Portfolio category: Sankofa Journey

Sankofa Reflection 2017: 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.

Sankofa Reflection 2017: 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.

Sankofa Reflection 2017: 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.

Sankofa Reflection 2017: 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.

Sankofa Reflection 2017: 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, 2017 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.

Sankofa Reflection 2017: 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.

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.

Restorative Worship Gathering

On September 10, 2017 Bishop Richard Howell Jr., of Shiloh Temple International Ministries and Pastor Matthew St. John of New Hope Church hosted ‘Harmony: An Evening of Restorative Worship’ at Shiloh. The intent in gathering was both to highlight the previous 2017 Sankofa Journey in February and the fruit that has since developed. This week, eighteen pastors from the trip gathered with members of the community for an evening of fellowship, unity, and a shared joy in the Lord.

Sankofa Reflection 2018: 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.

Sankofa Reflection 2018: 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 was raised.

Sankofa 2018: An Exhausting, Rewarding Journey

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.

Sankofa Reflection 2018: 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.

Sankofa Reflection 2018: Dr. Greg Boyd, Woodland Hills Church

Dr. Greg Boyd’s reflection of the 2018 Sankofa journey. Dr. Boyd is the Senior Pastor at Woodland Hills Church. Here he writes about his initial reluctance to going on this group journey, and yet how hearing the stories of the African-American brothers and sisters journeying with him had a profound impact on him. Dr. Boyd shares how this experiential and relational journey to slavery and Civil Rights landmarks devastated him, hurt him and changed him.

Sankofa Reflection 2019: The True Tragedy of the Ku Klux Klan

"I have always known that Klansmen were terrorists. I could easily identify their distinctive dress (white robes) and their symbol of terror (the cross). But sometimes the things you know fail to really hit home. It was not until I was face to face with those symbols at a museum in Birmingham, AL that I saw the true tragedy and tasted the true terror," writes Pastor Jason Meyer, while reflecting on his 2019 Sankofa Journey.

Sankofa Reflection 2019: Finding Myself In Birmingham

"I was eager to find my place in history. Would I have had the bravery to march with Dr. King? Could I have been counted among those who sat bravely at Woolworth’s to protest the immorality of segregation?... (Later) I found myself in Birmingham, standing on the wrong side of love–and history," writes Pastor Mike Tong, while reflecting on his 2019 Sankofa Journey.

Sankofa Reflection 2019: The Truth About Acting Countercultural

“To assume I would have done differently is the height of arrogance or ignorance. The fact is that most of us are simply products of our culture and society, not independent actors. Most people simply will not act counter to our cultural environment. People do not think alone,” wrote Pastor Kory Kleinsasser, while reflecting on his 2019 Sankofa Journey.

Sankofa Reflection 2019: From Eeriness to Empowerment

“Several of the stops on our journey brought about an eerie, spiritual connection to my ancestors which was initially unsettling. As we continued, this sensation shifted from eeriness to empowerment as it gave me confidence that the strength of my people who endured these hardships still has the power to be a catalyst for true reflection,” wrote Elder Kyle Jeter, while reflecting on his 2019 Sankofa Journey.