Community Prayer Service Fills Sanctuary with Lamentations and Prayers

It was standing room only at a community prayer service on Monday July 11th, at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis, in response to a week of deadly violence in our community and nation. More than 500 people came before God as a unified Body of Christ to lament, pray for peace, and to seek hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rev. Billy Russell of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and Rev. Jason Meyer of Bethlehem Baptist Church called for a night of prayer and unity that resonated with many in our Christian community which can so often feel divided based on denomination, race, creed, age, gender or neighborhood affiliation.

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We Weep With Those Who Weep – A Call to Pray and Lament for Recent Deadly Violence

We appeal to every church in Minnesota to address the deadly violence that has occurred in our nation this past week, including the tragic deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, a 2-year-old child in North Minneapolis and the deaths of 5 police officers in Dallas. Romans 12 commands us to “weep with those who weep,” and many people in our own state are weeping, whether they be the family and friends of young Black men, or the family and friends of police officers. Past experience has informed us that when churches have remained silent in moments like now, those who mourn are hurt by our silence when we do not grieve with them. For those Christians and church leaders who find themselves at a loss for words, we offer suggestions on how to address these events with your congregation, how to pray and respond, and what steps to take next. Together as the Body of Christ we must lament, pray for peace, and offer hope to the world.

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Urban Church Planting Q & A Series: Antioch Community Church

For our Urban Church Planting Q & A series, we interview pioneer church planters who, having firmly planted churches in urban areas of the Twin Cities, look back and share their wisdom and reflections. Here we interview Andy O’Rourke, lead pastor of Antioch Community Church in Northeast Minneapolis. Antioch Community Church is also affiliated with the Acts 29 Network Upper Midwest Region. Antioch Community Church is the second church Andy has planted.

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Urban Church Planting Q & A Series: Stadia Midwest

For our Urban Church Planting Q & A series, we interview Chris Brooks, Midwest Regional Executive at Stadia, a church planting network. We include links to Stadia Church Planter Resources, including a Church Planter Coaching Reading List, a Church Plant Budget Template, and Calculations for Facility Rentals.

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African American Church-Coalition Launches Gang Violence Intervention Initiative

A coalition of African American churches launched a grand endeavor on Thursday June 16 to combat gang violence and high unemployment rates in the black community. At a press conference, dozens of faith leaders in the African American community committed $100,000 to employ youth workers to intervene at the street level, recruit job coaches, and train leaders in trauma and mental health services.

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Urban Church Planting Q & A Series: Hiawatha Church, Minneapolis

The general trend in urban areas is that as the density of the population goes up, the presence of the church goes down. In response, many churches are being planted in some of the most densely populated parts of the Twin Cities. For our Urban Church Planting Q & A series, we interview pioneer church planters who, having firmly planted churches in urban areas of the Twin Cities, look back and share their wisdom and reflections. Here we interview Chris Wachter, Lead Pastor at Hiawatha Church in South Minneapolis.

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Pray Together Sunday – Calling Churches to Prayer on July 10, 2016


Will your church participate in Pray Together Sunday and commit to a time of prayer in your worship service on July 10? With a unified voice, we will join together and ask Jesus to reset our hearts and our nation. Pray Together Sunday will kick-o­ff the week leading up to Together 2016, a national campaign to bring 1 million people to the National Mall for a day of worship and prayer on Saturday, July 16.

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Pastor’s Column: Serving the Poor, Ministering in Mobile Home Parks

For our Pastor’s Column series, Jeff Urban of Bear Creek Christian Church in Rochester, MN shares how Bear Creek does ministry and outreach in mobile home parks. The Bear Creek community has a heart for providing for those who lack material goods, relationships and connections to others. They model their home repair program after Habitat for Humanity, yet Bear Creek serves those who don’t have adequate income to quality for Habitat. This church believes the gospel calls the Church to use its resources to meet real-world needs, in this case for repairing homes in disrepair. Photo Courtesy of Post-Bulletin.

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Fundraising as Ministry

Fundraising is an unfortunate term – it puts the onus on the act of raising funds. Yet, we believe fundraising is a ministry in itself, not just a way to fund your ministry. Fundraising needs to be a proclamation that our loving God is in our midst, that His Spirit is moving to accomplish this plan, and that we get to be participants with Him. We invite people, and give them the opportunity to become a part of this movement that God is doing in our midst. Whether we are asking for money or giving money, we are drawn together by God, who is about to do a new thing through our collaboration.

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Next Steps in the Church’s Quest to Seek Justice

God’s heart for justice and mercy is beating strongly here in the Twin Cities! The first Twin Cities Justice Weekend was a giant success. The president of the International Justice Mission (IJM) encouraged churches to seek justice as a calling from God. We learned that human trafficking is a money driven enterprise and the buyers are the fuel that keep it running, according to Sgt. Grant Snyder of the Minneapolis Police Department. Sgt. Snyder encouraged church leaders to address the problems of human trafficking by starting with the offenders, who are often men who attend our churches. Find out how Twin Cities churches can continue to be a part of the quest to end modern-day slavery. Let’s not allow the momentum to slow down – Let justice roll on like a river!

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