- Treaty People Gathering: Rise, Protect, Stop Line 3, June 5-8
- Indigenous women-led Mississippi canoe paddle opposing Line 3, May 9
- ‘No More Pipeline Blues’: Bonnie Raitt and the Indigo Girls support water protectors
- Sam Grant: Connecting the Derek Chauvin trial with Enbridge Line 3
- MPCA still won’t own up to its flawed approval of the PolyMet Mine, harm to Fond du Lac Band
Attend Zoom meeting Sunday to learn more
It can be overwhelming for white people to acknowledge the tremendous harms their ancestors and this nation inflicted on Native American and African American communities, harms that we continue to inflict. It’s overwhelming to think about how to repair centuries of brutality, trauma and genocide.
White Christian churches have additional layers of responsibility and atonement. Some churches used the Bible to justify slavery or profited from owning slaves or slave labor. Many denominations ran Indian boarding schools, where children were forcibly Christianized and often abused. Some died without seeing their families again.
That’s a lot to take in. The Columbus Mennonite Church in Columbus, Ohio, is taking one small, concrete, and practical step towards reparations. As a church, it doesn’t pay property taxes. It estimated what that property tax amount would be, and will donate it each year to Black- and Indigenous-lead organizations. No strings attached.
As the church members wrestled with how to disperse this small reparations fund, it sparked conversations that have been transforming the church and its worship experience.Continue reading
Four years ago yesterday, July 6, Philando Castile was shot dead by St. Anthony police after he was stopped for driving with a broken tail light.
One of the officers asked Castille for his drivers license and registration. Castile informed the officer that he had a firearm (which he had a license to carry.) When Castile reached for paperwork, an officer shot him seven times at close range.
Castile joined the growing list of black men killed by police.
Hundreds of people gathered at Luther Seminary for a Service of Prayer and Lament honoring Castile’s life, one of many such services. A particularly moving part was a reading by Afro Christian scholar Rev. Yolanda Pierce called “A Litany for those who aren’t ready for healing.”
I came across it again today. Given George Floyd’s murder and the events that followed, it seems like an appropriate to reprint it. Continue reading
Healing Minnesota Stories member Bob Klanderud passed along this beautiful reflection on ceremony by Megisikwe, originally printed in the newsletter DrumBeat under the heading “Voices From Our Elders.” Bob got permission to reprint it. Some of the original formatting couldn’t be replicated. We added the photos. Thank you DrumBeat and Megisikwe.
Ceremony is not a series of memorized steps in a set choreography of stifling repetition.
Ceremony is not a strict protocol held only by a chosen few.
Ceremony is not an argument or debate over who has more authority and thus more control.
Ceremony is not about control.
Ceremony is not about authority.
Ceremony is not a bludgeon.
Ceremony is not a script.
Ceremony is not dead. Continue reading
For Christian churches wrestling with racial justice issues, including the churches leading role in the assimilation and genocide of Native Americans, check out the website Lenten Lamentations: Preparing to Participate in God’s Mosaic Kingdom.
The first two lenten services lament America’s twin original sins: Native American genocide and slavery. Hopefully these prayers, scripture readings, and historic reflections give leaders in Christian communities ideas for future services.
The service for the first day of Lent (March 1 this year) focused on lamenting the Doctrine of Discovery, the legal and religious justification used by European explorers to take indigenous lands and enslave indigenous peoples. (It is based on a series of Papal edicts, and continues today in U.S. law.) In fact, March 1 this year coincided with the day after the anniversary of landmark U.S. Supreme Court case McIntosh v. Johnson (1823), which made the Doctrine of Discovery a part of U.S. law.
Here is the opening prayer. (Click on the link above for the full service.)
Lord God, during this Lenten season, teach us to come before you in humility, lamenting the signs that your kingdom has not yet come in its fullness. Help us to acknowledge our finitude and failings, and guide us into a journey of remembering rightly, repenting honestly, and responding faithfully. We long for the coming of your mosaic kingdom in Jesus Christ, our Lord, and invite your Holy Spirit to lead us now.
The Day 2 of Lent service laments the slave trade.
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul held a Thanksgiving Eve service to honor, pray for, and support the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.
It was a beautiful service, and it included prayers and readings that could be modified and used for many faith traditions. The service is reprinted below. Continue reading