Refugee Services

The Chance of a Lifetime

We recently welcomed Tesfa, a single Ethiopian man who came without any family ties in Minnesota. Rather than securing long-term housing for him right away, we wanted to make sure he didn’t already have family or friends in the area that he might want to live with. Arrive Ministries, another local resettlement agency, knew of a host family that was happy to host Tesfa for his first weeks in Minnesota, and the arrangement worked out beautifully. On Tesfa’s first weekend here, we gave a volunteer the opportunity to bring Tesfa to church to help him make some community connections.

Observing World Interfaith Harmony Week

The Thursday before the Superbowl brought the world to Minnesota, 130 leaders representing many of the world’s faiths met in Bloomington to generate a state-wide multi-faith network as they marked World Interfaith Harmony Week. The event, held at a site of violence against Muslims but also a site of interfaith solidarity, provided instruction, inspiration and initiation for participants in search of hope and connection.

Reflections on “Charlottesville Revisited: Unpacking Race in America”

On Tuesday, September 12, at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, a sizeable crowd gathered to hear from an esteemed panel of public intellectuals and activists, moderated by professor and activist Rev. Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds. My understanding of the purpose of this conversation regarding Charlottesville and Race in America was that the voices we needed to hear were those in communities most directly affected by racism in the United States. The panelists were:

We all need to pray and act

The last two weekends remind us that religious intolerance and white nationalism are potent forces that use the methods of fear and terror in the United States. We live in troubling times, evident in the bombing of the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington, MN, and the full-scale attack by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK in Charlottesville, VA.

Response to Dar Al Farooq bombing

Early on August 5, 2017 a fire bomb was thrown into the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington, MN, during the first prayer of the morning. We renounce this cowardly act of hate which appears meant to terrorize our Muslim brothers and sisters. The Minnesota Council of Churches has a special affinity for Dar Al Farooq, where we recently celebrated an Iftar dinner during Ramadan as a part of the Taking Heart program that we coordinate in partnership with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.

Response to Dar Al Farooq bombing

Early on August 5, 2017 a fire bomb was thrown into the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington, MN, during the first prayer of the morning. We renounce this cowardly act of hate which appears meant to terrorize our Muslim brothers and sisters. The Minnesota Council of Churches has a special affinity for Dar Al Farooq, where we recently celebrated an Iftar dinner during Ramadan as a part of the Taking Heart program that we coordinate in partnership with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.

Excited to be here!

As you might have read in the Star Tribune, I began my tenure two weeks ago. Rev. Peg Chemberlin and I spent the week conferring and transitioning. I celebrate her 22 years of leadership at the Minnesota Council of Churches that spanned nearly 1/3 of the Council’s 70 years of work for social justice in Minnesota. She has created a significant legacy that I hope to build on. I am excited to be here.

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