow Conference participants engaged in rural ministry in the Midwest.

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A Prophetic Call to Welcome the Refugee

As we seek to understand how Christians are called to welcome the alien in our midst, be confident in our country’s screening process, knowing that refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of anybody who travels to the United States. But also put your confidence in God’s calling on our lives to remember our ancestors who were once foreigners (found as the Hebrew word GER in the Old Testament), and to show hospitality to the stranger (hospitality is a Greek compound word of phileo and xenia, meaning love of stranger found in the New Testament). Included are links to resources from the March 2 Standing with Refugees event.

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Journey to Harmony: Pastor Kevin Walton, Bethany Baptist Church

Read Pastor Kevin Walton of Bethany Baptist Church’s experience as he confronts the horrific past and misery inflicted on African Americans by American white society, and the struggles he had identifying as a white man, as a participant and beneficiary of a historically unjust society. Yet, Pastor Walton explains how he was encouraged by how God sustained His people in the face of evil, and the healing and transformative reconciliation offered at the cross of Christ. In February, 30 Twin Cities Pastors went on a Journey to Harmony, touring Civil Rights Sites in the South. A handful of these participants wrote up their reflections to share with the Body of Christ in Minnesota.

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Insanity of God Authors Equip Those in Cross-Cultural Ministry

Nik and Ruth Ripken wowed 165 attendees at Transform Minnesota’s February Insanity of God conference. The sold-out 2-day conference at Celebration Church, Lakeville equipped those in cross-cultural ministry, by emphasizing the call of suffering on the mission field, whether in a participants’ own community or overseas in a persecuted region. Through their extensive travels, the Ripkens have absorbed invaluable lessons from over 600 believers in persecuted situations. Much of what they shared at the conference was communicated from the lessons the Ripkens gleaned from their work with the persecuted church. Read what some participants said about the powerful, practical, Biblical and affirming lessons taught by the Ripkens.

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Journey to Harmony Reflection: Dr. Charles Morgan, Union Gospel Mission

Read Dr. Charles P. Morgan’s, CEO of Union Gospel Mission, experience on this Journey to Harmony as he discovers more about the African American struggle for freedom and the equality that still doesn’t exist in today’s America, and how the conversation about racial equality and justice still lacks the proper vernacular, clarity and moral conviction. Yet, Dr. Morgan explains how he came away from this journey more hopeful than ever. In February, 30 Twin Cities Pastors went on a Journey to Harmony, touring Civil Rights Sites in the South. A handful of these participants wrote up their reflections to share with the Body of Christ in Minnesota.

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Journey to Harmony Reflection: Pastor John Sommerville, City Church

Read Pastor John Sommerville’s experience on Journey to Harmony of being humbled by courage, humbled by shame, and finding hope in the grace of God that empowers us to work for harmony within the Church. This journey offered Pastor John the opportunity to learn, understand, mourn, repent and pray, as we ask God to help build bridges and speak up for healing and harmony within the church. In February, 30 Twin Cities Pastors went on a Journey to Harmony, touring Civil Rights Sites in the South. A handful of these participants wrote up their reflections to share with the Body of Christ in Minnesota.

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Journey to Harmony Reflection: Ashley Barnd, Evergreen Church – Bloomington

Read Ashley Barnd’s experience on this Journey to Harmony as a biracial women who is in ministry in Bloomington with her husband. Ashley writes on having a deep visceral connection with the people who came before her and how they inspire her to keep pressing ahead regardless of the enormity of the task. In February, 30 Twin Cities Pastors went on a Journey to Harmony, touring Civil Rights Sites in the South. A handful of these participants wrote up their reflections to share with the Body of Christ in Minnesota.

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Journey to Harmony Reflection: Pastor Andrew Gross, Bethel Twin Cities

Read Pastor Andrew Gross’ experience on Journey to Harmony of being undone and put back together on this pilgrimage. And how he tried to humbly open his hands and invite God to help him learn and absorb whatever it was God desired for him. In February, 30 Twin Cities Pastors went on a Journey to Harmony, touring Civil Rights Sites in the South. A handful of these participants wrote up their reflections to share with the Body of Christ in Minnesota.

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