Justice and Service Committee Update

Justice and Service identified three emergency needs among our neighbors:

  • A growing number of people without homes are encamped in public parks.
  • Violence has increased dramatically, particularly on the Northside.
  • There are “food deserts” where grocery stores have either been closed or damaged.

In response, we voted to provide St. John’s money to organizations that are addressing these challenges. We also considered where our members are volunteering or supporting these organizations.

  • $1500 ($500 x 3) for three food banks managed by Calvary Lutheran, Holy Trinity Lutheran, and Sanctuary Covenant where the Rowes, the Stebingers, and Susan Tapp are volunteering.
  • $1000 to defray the costs of 30 Days of Silent Prayer: Healing the Heart of Our City, “a month-long, African American-led collaborative conceived to add a vital spiritual factor to all the strategic thinking, policy proposals and investments being considered” in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.  Long-time friends of St. John’s, Don and Sondra Samuels, are leading this effort, which has a budget of approximately $40,000. Sondra will be preaching this Sunday.
  • $200 of emergency food aid to people encamped near Lake Harriet. This aid will supplement the donations of time and money by Jane Gilgun, Melissa Pederson, Dianne Pizey, and others.

In the near future, you’ll see an update from our Centennial Fund.  They are discerning how they could and should address racism and structural inequality through their original charge of focusing on relationship-driven transformational efforts at a local level. For those who are interested in helping more immediately and directly, see the following list. Justice and Service will meet again on August 15 at 9:45 am.  Contact sjschewe@gmail.com for the Zoom invite.

Click here for a List of Organizations Helping with Emergency Needs in Minneapolis

Check out this wonderful video created by VocalEssence (There are some scenes of Calvary’s food bank—the VocalEssence kids have been helping almost every weekend):