Members Plan Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission—a ten year plan for Racial Healing
Minneapolis, MN – “Minnesota is at the epicenter of being transformed by racial justice,” said Presiding Elder Stacey L. Smith of the St. Paul-Minneapolis District African Methodist Episcopal Church. She is also Vice President of the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC). During a press conference announcing MCC plans for the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission. She said, “This work is going to impact the future of our state.”
Loving God, we come before you filled with hope and anticipation because you promised to be with us at all times, no matter the circumstances. We pray that as our leadership team answers your call to step forward humbly, we fully trust that you will stand beside us and grant us strength, wisdom, and peace.
— Francine Renee Saffold
The Covid-19 pandemic deprives us of our usual connections — giving hugs, spending time with family and friends, shopping, working outside of the home, and attending worship services. We find ourselves struggling with “shelter at home” orders, wearing masks and gloves while maintaining the recommended six feet social distance from others. We are feeling isolated, lonely, and physically disconnected as never before.
They harden my heart—these little stones in that wall built from childhood to adulthood, from pebbles to boulders of hurt. “You are ugly. You are fat. You are skinny. You smell like a rat.” These stones are heavy and weigh me down with pain. They make me fall and cry like the rain.
These stones left from mental and physical abuse, molestation, divorce, poverty, low self-esteem, homelessness, prejudice/hate, no love or guidance. It’s hard to see the hatefulness of this world. It’s hard to see that some men have more regard for dogs than Black men. It’s hard to see hungry children without proper clothes. It’s hard for me to understand molestation, prejudice, and hate.
Pastor Michael O. Minor, Ph.D. gained national notoriety initially for banning fried chicken at events at his church in Hernando, Mississippi. But, his reputation as a disciple of faith-based mobilization for health purposes was signed, sealed, and delivered following his successful campaign for the Affordable Care Act. He is credited for enrollment in Obamacare of over 200,000 uninsured Mississippi residents. Subsequently, First Lady Michelle Obama requested his help to promote her “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign, and welcomed him to the White House on numerous occasions.
The one o’ clock prayer meeting had just finished at the Bethesda Senior Center. Gripping the handles of her four-wheel walker, Mrs. Liller P. Bates, known affectionally as Mother Bates, makes her way to a seat. Afternoon sunlight streams through the windows giving her face an angelic glow. To this day, she is still guided by her mother’s counsel offered years ago, to ‘always put God first.’ In a soft voice, Mother Bates explains, “Every morning that I wake up, I thank the Lord that He kept me safe, held back death and disease, and gave me another day.”
In a culture filled with divisiveness, disconnectedness and domination,
we pause for a moment of centered cosmic Christian connection that will bring wholeness and healing to ourselves and our world.
O God, liberate us from the domination of individual and institutional violence. Liberate us for the ministry of deliverance to the captives within and without. Liberate us from a self-centered spiritual materialism and liberate us to serve the present age. Liberate us from building our kingdoms and liberate us for the Kingdom of God. *
—Frank Madison Reid III
“A Prayer for Liberation That Leads To Liberating Love” *
Linda J. Concroft