What can you do to respond to the issues of racial justice and violence in our community? The first answer is to not do anything but to listen. Listen hard to our black and brown neighbors.
Then you can “Look for the helpers” as Fred Rogers said on his TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Here are some ways that you can volunteer, donate and deepen your understanding of white privilege and racial justice.
Financial Donations through Prince of Peace
Are you looking for ways to donate to assist in recovery efforts related to the recent violence that occurred following the death of George Floyd? Donate online at www.poproseville.org and click “make a gift” at the top of the screen. Mark your donation “justice.” Checks may also be sent to Prince of Peace marked “justice.” We will see that the donations are directed to organizations in need.
Bethlehem-in-the-Midway Lutheran Church
Located near Snelling and University, this is the ELCA congregation closest to devastation along University Ave in St. Paul. They are coordinating volunteer, donation, clean up, and monetary donation efforts in the St. Paul Area Synod. Needs for donated items and volunteers change daily. Check their Facebook Page for current updates. https://www.facebook.com/BLCMidway/
Financial donations are being accepted that will be used for purchasing any supplies we may be in immediate need of, assisting in medical costs for individuals injured in nearby protests, and supporting local organizations such as Black Visions MN, food banks, and Reclaim the Block.
You can give in three ways:
1. We will accept cash or checks made out to Bethlehem Lutheran Church 12-4pm this week.
2. You can Venmo us at @BLCMidway
3. You can contribute to the GoFundMe if you do not have Venmo at https://www.gofundme.com/f/minneapolis-protest-support
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Congregation is located at 31st and Minnehaha in Minneapolis across the street from the 3rd Precinct. Volunteer and donation needs are updated daily on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/htlcmpls/. You may donate online at https://htlcmpls.org/ and mark it “justice.”
Soup for You (waiting for info on how to donate online from Janet)
This soup kitchen in the Seward Neighborhood of south Minneapolis went from daily meals in their dining room to providing bag lunches at the outset of the pandemic. Janet Brahier from Prince of Peace volunteers regularly with this congregation and there is an immediate need to purchase paper products. This is also one of the grant requests for the Generosity Committee Funds. But if you would like to donate immediately, you may do so online at ty Committee Funds. But if you would like to donate immediately, you may do so online at You can go to www.bethanyinseward.org. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and in the right hand corner is a yellow “donate” button. When paypal pops up it should indicate “purpose: Soup For You Cafe” . You can proceed from there. Since mail delivery and banking have been interrupted by the fires, do not send checks. You may however make a cash donation by contacting Janet Brahier at email@example.com. You can learn more about the organization at https://www.facebook.com/justoneguymakingsoup/
We Love Lake Street
Many businesses were damaged or destroyed along Lake Street in Minneapolis. To help local businesses and community organizations with financial donations: https://www.welovelakestreet.com/ You can learn more about this effort on their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/VisitLakeStreet/.
The original call was for 85 kits for kids from Sanford Middle School living in the 3-block radius of the 3rd precinct. It came from a school parent and quickly went viral on social media. This is when the school turned to The Sheridan Story to help manage the anticipated influx in donations. We were able to provide the trucks, pallets, and volunteers needed to get the supplies into the hands of those who need it most. By the end of the day, our Minnesota community responded with truckloads of donations. Throughout the day, it was more than evident that the donations would go beyond the kids from Sanford Middle School and Longfellow neighborhood. Food donations were sent to Cedar-Riverside, Little Earth, Midway, and other areas.
The extra donations not picked up on Sunday have been sent to us, and our friends at Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest Heartland, among others. In the coming days, we will be distributing these donations to children and families in need.
Sheridan’s Story asks that at this time people refrain from bringing food donations to their warehouse, but rather make financial donations: https://www.thesheridanstory.org/get-involved/donate/. You can also check their website for ways to help with upcoming food drives.
Hallie Q Brown Community Center & Food Shelf
African American, nonprofit social service agency open to all, primarily serving the Summit University area of Saint Paul, Minnesota and the broader Twin Cities metro area. The organization was born as the result of the vision, commitment and tireless efforts of several community leaders in the 1920’s. http://www.hallieqbrown.org/site/
Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul
Interfaith Action lists places to volunteer or contribute in St. Paul:
- Union Park District Council – Working with Midway businesses
- Hamline Midway Coalition – Helping rebuild Midway & Hamline areas
- Longfellow Community Council – Working in Longfellow neighborhood
- Migizi Communications – Native American-led non-profit working with young people
Keystone Community Services
Keystone is the food shelf that serves the Roseville area. Read their response to the events of the past week https://keystoneservices.org/2020/05/grieving-together-in-community/. You may donate online at https://keystoneservices.org/donate/.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
LSS is an anti-racism organization. Read their response to George Floyd’s death https://www.lssmn.org/news/statement-response-george-floyds-death. You may donate to LSS at https://www.lssmn.org/get-involved/donate.
Second Harvest supplies food to food shelves in Minnesota. You may donate at online at https://www.2harvest.org/
Resources for Addressing Racial Justices issues
Book Group: White Fragility: Why it is so hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Barb Burkhardt from Prince of Peace is organizing an online book group to read White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. This will include a Facebook group and Zoom discussions. Participants are asked to get their own copy of the book. The group meets Wednesdays June 17, June 24 and July 1 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The discussion will be moderated by Pastor Ruth and Pastor Betsy. To participate, contact Barb at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Betsy at email@example.com.
St. Paul Area Synod Advocates for Racial Equality Work Group
Racial Justice Online Event
The St. Paul Area Synod is holding an online discussion on Saturday, June 13 at 10 a.m. called Telling the Truth: a Conversation about Racial Disparity in the Age of Covid-19. To register for this event: https://www.spas-elca.org/event/telling-the-truth-a-conversation-about-racial-disparity-in-the-age-of-covid-19/
Talking with Kids about Race and Anti-racism
The Ramsey County Public Library has compiled this list of resources: https://rclreads.bibliocommons.com/list/share/1569723949_rcl_kids/1648013359_talking_about_race_and_anti-racism_with_children?_ga=2.231559446.861981408.1590783022-671729662.1589758404&fbclid=IwAR0NsvZ2fDBL0DThfZieIK1kvJk020DK7C8uACxptIlPzKzGxGLn8p-rj1Q
Pastor Ruth writes:
Dear Prince of Peace Families,
What a time to be parenting! Between COVID-19, school at home, and the death of George Floyd, you are navigating a seemingly endless flow of hard conversations. Your work is important. Your work as a parent, raising children of God to live into their baptisms is vital. Please know that we are here to support you in that work.
I’ve been reflecting on how we learn about and talk about race and justice as a community with our children. My most formative learning about race and justice happened around our kitchen table when I was a kid. My parents were the ones who taught me about the inequalities that cause oppression. They are the ones that taught me about the importance of advocacy, peaceful protest, and to ask hard questions. They are the ones that helped me connect the dots between our faith and the work of justice. We know that God’s love is love for all people, and that our task as Christians is to join in the life-giving work of God. Below is a list of resources. It is not complete by any measure, but it is a start. Take a look and see what might be helpful for your family. None of us have all the answers, but we can live out the Gospel call together.
Books I love:
The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights Carol Boston Weatherford
Let it Shine: three favorite spirituals Ashley Bryan
A is for Activist Innosanto Nagara
A Church for All Gayle E. Pitman
The Peace Book Todd Parr
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Do Good Roseville’s Social Justice Challenge
30 days, 30 ways. Join Do Good Roseville every day in June to learn about social justice issues. https://dogoodroseville.com/30-days-30-ways/