Love Mercy Do Justice (LMDJ) Initiatives
Salem Covenant Church desires to support people and communities devastated by the killing of George Floyd and subsequent events. We want to be a church that provides immediate and on-going support as we work towards rebuilding and restoring what was destroyed, reconciling relationships, and transforming our hearts and minds to becoming more like Christ.
Given the social distancing guidelines and restrictions that are still in place, Salem is not currently organizing groups of volunteers but rather encouraging individuals/families to help as they feel comfortable and led to do. As restrictions lift, we will communicate new opportunities to volunteer and engage in person and as formal groups! We will continue to provide more opportunities to learn, grow, and be instruments of change and justice. Please consider this a working document that will be continuously updated to reflect opportunities available in the community and at Salem.
Each ministry area will respond in ways appropriate to their ministries and opportunities to listen, process, and pray together as a church body (albeit virtually) have already begun.
Salem Community Connection In June, we offered four Salem staff-led opportunities to learn, listen, process, and pray together as a church body. The PowerPoint presentation from the Intercessory Interconnected Prayer session can be found as a link in this document on our website.
Rebuilding and Restoring (Titus 3:14, Romans 12:13)
Salem Covenant Church is encouraging its congregation to provide immediate, practical support for their neighbors in need and those in their spheres of influence and care.
If those needs are met, please consider donating monetary and material goods to our fellow Covenant churches in Minneapolis (see info below). The need for material goods will soon expire, but financial donations are always appreciated as their work will be ongoing well into the foreseeable future. For tax purposes, we recognize that some people prefer to funnel their charitable giving through one source, therefore Salem will also collect and forward all monetary gifts. If you choose to do this please either give through our online platform (choose “LMDJ – Mpls Fund”) or if donating with check, please write “LMDJ – Mpls Support” on the memo line.
Other resources and volunteer opportunities can be found on KSTP and Support the Cities Facebook page. In the weeks and months to follow there will most likely be other volunteer opportunities that Salem will communicate to its congregation.
Community Covenant is serving as a food distribution site in North Minneapolis. Opportunities to donate items are available Wednesday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Please check their Facebook page and website for more information. Monetary donations can be given directly via the CCC website, or to their Crisis Relief Fund via Paypal using the email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sanctuary Covenant is serving as a food distribution site in North Minneapolis, primarily on Friday afternoons. Opportunities to donate food or help with distribution are available on Wednesdays and Fridays. Monetary donations can be given directly to their Care and Support Fund which will provide for ongoing needs in the community.
Repenting, Repairing, Reconciling, and Cultivating Relationships (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
Recognizing the damage many relationships experienced due to George Floyd’s murder and subsequent events and taking ownership of our intentional and unintentional roles in those is a very important step in healthy processing and healing. This important work may include repentance, a willingness to repair what was broken, and a spirit of reconciliation as we learn to listen to one another and rebuild trust with our neighbor, our community, with our safety and military officers and leaders. What can we do immediately to reconcile/restore relationships? What can we commit to prayer to reconcile?
Given the extremity of the incidences, potential relationships in need of reconciliation maybe with law enforcement officers, fire and safety officers, military officers, community members, and government officials.
As we process these events, our own self-awareness may lead us to reconcile our personal relationship with race as we work to reveal and repent of our prejudices. In doing so, we may realize relationships in our past and present that need reconciliation. Perhaps personal relationships with family members or friends, neighbors or co-workers, “friends” on social media, sports teams, or classmates have been affected.
Consider proactively investing in and cultivating relationships with people of a race different than yours. Jesus modeled cross-cultural relationships and conversations with people outside of his culture and beyond Jewish rules/customs – we have the example of the Samaritan; a woman; a Centurion; acts on the Sabbath; those that were unclean; and even Gentiles! Interracial friendships have the potential to broaden our perspectives, increase social awareness, help us become more open-minded and accepting, and can be really fun!
Through continuous prayer, dialogue, being in community, and the power of the Holy Spirit, Salem believes God has committed to us the message of reconciliation and we must work towards reconciling all relationships back to Christ. We encourage all Salem attenders to prioritize the work needed to repent, repair, and reconcile relationships, while cultivating new cross-cultural relationships. As a church, we are working towards creating pathways in our community to facilitate this as well.
Transforming Our Hearts and Minds (Romans 12:2)
The jarring events of George Floyd’s murder should cause us to desire change and transformation such that nothing similar could ever happen again. This desire should cause all of us – young and old, skin of every color – to turn inward and examine what in our hearts and minds needs repentance, renewal, and/or transformation. This process takes time, commitment, and accountability. To this end, Salem is currently providing specific opportunities to pray, process, listen, and learn as a church body from these recent events. Salem will continue to offer opportunities to transform our hearts and minds through various methods including book reading, storytelling, cultural competency resources, immersive experiences, and so on.
As we factor in the challenges of social distancing guidelines and restrictions and determine the best format for these opportunities, we invite you to grow in your understanding of systemic racism by utilizing the Engage and Respond resources found on the Evangelical Covenant Church’s website.
Mark Your Calendars:
Salem is hosting a book discussion series of Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist on Wednesdays, July 8, 22, and August 5 at 7:00 p.m. We will join together on a live Zoom call and then be invited into smaller groups whereupon a facilitator will help guide the discussion. We will discuss six chapters each session. Click here to register.
Join a nation-wide virtual event on Monday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. as Ibram X. Kendi discusses his renowned book How to be an Antiracist. Click here to register.