News

Rethinking Incarceration and the Church’s Role in Restorative Justice

More than 350 people showed up to the afternoon and evening Rethinking Incarceration forums to learn how Christians can help create a more restorative justice system. Dominique Gilliard taught about America’s history from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration – a criminal justice system built on racial and social control. Gilliard urged the Church to harness their collective power and belief in the dignity of vulnerable people, and to advocate for the least of these by helping to transform the criminal justice system.

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Evangelicalism: Shared-Faith in Broad Diversity

Many people try to understand and communicate evangelical identity and diversity. The National Association of Evangelicals has created a brief statement that we hope will serve as a useful tool for you and your place of ministry.

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Sankofa 2018 Reflection: Pastor David Lenz, Hope Church

Pastor David Lenz’s reflection of the 2018 Sankofa journey. David Lenz is the Lead Pastor at Hope Church in Richfield. Here he writes about the intensity of feelings he experienced on Sankofa 2018: ranging from grief and anger to bewilderment. Acknowledging that by facing our country’s past he came face to face with pure evil; and yet believing that facing the past is the only way we can move forward, together.

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Sankofa 2018 Reflection: Kenya Mejia, Urban Refuge Church

Kenya Mejia’s reflection of the 2018 Sankofa journey. Kenya Mejia is on staff at The Urban Refuge Church in Minneapolis. Here she writes about being inspired by the brave Civil Rights workers who fought for equal rights, and as a woman of color, how their struggle bolstered her sense of identity and self-worth.

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Sankofa 2018: Photos and Reflections

Our second Sankofa journey took 28 Twin Cities multi-ethnic pastors to learn about civil rights and racial reconciliation the first week of May. It was an exhausting yet rewarding journey together, travelling through the South, visiting important sites of the Civil Rights era. As we grappled with past and present realities of racism, each stop forced us to bear witness to our country’s tragic history of racial terrorism. This powerful journey forever changed us, humbled us, grieved us, yet left us grateful and hopeful in the unity of the body of Christ.

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Sankofa 2018 Reflection: Rev. Dr. Dennis Edwards, Sanctuary Covenant Church

Rev. Dr. Dennis Edwards’ reflection of the 2018 Sankofa journey. Dr. Edwards is the Senior Pastor at Sanctuary Covenant Church. Here he writes about the questions and feelings that arose in him after seeing a lynching memorial listing names from Laurens County, SC – where his mother’s was raised.

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Sankofa 2018 Reflection: Gail Gisi, Union Gospel Mission

Gail Gisi’s reflection of the 2018 Sankofa journey. Gail is the Director of Adult Education and Training at Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities. Here she writes about the way the “lens” of her mind and heart was adjusted in just four days, and the many lessons she learned while traveling with this team.

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Awakening the Church to Mental Health

Nearly 400 people attended Transform Ideas: Awakening the Church to Mental Health at Hope Community Church on April 19. With a diverse line-up of speakers, this public forum offered a wide variety of perspectives; from the clinical to the personal and the spiritual. A mother shared about her son’s mental illness, and how the Church can better support her son. A high school guidance counselor spoke on the increasing rates of anxiety and depression among teenagers. A clinical social worker shared a powerful list of “Dos and Don’ts” for the Church; urging Christians to stop judging people with mental illness.

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Dos and Don’ts for Churches Addressing Mental Illness

Dos and Don’ts List for Churches Addressing Mental Illness. Dos and Don’ts List Created by Sarah Gross with Nystrom and Associates

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Pastor’s Column: Reflecting on Dramatic Growth and Evangelism

Berean Baptist Church in Burnsville, MN was included as #10 among the fastest growing churches in the country, according to Outreach Magazine. Pastor Brent Birdsall says he cannot point to a strategic plan, specific program nor evangelistic effort to credit the growth. But, here he shares three observations he’s noticed while reflecting on Berean’s stewardship of that growth.

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