Black History Month: Leading Voices, Personal Experiences, Further Resources

As we embark on Black History Month we want to lift up the voices of black pastors, theologians, and Christians leaders in our community. We asked five thoughtful, engaging, and encouraging local black church leaders and thought leaders in our network to share their experiences of being African American in Minnesota and in the Church. We also asked for recommendations of other black authors, theologians, scholars and Christian leaders who have profoundly influenced their faith journey. Read their guest articles and recommendations here.

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Woodbury Mission Team Brings Justice to African Widows, Through Filing Paperwork

One of the injustices all too prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa is called widow land grabbing. An administrative team from Crossroads Church in Woodbury had a unique mission; to bring justice to a community in Uganda, through sorting and filing 100,000 legal documents. We interviewed a team member about how the tedious short-term work of filing and organizing paperwork resulted in court cases running more smoothly, and thousands of widows in Uganda having better access to justice.

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The Christian Way of Fighting Global Injustice

With 36 million slaves in the world, 2 million women caught in sex trafficking, and corruption a common practice in many of the world’s court systems; it can be overwhelming for U.S. churches to look outside of themselves and care about global injustice. But as followers of Jesus, we need to care about the injustice in the world. Our justice-work must be rooted in the Bible, and covered in prayer, before any action is taken. Read how some Twin Cities churches are taking innovative steps and doing the hard work of combating injustice in our world.

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Golden Valley Church Changing Lives of Ex-Offenders

Blocks away from a halfway house for men with criminal histories, Oak Grove Church opens its doors to its neighbors, including convicted felons. A sign hanging up in the Damascus Way Re-entry Center transitional house invites the men who are out of prison, but still on Supervised Release or on Work Release, to join its Golden Valley members for prayer and worship on Sunday mornings. And the men of Damascus Way are experiencing God in new ways.

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Pastor’s Column: Talk of Racism in the Land of Niceness

Dr. Rev. Dennis Edwards, Ph. D. is the senior pastor at Sanctuary Covenant Church in North Minneapolis. Dr. Rev. Edwards writes this guest piece for Black History Month about his experience of racism in Minnesota and in the Church, and why Christians should be vehemently dismantling racism.

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Pastor’s Column: What to do with the Non-Optional Race Card

Rev. Melanie Leehy is the President/Founder/Director of M.A.R.C.H. For Black History Month Rev. Leehy is guest writing a piece about her experience with racism growing up in Minnesota, and the covert racism she’s experienced in the Church. She writes about a time God encouraged her to move from victim to victor in Christ.

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Pastor’s Column: Why Celebrate African-American History?

Originally from Liberia, in West Africa, Rev. Charles Goah is senior pastor of United Christian Fellowship Church. Pastor Goah guest authors a piece on why it is important to celebrate African-American history, starting with Africans role in the Bible, for Black History Month.

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Pastor’s Column: Reconciliation in Minnesota from a Chicagoans Lens

Rev. Leslie X. Sanders, the Associate Minister to Youth and Families at First Covenant Church of St. Paul guest authors a piece on his own experience with racism for Black History Month.

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Pastor’s Column: Stepping Out of Racially Isolated Christian Spaces

Dr. Keith Stanley Brooks is currently the Dean of Academic Foundations at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. Periodically with Chosen Path Consulting Brooks also shares his expertise as an author, facilitator (educational leadership, intercultural competence, goal-driven staff development) and inspirational keynote speaker. Brooks is also an ordained Elder at the Holy Christian Church.

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Unplanned Pregnancies; Being a Church that Cares, Not Condemns

New findings reveal that women who have had an abortion, often feel the church is not a caring place for them, and at the time of their unplanned pregnancy, the church didn’t provide resources for them. In preparation for Sanctity of Human Life Day, we lay-out successful ways churches are ministering to women and men with unplanned pregnancies, or who are dealing with the aftermath of having an abortion.

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Transform Minnesota exists to connect Christian leaders, develop Biblical solutions and equip churches that transform communities.

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