Message from Pastor Luke...........
From the Pastor’s Desk
"...what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8)
Many of you may not know that I serve on Together Here Ministries (THM). Some of you who do know this may not know much about THM or what we do. Others may have never heard of THM. I decided to dedicate my bi-monthly newsletter article to describe this specialized ministry and my roles within it.
TOGETHER HERE MINISTRIES prepares congregations in Northeastern Minnesota Synod to engage in the process of learning, listening and relationship building grounded in truth-telling and the reconciling love of Christ so that transformational change is possible, and healing can occur between diverse groups of people.
Together Here consists of an Advisory Board and two ministry teams: The Bridge Building Task Force and the Racial Justice Team. Both teams assist in creating space for healthy conversation and learning to occur, whether in person or digitally. We work with pastors and church leaders, civic leaders, and private employers in a variety of settings, including congregational settings, schools, and government departments. We lead book studies, confirmation classes, cultural sensitivity training, and workshops.
The Bridge Building Task Force accompanies congregations in Northeastern Minnesota Synod as we work to repair breached trust between Indigenous peoples and descendants of settler communities. The Racial Justice Team accompanies ministries and congregations as we work to form and re-form systems that celebrate, honor, and reflect the vast diversity of God's creation expressed through humanity. The Advisory Board works to set the mission and vision of Together Here Ministries by carefully discerning an annual strategy, aligning the budget to meet the needs outlined in this strategy and accessing the successful implementation of the strategy.
I serve on both the Advisory Board and the Racial Justice Team. As treasurer on the Advisory Board, I manage the annual budget, work with our Synod to pay our expenses and manage donations, and report our financial viability to the rest of the Board. On the Racial Justice team, I am specially trained to administer the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and have administered over 100 IDI’s to date in that role. The RJ Team is also developing a workshop designed to deliver training on dismantling racism and building beloved community across differences. I am not the only person at Our Savior’s who serves on the Racial Justice team. Lloyd Singh recently joined us as well! If you have questions or would like to serve on any of THM’s teams, let me or Lloyd know.
I am a believer in the ministries THM offers. I have seen a lot of positive change emerge from the work THM does. I appreciate your prayers for all of us who serve God through THM and for all those who could benefit from our various ministries. THM also accepts donations. We have put forth our most ambitious budget to date, a budget which we believe honors our Creator’s great dream for a world reconciled to each other and to God. We share that dream and have full faith that it will come to be because of the love and grace bestowed upon us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Get to know Together Here Ministries, join one of our teams, request one of our services, or donate by visiting www.togetherhere.org